The Five Elements
One of the balancing philosophies involved in feng shui is that of five elements, which include fire, earth, wood, water and metal. Each element can be represented with objects of the actual material or with colors that are associated with it. Feng shui connects wood with personal growth; introduce wood with hardwood floors or wooden decor. Wood can also be represented by live plants. Hardwood floors, especially if they are featured throughout the home, bring the environment and its inhabitants closer to a point of harmonious balance.
Types of Hardwood Floors
If you've decided on representing the wood feng shui element with flooring, you still have a number of decisions to make. Traditional solid wood flooring comes in just about any kind of wood, depending on the color, style, foot traffic and budget. Oak and pine are common, but more expensive woods such as mahogany and cedar aren't unheard of. Bamboo and cork floors are other natural wood options, but laminate flooring, although it's synthetic, can represent the wood element with its look and color. If your goal is to be eco-friendly, opt for laminates made from wood byproducts.
Incorporating Other Elements
Depending on the color of hardwood floor you install, you can also bring in other feng shui elements. Represent water by dark or black woods or those varnished with high gloss. The woods that are yellow, gold or golden brown in color can also fall into the earth category. Hardwood floors go naturally with stone (earth), metal and water pieces and often call for rugs, which can be woven from natural materials.
Rather than brown, the colors that represent wood in feng shui are in the blue and green family. Including a little of everything will make the wood chi (energy or life force) reach throughout the home. If your hardwood floors do not extend through the whole house, consider putting live plants or potted trees in the wood-less areas.