Hardwood Floors Making New Look Old — Life123

Hardwood Floors Making New Look Old - Life123

Hardwood Floors: Making New Look Old

A very warm and inviting feature of any home is beautifully polished wood flooring. If your decor doesn’t work as well with spanking new wood, you can achieve what is called a distressed finish by making new look old again. The trick is to know how to attain «vintage» and not «ruined.»

Making new hardwood floors look old again is in demand. Many homeowners are willing to get down and dirty on their new hardwood floors, pummeling, picking, notching and even grinding them in the hope of achieving an old-world style. Fortunately, wood is a material that can handle a beating, but you do have to be careful.

Distress hardwood floors for instant aging

You can either buy hardwood planks predistressed at the factory or do the work yourself. As an example, a popular manufactured, predistressed hardwood floor style called Chesapeake Hickory is sold in stores for about eight dollars per square foot. Then there are the more authentic-looking, hand-scraped, manufactured floors that get pricier at approximately $14 per square foot.

Considering safety factors, any distressing technique should be applied before the floor is laid. If that isn’t possible, either call a contractor experienced in distressing hardwood floors or roll up your sleeves. Adding a handsome patina of age requires a little elbow grease.

Hardwood floor distressing methods

One method is to blowtorch the surface by following the wood grain until it turns dark brown. If your hardwood floor has already been fitted, be careful that you don’t cause a fire. Energetically rub a stiff wire brush over the surface to remove any soft wood left between the grains after burning. This technique makes the hardwood look worn and weathered. At this stage, the hardwood floor should have a gray appearance and be ready for the next step, either varnish, stain or wax.

Sandblasting your hardwood floor produces the same effect. But this method is messy and isn’t recommended unless you are doing a complete refurbishing project.

Other ways to distress hardwood floors include using an angle grinder (the edge of a 36 grit sanding disc) by running it along the wood grain as you would a blowtorch. You can also use socks filled with nuts and bolts, chains and even a woman’s high-heeled shoe to make interesting indentions in the wood. Careful use of a hammer (head and the claw side) is also effective. For smaller indentions you can use an ice pick.

Whatever method you choose, avoid any type of recognizable pattern. You can achieve variety by using different tools around the same area and varying the amount of pressure applied. Your goal is to make the distressed look haphazard and random, just as it would with centuries of wear and tear.

Choose the right finish

If you want to change the color of your hardwood floors, choose a stain. Water-based products made for wood treatments work best. They are easy to use and come in a variety of colors that can even be blended together using different coats. If you like the simplicity of your distressed result without any stain, finish your hardwood floors with a varnish or wax.

Beautifully finished hardwood floors add instant value to any home whether you choose to «make new look old again» or not. If you decide on a do-it-yourself project, you will save a lot of money that adds instant resale value to your home.


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