Thursday, October 25, 2012

Distressed Wood Flooring

When your goal is authentic looking rustic flooring, the best method is to opt for distressed hardwood. This exacting technique brings any wood floor to life and speaks of timelessness, unique appeal and of a floor that is well loved. Distressed wood flooring is especially popular in kitchens and in cottage-style conservatories, where the accent is on family living. Distressed floor can be matched with distressed wood units, dressers and kitchen tables for the complete rustic look.

Period-style wood flooring is also well represented by this technique. For example a professional wood scraping technique can successfully replicate 17th Century flooring.

Hardwoods to choose

Woods popularly chosen to receive the distressed treatment are hardwoods such as teak, mahogany and oak. However, light pine and balsa are good choices too, especially in bedrooms where a farmhouse look is required. Distressed pine brings immediate cosiness and warmth to any room, turning your house into a home.

Because the distressed wood technique can best be attained by professional flooring experts it is, in 99.9% of cases, best left to them if you want to avoid a botched job! However if you feel confident enough to try your hand at turning your wood flooring into a historical masterpiece then it is always best if you have more than a rudimentary knowledge of Wood Floor Sanding methods and carpentry.

If you are laying a distressed floor from scratch rather than having an existing floor treated, you can be assured that any Floor Sanding Company in the UK worth their salt will use reclaimed wood. This works not only on the ecological front but reclaimed wood, in addition to causing no harm to the planet, also brings the intrinsic character and personality you are looking for.

Ideal for busy families

Distressed wood flooring is ideal for busy family homes with children and pets buzzing around, thus saving mum and dad from being forever on the alert for scratches and gouges made by toys and pet claws. Distressed wood is fast becoming popular in themed restaurants and trendy wine bars where the accent is on style and authenticity. You can also see some fine examples of distressed wood flooring in some of the city museums and in eco-friendly shops in particular.

In a nutshell, a distressed floor is created by giving the floor a sound thrashing with various implements including wood flooring tools, hammers, axes and even blow torches are used to create that light/dark image which naturally comes with age. If this sounds a tad violent (or even fun and rather therapeutic!) – it is also very easy to get wrong so think once, twice and then think again before attacking your floor with random implements. The process of distressing wood is actually very methodical and most definitely non-violent!

The professional touch

Professional wood flooring people have the intrinsic knowledge of how wood naturally ages, and how the various uses for a floor over time give it a certain character. For example if a floor has heavy traffic it will age differently from a floor which is constantly played on by children. A kitchen floor subject to stove heat and spillages over the years will react differently to a cellar floor that sees very little daylight.

Distressing any type of wood is labour intensive so if you are going it alone then don’t rush the process. Tell yourself it will take as long as it takes, read every book you can on the subject, visit every distressed floor you can, check out markets, inspect old wooden furniture and above all take some professional advice.

Distressing, or artificially aging, a floor is deservedly described as an art form as it involves both skill and artistic design if the finished effect is to look authentic.

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