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How would rustic hardwood flooring look in my home?

how rustic hardwood flooring would look in my homeThere is an almost endless supply of options when it comes to hardwood flooring. One issue that crops up as often as the “what kind of wood” debate or the “what color stain” conundrum is rustic versus formal. Many homeowners wonder how rustic hardwood flooring would look in their home.

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The general answer is that rustic hardwood flooring would look good in just about any home! Rustic hardwood flooring has been popular for as long as wood has been used on floors, and it goes with a variety of decors and tastes.

It is surprising to many how a rustic hardwood floor can turn an ordinary room into an extraordinary room!

Rustic Options

The term rustic can refer to a wide range of hardwood flooring options. It does not mean a lack of quality or refer to subflooring or stained plywood. Generally, rustic hardwood flooring is meant to recreate the glorious floors of old that were crafted by hand one board at a time.

how would rustic hardwood flooring look in my homeMany envision something akin to a miner’s shanty when the term “rustic” is used, but rustic does not mean backwoods, cheap, or unstylish. Rustic is just the opposite of a formal hardwood floor.

Formal hardwood floors are smooth, uniform in color and tone, and usually polished to a high shine. Rustic hardwood floors are rough, vary in color, and feature any kind of finish, from matte to high shine.

Rustic hardwood floors can refer to hand scraped hardwood floors, which are boards that are scraped with a knife by hand in order to make a new floor look old. This is a popular trend in high-end hardwood flooring, according to the World Floor Covering Association.

Rustic hardwood floors might also refer to distressed hardwood floors, which are also meant to make a new floor look like it has been in a home for ages. Generally, the distressing is done by machine rather than by hand.

Distressed hardwood floors are another popular trend that is a bit cheaper than hand scraped options, according to the National Wood Flooring Association’s Magazine.

A rustic hardwood floor can also be achieved by using reclaimed materials in an eco-friendly manner or by utilizing synthetic vinyl flooring that is engineered to look rustic. Vinyl options such as those supplied by Earth Werks Vinyl Flooring are an excellent option for high-traffic areas or flooring needs for rooms that are below ground level–most hardwood flooring material cannot be used in basements and the like, but vinyl fills that niche.

What Rustic Hardwood Flooring Works With

how would rustic hardwood floors look in my homeMany homeowners wonder if rustic flooring will match with their décor and personal tastes. The answer is that rustic hardwood flooring actually accentuates more types of designs than its direct opposite of traditional, formal hardwood flooring.

Obviously, rustic hardwood flooring is right at home among design choices such as Country, Southwestern, and Cabin-style décor. Yet those are just the obvious choices that easily pair with rustic hardwood flooring. Other easy choices that also work well with a rougher-looking hardwood floor include the Arts & Crafts Movement, Shaker, and French Provencal.

However, what many homeowners are concerned about is the ability of rustic floors to work with design movements such as minimalist, traditional, or even modern. Most worry that rustic hardwood floors will look too rustic. They fear rustic floors will compromise a modern look that is full of sleek metallics, bright colors, and outside-the-box design. This is where the vision of the miner’s cabin comes in!

Just as a really beautiful antique chair will mix well with a modern décor, so too will a beautiful rustic floor accentuate just about any design. This is because the contrast is so wide that each makes the other stand out all the more.

Where Rustic Works

Rustic hardwood floors are not just for the den, mud room, or study, either. The rough surface of a rustic hardwood floor adds depth and character to any room. The texture of the rough planks adds a layer of warmth to any room.

how rustic hardwood floors would look in my homeOnce, only formal, shiny hardwood floors were permissible in high observation areas such as dining rooms, living rooms, and parlors. However, since the use of the formal parlor has mostly gone out the window, so too have the outdated notions that only one type of flooring was suited to a particular room!

Once, installers, builders, and designers would have been aghast to hear of hardwood floors being installed in kitchens and bathrooms, but that very idea is emerging as a popular trend. Furthermore, rustic hardwood floors look as great in kitchens and bathrooms as they do in studies, living rooms, hallways, and dining rooms.

