Hardwood floors can truly bring a sense of unbelievable beauty to any home, but not all houses are created the same and not all decors will match the same look of wood. While some might live for the classical, clean lines or the smooth, high contrast modern looks, others have a completely different feel that calls for more grit. When the look of nature is being recreated in the home, or the owner is striving to achieve a rustic splendor, then antiqued flooring is likely going to fit the space much better than a clean, straight planed floor. The wood, like the rest of the elements of the home, needs to feel as if it has been there day in and day out for ages.
Choosing the Right Base. In order to achieve the look of old on freshly cut planks, artisans utilize specialized tools from days gone by to create the desired textures. Of course, the first step is to select the right wood. There are certain woods that are beautiful because they are clean, straight, and have very little grain. Generally falling within this category would be woods like maple, cherry, or birch. While they are gorgeous when laid in the right setting and sealed properly, they will not make good backdrops for the rustic cottage. Instead, the artisans will select woods that welcome signs of age, with grain that works with that to create a well-aged look. Among these are oak and ash.
Using What Nature Gave. The next step is to go to work on the wood to provide the desired level of faux aging. Lightly distressed pieces will require very little effort, as the gorgeous details in the wood already exist there – worm holes and wavy grains. However, light and intentional scratching and denting can further enhance that beauty, while maintaining a relatively smooth surface. The texture is there, but it is not going to override the natural beauty of the wood.
Faux Aging. When a person wants a defined and rough look, more distressing can be done. The tools used to create these planks are allowed to leave signs of their use. The outcome is a look that appears to have been created after years and years of natural wear and tear. In some instances, a wire brush can be used to emphasize the natural grains in the wood. Again, this creates the look of age, but is less harsh than what is created when scraping tools are used. Another option for the manufacturers is the use of skip planing, where the planer is used only on specific areas of the wood, but not throughout the entire plank. This creates a more weathered look that might be better in a lake home or house with an otherwise close link to nature.