Gray and wide-width plank flooring continues to be a huge seller in the Chicago area, says Milan Shah of the Woodridge, Ill.-based retail store Direct Floors. Shah credits the trend to popular home improvement shows, which he says dictated an end to the reddish brown tones that used to dominate the area's hardwood floors. The gray hardwood flooring trend permeates both multi-million-dollar homes and homes with owners on a budget, says Shah. "Gray is typically a cool color, but there are a lot of warm undertones in the hardwood, which makes it easier to match to cabinets and other flooring options such as tiles," Shah says. "Because it can be warm and cool, it's neutral in a way that other colors can't be."

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Ryan Kushner signed on as assistant editor at Wood Floor Business in February 2018 after a year and a half as a staff writer at The Smithfield Times in Southern Virginia. He grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in English and Communication from Mercyhurst University. He is constantly in search of wood floor stories and terrible puns and wood love to hear suggestions floor either.