What springs to mind when you hear the phrase ‘antique flooring’? For most people, the term probably conjures up images of colonial-era homes with wood plank flooring, cut in uneven lengths, with an aged patina and a warm glow. The wide planks may be 12 to 15 inches in width, or even more. This antique wood flooring shows worm holes, saw marks, cracks, and other characteristics associated with wood plank floors. The wood could be American oak, chestnut, elm, heart pine, or any of a number of old-growth American woods from forests that are long gone. The overall appearance of such plank floors is one of warmth, character, and aged patina.
There are only two ways to achieve this look of antique flooring today. Either you purchase old, reclaimed wood for your floor, or you purchase new wood plank flooring, and take steps to give it the appearance of antique wood flooring. When wood has been modified this way to give it that antique look it is called ‘distressed flooring.’
Antique Flooring And Reclaimed Wood
First, reclaimed wood. By far the most predominant wood used to construct homes and other buildings in America from earliest colonial times through the 18th century was Eastern white pine. Forests of Eastern white pine covered the eastern portion of the country. Used for more than just wood plank flooring, this pine found its way into every corner of homes, barns, and public buildings.
Light to dark brown in color, Eastern white pine darkens over time to a warm pumpkin color, giving rise to the common name, ‘pumpkin pine.’ Here at Kellogg we have available a limited supply of old-growth Eastern white pine, in widths of 12 to 20 inches and random lengths. It can be milled to your specifications to create stunning antique flooring.
Obviously, the major issue with reclaimed wood is lack of supply. There is a limited, and dwindling supply of old-growth, reclaimed wood. And the less there is of it, the more expensive the remaining supply of this wood plank flooring. Fortunately, buying reclaimed wood is not the only way for you to achieve a beautiful, antique-look wood floor.
Many of the wide plank floors created by Kellogg Hardwood naturally have the look of an antique floor.
A good example is heart pine, available in select and country grades, in widths from 3 inches to 11 inches. Heart pine has a beautiful, golden to red-brown color, and even without the process of distressing the wood, heart pine offers the look of a rustic, antique floor.
But what if you want it to look even more distressed? To give it the look of antique wood flooring, we start with character grade heart pine, which has more knots and defects than select grade. The we create a “distressed flooring” look by skip planing the wood on site. The finished planks look like they could have been around for hundreds of years!
White oak is another species of wood you might consider. White oak is a somewhat heavy hardwood from the southern United States, and formerly was used for ship timbers in the days of sailing ships. It is another wood that works very well for distressed flooring. Skip planing and other methods can create a unique look in white oak, resulting in a beautiful, rustic-looking antique floor.
The hardwoods that we carry can be custom milled on site to create the look of antique flooring. Techniques such as skip planing, quarter-sawing, and rift cutting can be used to achieve the look of distressed flooring. To find out more, call us to discuss your project, and we will be happy to help create the antique wood flooring you are dreaming of.