Rustic hardwood floors can look great in any room of the house and with any decorating style because there are so many different choices of rustic hardwood flooring available. Believe it or not, rustic flooring can even add an air of stateliness to many rooms!


There is a wide range of pricing when it comes to rustic hardwood floors. It all depends on what process in particular gave it the designation of rustic.

how rustic hardwood flooring might look in my homeIf a flooring is considered rustic because it was hand scraped for hours by local craftsmen, then it is going to be an expensive flooring option to put in your home On the other hand, if it is deemed rustic for other reasons, such as the boards are reclaimed or a lower grade, then such a rustic hardwood floor might be a very economical option.

Remember, the designation of rustic doesn’t mean cheap. It is a design element that differs from a traditional, formal hardwood flooring design.

Benefits of Rustic Hardwood Flooring

There are many benefits to rustic hardwood flooring over those flooring options that only include smooth, shiny surfaces and a uniform look. The first is price.

Rustic flooring can be produced from a variety of wood grades. Whereas the formal look usually requires heartwood or top-grade wood planks, lesser grades can be utilized for rustic hardwood flooring.

While lesser grades of wood are obviously less expensive, some homeowners covet the variety of colors and patterns and the shift and swirls of grains and knots that can be obtained from lower grade woods when used for flooring.

Rustic hardwood floors also stand up better to wear and tear than formal options. That smooth, shiny surface of a formal wood floor is quickly marred by dog claws, kid toys, dropped items, and high-heeled shoes. Rustic hardwood floors allow those inevitable marks that will occur if you walk on your flooring to blend and add to the character of the flooring.

Obviously you can’t play an indoor game of soccer with cleats on a rustic hardwood floor, but it is much more forgiving of the family lifestyle.

how might rustic hardwood floors look in my homeFinally, rustic hardwood floors can also be more earth-friendly, according to the Sierra Club. Wood boards for a rustic floor can come from many reclaimed sources. Many old houses and barns that are set to be pulled down are constructed of virgin-growth timber that just isn’t available anymore.

For instance, American Chestnut was once a popular wood for building that just isn’t available anymore due to a blight that wiped out almost the entire species. It can be reclaimed from old barns, buildings, and houses to be reused, and flooring is just one option.

Other sources include railroad ties, old ships, and even the wood from old wine barrels. Each provides a gorgeous rustic hardwood floor that looks like no other and has a story to boot! Reusing wood sources saves valuable wood from the garbage dump and allows current timber forests to be used elsewhere.

Timber is a renewable resource, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be thrown away or wasted. You can do a small part for the environment and get a stunning rustic hardwood floor out of the deal!

You do want to make sure that your reclaimed rustic hardwood flooring is authentic, however. The trend has pulled fakes and faux options out of the woodwork, so to speak. If you don’t pull the wood off of the old building yourself, or watch someone else do it, then make sure that the company supplying your reclaimed hardwood planks is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Cleaning Rustic Hardwood Flooring

While rustic hardwood flooring may be a bit more forgiving of an active family, that does not mean it can be neglected. If it starts to look like stained plywood, then you are doing something wrong!

how might rustic hardwood flooring look in my homeRustic hardwood flooring needs to be cleaned and maintained to keep its look and sound structure. The first step in protecting any hardwood floor is to keep water off of it as much as possible. Quickly clean up spills and don’t wash it with a soaking wet mop.

The next step is prevention. Use rugs and floor mats at doors, under sinks, and at high-traffic areas to catch dirt, debris, and water. Experts caution not to use rubber-backed mats that seal in moisture.

The last step is to broom sweep or vacuum on the bare floor setting often and clean as directed by the manufacturer.

Few flooring options add the warmth, character, and depth of a rustic hardwood floor, so keep yours around for awhile. Such a floor can be casual, formal, or funky–it is all up to you!

Find the rustic hardwood flooring option that fits your home and décor for any room right NOW!

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