Distressed Wood Flooring

Your guide to distressed wood flooring. Distressed wood flooring is gaining in popularity as more home and business owners seek ways to add texture and character to the design of their interior floors. But what is distressed wood flooring exactly, and what benefits does it offer in residential or commercial settings? This primer is designed to answer all your questions about floor textures and the distressing techniques available through Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.

What is distressed wood flooring?

Distressed wood flooring is a technique of adding an antique or weathered appearance to new floorboards. Before the advent of machines built to manufacture floorboards, timber for floors was cut in old-fashioned sawmills and water mills and prepared for installation by hand, giving the wood a particular appearance. Distressing techniques re-create the look of these older timbers by adding saw marks, hand-scraped edges and other forms of aging and weathering that make new floors look decades or centuries old.

What are the benefits of distressed wood flooring?

Distressed wood flooring gives a floor a warmer texture and a lived-in quality as well as a sense of heritage and craftsmanship. Re-creating the authenticity of historic floors provides a stunning and distinctive look for home and business settings.

What is wide plank distressed wood flooring?

Wide plank floors like those from Carlisle use floorboards that are much wider and longer than standard commercial flooring. Carlisle wide plank floors may use boards as wide as 20” and up to 16’ long, adding a feeling of spaciousness and visual beauty to the room. Carlisle wide plank floors can be distressed with a variety of techniques, including some methods that are exclusive to Carlisle.

What’s the difference between distressed wood flooring and reclaimed flooring?

While distressed wood flooring uses special techniques to make new floors look old, reclaimed flooring is made from floorboards that are cut from centuries-old timber. Reclaimed flooring such as barnwood floors uses wood salvaged from old barns that have been designated for demolition. Floorboards may be cut from the thick floorboards, siding, joists, beams or carrier timbers. Reclaimed flooring preserves the imperfections in the timbers, including nail holes, wormholes, splits and cracks, color variation and knots in the wood. When done well, distressed wood flooring can re-create the look of reclaimed flooring with less expense.

What types of wood are available in distressed wood flooring?

Any hardwood species can be distressed to give a floor an antique appearance. At Carlisle, our distressing techniques can be used on any type of floor from Red and White Oak hardwood flooring to Ash wood flooring or Birch hardwood floors.

Options for distressed wood flooring from Carlisle.

We offer six techniques for producing distressed wood flooring, including several proprietary techniques you’ll only find at Carlisle.

• Hand-scraped edges. This technique re-creates the look of boards that were prepared for installation by hand. Before machines were available to produce straight and smooth boards, craftsmen would draw a knife across the wood to make the edges more even, leaving scrape marks and slight ridges that give a floor a certain texture.

• Watermill flooring. This process re-creates the look of timbers that were rough sawn at riverside water mills a century or more ago. These boards were never planed or scraped smooth and kept residual saw marks in the wood, which were smoothed over time by foot traffic.

• Hit or Miss flooring. This technique re-creates the saw swirl patterns created when boards were cut in early sawmills. This style of distressed wood flooring reproduces the look of reclaimed flooring but at a fraction of the price.

• Brushed flooring. Using specially designed brushes, our craftsmen degloss and un-smooth boards to give them a worn texture with very fine brush markings.

• Timeworn flooring. As floors age, they become naturally worn both by usage and the passage of time. Certain distinguishing patterns emerge in the wood grain over the years. This proprietary process re-creates these patterns, giving new surfaces the look of floors that have been lived on for more than three lifetimes.

• Footworn flooring. This technique re-creates the subtle patterns of floors that have been walked upon for centuries, where softer grains are worn away more quickly than denser grains, creating a distinctive undulating pattern in the floorboards.

Installing wide plank distressed wood flooring.

Carlisle makes the installation of your distressed wood flooring easy. There is no “trick” to installing a Carlisle floor – they can be installed using a combination of staples, nails and/or glue, or through direct glue down installation. Many installers prefer working with Carlisle floors because wider and longer boards mean there are fewer boards to install and fewer seams to manage. Our pre-finished hardwood flooring makes installation even easier by taking care of the sanding, staining and sealing at our facility. Once you have placed your order, we’ll provide helpful tips sheets that your installers can use to simplify and streamline installation. With proper installation techniques, you can maximize the beauty and durability of your Carlisle distressed wood flooring to be assured it will stand the test of time.

Carlisle: the premier source for distressed wood flooring in North America.

Carlisle has been a leading provider of exceptional wood floors since 1966. Today, you’ll find our wide plank floors worldwide in museums, upscale restaurants, trendy retail sites and beautiful residences. Our reputation has been built on two things: the quality of our craftsmanship and the dedication of our customer service. Carlisle craftsmen are true artisans with the love and feel for fine wood. They appreciate the story that each plank tells through grain pattern and color variation, and they excel at bringing out the best in each board to create a one-of-a-kind floor that is a true reflection of your sense of style and beauty. When it comes to customer service, our goal is to ensure that the process of creating your distressed wood flooring is as pleasurable as living or working on it. From your initial inquiry through the design process to placing your order and receiving your delivery, our team strives to answer every question and attend to every detail, providing expert guidance at every step.