Unfinished Cherry Flooring

Your guide to unfinished Cherry flooring.

Unfinished Cherry flooring is a much sought-after hardwood surface for residential and commercial settings everywhere. The deep red tones in this hardwood grow darker over time, creating Cherry floors with a burnished auburn color and distinctive flowing grain patterns that produce a stunning floor, and one that only gets better over time.

In this introduction to unfinished Cherry flooring, we’ll answer all your questions and cover options for Cherry hardwood flooring and other types of floors available from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.

What is unfinished Cherry flooring?

Unfinished hardwood flooring is simply a hardwood floor that has not yet been sanded, stained and sealed with several coats of polyurethane to protect the wood. Unfinished Cherry flooring is made with floorboards that are cut from American Black Cherry trees, a common hardwood found throughout the Eastern and Midwest United States. Cherry flooring has distinctive red hues and will darken over time through oxidation and exposure to sunlight.

What is wide plank unfinished Cherry flooring?

Wide plank flooring is made with floorboards that may be as much as 20″ wide, though most wide plank floors tend to be 8″ to 10″ wide. The width of the floorboards allows the unique grain patterns in the wood to emerge in a more visible way, and for the personality of the wood to take center stage. Fewer seams in a wide plank floor means the floor feels less “busy” and cluttered, adding elegance and spaciousness to any room.

Compare unfinished Cherry flooring to other alternatives.

While unfinished Cherry flooring can create beautiful and stunning floors, Carlisle also offers nine additional hardwood species as well as three options for Pine floors and six options for reclaimed flooring.

  • Birch flooring has grain patterns that range from highly figured flames to subtle swirls, and floorboards that combine blonde outer edges and warm amber portions.
  • Ash floors have hues that range from cream to light blonde to rich nutty brown.
  • Brown Maple floors have a distinctive brown hardwood with subtle and consistent grain patterns.
  • White Maple has grain patterns that resemble flowing water, with clean and lighter hues for a more neutral finish.
  • Hickory has lighter blonde sapwood and heartwood with hues that range from cocoa brown to beige and possesses a tensile strength that rivals steel.
  • Walnut features rich mocha hues and complex grain patterns that make it suitable for any setting.
  • Red Oak floors have deep, salmon tones with wider, prominent grain patterns.
  • White Oak offers light nutty brown hues and dramatic grain patterns that range from simple and sleek lines to vibrant swirls.
  • Rift & Quartersawn White Oak is cut with special techniques that produce straight parallel lines in the grain.
  • Eastern White Pine features smooth grain with beautiful knots.
  • Heart Pine offers rich colors that range from pumpkin and amber to darker hues.
  • Hit or Miss Pine reproduces the appearance of floorboards containing saw marks from early milling techniques.
  • Reclaimed Oak, Heart Pine or Chestnut floorboards are salvaged from old buildings, farms and factories to produce uniquely distressed wood flooring.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best advice for how to care for unfinished Cherry flooring?

Unfinished flooring should only be swept clean – moisture must be kept away from unfinished wood. After the floor is sealed, it can be cleaned easily with a mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar’s natural acidity helps to loosen dirt and contaminants, and the mixture is safe both for the floor and the environment.

What’s the difference between prefinished and unfinished Cherry flooring?

While unfinished Cherry flooring must be sanded, stained and sealed after it is installed in a home or business, prefinished Cherry flooring undergoes those same processes at the Carlisle facility before being delivered for installation. With prefinished floors, home and business owners can avoid the mess of sawdust and noxious odors that are part of the finishing process, as well as the inconvenience of having to vacate their space for one or two days while the floor is sealed.

What is engineered Cherry flooring?

Engineered Cherry wood flooring is made with a veneer of Cherry hardwood that is attached to multiple layers of backing material to produce a highly stable floorboard that is resistant to changes in temperature, moisture and humidity. Engineered Cherry flooring is suitable for installation in places like basements, on concrete slabs, over radiant heating systems and throughout buildings where the relative humidity may change drastically from summer to winter. Engineered flooring may not be suitable for locations that consistently experience relative humidity below 30%.

Can unfinished Cherry flooring be stained to any color?

Theoretically, unfinished Cherry flooring can be stained to any color, and Carlisle offers a virtually unlimited assortment of stains. But like unfinished walnut flooring and other dark hardwoods, unfinished Cherry flooring is often best served by a stain that will enhance the natural darkening process and accentuate the unique grain pattern in the wood. Carlisle design consultants are happy to help you select the best stain for your unfinished Cherry flooring.

Can unfinished Cherry flooring be textured with an antique look?

Texturing or distressing a hardwood floor is a way of giving new floorboards the appearance of planks that are decades or centuries old. Unfinished Cherry flooring can easily be textured with a variety of techniques, including adding saw marks and hand scraped edges. Carlisle craftsmen can also apply several proprietary techniques that give unfinished Cherry flooring the appearance of antique boards that have been gently worn down by time, weather and foot traffic.

How durable is unfinished Cherry flooring?

Cherry is one of the softer hardwoods, with a Janka hardness rating of 995 – roughly equal to Walnut, but softer than Oak, Ash and Hickory floors. Consequently, unfinished Cherry flooring is easy to work with, but it may dent and scratch more easily, requiring a bit more care to keep the floor in pristine shape.

Where are timbers for unfinished Cherry flooring harvested?

The best American Black Cherry trees for flooring are found in the Allegheny Plateau which encompasses parts of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. At Carlisle, we select the most mature Cherry timbers from this region, where shorter growing seasons and perfect soil conditions create rich reds in the heartwood that are the hallmark of Cherry hardwood.