Want to work with wide plank hardwood floors, but need some inspiration? There are a lot of things you can do to make the floor your own. Here are just a few ideas based on the latest trends:
Reclaimed wide plank floors: Reclaimed wide plank floors are very popular right now. They are repurposed from places like old barns, houses, and industrial buildings. Their character marks and signs of wear-and-tear bring a rustic appeal to the space. They’re great for cafés, restaurants, and homeowners who want a hip, trendy look in their floors. Some popular reclaimed species include pine, white and red oak, and chestnut.
VOC-free finishes: Homeowners are increasingly turning away from polyurethane oil-based finishes in favor of eco-friendly and non-hazardous products to finish their floors. Luckily, environmental consciousness is present in the hardwood floor industry, too, so there are plenty of products that you can use without harming yourself or the environment. Rubio Monocoat natural oil finishes are great to use on wide plank floors because they are VOC-free and non-toxic, all while offering outstanding durability. Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus in particular is a great choice if you want to stain your floors as well, because it stains and finishes in a single coat. If you’d prefer to use a water-based finish, look to Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey for durable, versatile products with low VOC counts.
Stained wide plank floors: Ebony-stained floors are becoming increasingly popular, as are gray stains. Staining your wide plank floors opens up a whole variety of possibilities for a completely customized look. There is a wide variety of stains available in the market. If you’d like to stain your floors but you don’t want to pay extra, a DIY gray-aged stain is easy to do. Check out this video guide to creating a DIY gray-aged stain with steel wool and white vinegar.
Prefinished wide plank floors: As American homeowners have become increasingly DIY-oriented, prefinished engineered wide plank floors have become more popular. Instead of hiring a contractor to come in, do prep work, install the floors, and sand them, people want to take matters into their own hands. Prefinished wide plank floors make DIY jobs a lot easier because they are already finished when they arrive at your door; all you usually have to complete is the subfloor prep and wood acclimation, and the floors are basically ready to use. Many prefinished brands look just like unfinished floors that were finished to perfection, and there are a variety of types available so you can find a floor that matches your vision.
Classic species: As part of the trend surrounding rustic looks, species that have been traditionally favored in the American market––such as white oak, American cherry, and walnut––are recently making a comeback. Instead of gravitating towards exotic wide plank species, some homeowners are tending towards simpler, classic varieties of wood that have been mainstays in American homes for several decades. Although they’re simple and traditional, you can still make them your own by opting to stain them, but sometimes it’s best to let their natural beauty speak for itself.
Distressed wide plank floors: Distressed floors are created by taking perfectly good planks and using a variety of tools to create character markings like kerf marks and nailholes, creating an authentic reclaimed look. You can do the distressing yourself or ask your manufacturer to complete this step for you. Distressed floors are a great option if the species you’d like is not very popular and is therefore hard to find in a reclaimed variety.
Check out our “2016 hardwood flooring trends” blog post for more ideas. Have you noticed any other interesting trends? Share them in the comments below!