Rustic wide plank flooring is in high demand. But what does it mean, and what actually makes a wood floor more rustic? If you’re looking to freshen up your home and make your interior design more rustic without investing in a major renovation, installing a floor is a great way to do so.

There are a few areas to focus on in order to ensure that your floors are rustic:

  • Varied vs. random width. Varied/random width planks look rougher and create a more rustic look in the floors than fixed-width floors. They also work to add visual interest to the room in which the flooring is installed.
  • The species matters. A species like longleaf heart pine, which features a lot of knots, will naturally add more rustic charm to the floor, or walnut, which features a lot of burls. These natural characteristics will add to the rustic charm of the wood.
  • Distressing. A hand-scraped or distressed floor looks more natural and rustic because this process creates grooves and textures in the wood and harkens back to a time when hand-scraping was used to put the finishing touches on a floor. Wide Plank Floor Supply offers hand-scraped floors, or you can have your floors hand-scraped by your contractor if they have the right skill set. Some common distressing techniques deployed by contractors include wirebrushing, which involves revealing the soft grain of the wood.
  • Reclaimed or new wood? Reclaimed wood is naturally rustic because it has natural distressed features. Oftentimes, reclaimed hardwood floors are taken from old barns and other structures that have long been torn down. Reclaimed wood is naturally aged and features characteristics that contribute to this, such as saw marks, cracks, checks, nails, and the original patina of the wood.  They feature a ton of history and of course, the original aged character of the wood.
  • Pick the right finish. Applying a matte, European oil-style finish will amplify the rustic character of the floor. Applying a matte finish to the floors rather than a glossy finish accentuates the natural character of the wood, rather than covering it up. European oil finishes are a popular choice for achieving this look, and we highly recommend products from WOCA.
  • How wide will you go? The wider the floors, the more rustic they are. This is because when floors were still hand-cut, wide planks were the norm. 

Take a look at this project in Bryn Mawr, PA for a great example of a rustic wide plank floor. Rustic wood floors impart a handcrafted and authentic look to the room in which they’re installed.

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