Some prefer the raw texture of hand-scraped hardwood floors, while others want the modern look (and low costs) of laminate wood flooring. These patterned wooden planks provide artistic relief somewhere in between – an honest contemporary take on classic material and installation approaches.

This decorative flooring series from Mafi provides a fresh take on manufactured floors, etching designs that range from abstract floral patterns to playfully embossed stick figures.

The pre-engraved slats are shallow enough not to collect dirt and dust (at least in theory), but deep enough to be felt underfoot by socked or bare feet – each features a darker ‘burned’ look or a consistent surface treatment where variation is seen only by reflection, light and shadow.

The problems with solid wood are many – cupping and warping due to winter cooling and summer warming, for starters, plus a natural limitation on width if one is trying to finish a project on the cheap.

Engineered flooring responds to temperature and humidity issues, but tends to feel a bit fake underfoot – it may look like the real deal, but to those in the know is really just a discounted alternative.

Also, laying wider board types is typically easier – it simply means fewer steps to install. Still, there are catches to getting this creative and departing from the classics (like solid oak, cherry, hickory or cheaper variants like bamboo). Refinishing these may be tricky down the line, but one could always sand them down and start from scratch with effectively-unfinished boards and without the patterns.