Unfinished Flooring

Your guide to unfinished flooring from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.

Unfinished flooring – hardwood floors designed to be finished on site after being installed – is a superior option for flooring surfaces in a home or business. Yet selecting the right floor for your space can be a challenge, as there are a great number of types of wood and options for customization to choose from.

This brief introduction to unfinished flooring offers an overview of the many types of hardwood flooring products and the numerous ways you can customize your floor to create a truly unique design element.

Customizing your unfinished flooring

In addition to selecting the type of wood you want for your unfinished flooring, you also have a choice of:

  • Grade. Carlisle offers several proprietary grades that determine how much of the organic character of the wood is revealed in each floorboard. Our Original Grade has more knots and color variation, while our Heirloom Grade features less variation for a more formal look. Our
  • Signature Grade offers a nice balance of both Heirloom and Original floorboards.
  • Width. Depending on the variety of wood, you may be able to get planks up to 20″ wide. Keeping the widths consistent will produce a uniform look, while using a mix of widths adds more visual interest.
  • Texture. Carlisle craftsmen offer a number of methods for distressing your unfinished flooring to create the appearance of wood that has been lived on and walked on for several lifetimes.
  • Color. Carlisle offers a virtual unlimited assortment of colors for staining unfinished flooring.
    Pattern. Installing your unfinished flooring with a Chevron, Herringbone or custom parquet pattern adds additional visual interest and elegance to a room.

Why Carlisle is your best choice for unfinished flooring.

For more than half a century, Carlisle craftsmen have been creating masterpieces in unfinished flooring for beautiful museums, upscale restaurants, trendy boutiques and exceptional homes throughout the world. The foundation of our success is the extraordinary quality of the floors we produce. Every Carlisle floor is a one-of-a-kind surface, handcrafted to reflect its owner’s aesthetic and sense of taste. Your Carlisle floor will instantly become a defining feature of your space and a design element that will delight you for years to come.

The only thing more remarkable than our floors is our customer service. Our team aims to make the process of creating your floor as fun and exciting as seeing the final product in your home or business. From selecting the right wood to deciding on stains, textures and patterns, we provide expert guidance at every step and work diligently to make sure every detail is perfect.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of unfinished flooring is right for your space?

Carlisle Wide Plank Floors offers unfinished flooring in 10 hardwood species, 3 pine species and 6 reclaimed flooring options.

  • Red Oak offers tight, consistent grain patterns and salmon-colored hues.
  • White Oak offers has a dramatic grain personality that ranges from intricate, vibrant swirls to sleek and simple patterns in nutty brown hues.
  • Walnut offers sumptuous chocolate hues with distinctive grain and gorgeous color variations.
  • Cherry comes in rich deep red tones with subtle but distinctive grain structure.
  • Hickory is one of the most durable woods and comes in hues that range from cocoa brown to beige.
  • Brown Maple floors are dense with clear, hard flowing grain and occasional swirls, with hues in rich brown streaks and striking variations in color and character.
  • White Maple provides grain patterns that resemble flowing water, with cleaner and lighter hues that deliver a pure and neutral look.
  • Ash hardwood has interesting grain patterns and striking hues that range from light blonde to cream-colored to rich nutty browns.
  • Birch offers varying grain patterns with blonde outer edges and warm amber portions.
  • Rift & Quartersawn White Oak delivers straight and consistent grain pattern,
  • Eastern White Pine boasts beautiful knots, smooth grain and versatile finish capabilities.
  • Heart Pine floors have a warm patina with rich colors that range from amber and pumpkin to dark, more modern hues.
  • Hit or Miss Pine features authentic reproductions of the saw marks that were once made by early milling techniques.
  • Reclaimed flooring is available in Oak, Heart Pine and Chestnut. We also offer Reclaimed Milled Barnwood floors,
  • Reclaimed Original Surface Barnwood for wall and ceiling paneling and Reclaimed Grandpa’s flooring, our most rustic option.

What is rift sawn or quartersawn unfinished flooring?

Rift sawn or quartered oak is cut using special techniques that produce straight, uniform grain patterns that run the length of the board.

Can unfinished flooring be stained to any color?

In theory, you can stain unfinished flooring to any color. But in practice, you’ll want to choose stains that complement the beauty and grain in the wood rather than obscuring it. It’s unlikely, for example, that you would stain dark cherry wood flooring to a very light color.

Can unfinished flooring be distressed to look old?

For customers that want the look but not the expense of reclaimed flooring, Carlisle offers a number of techniques for distressing unfinished flooring to give it a weathered and aged appearance. These include adding saw marks to recreate the look of boards that were prepared by early sawmills, and hand scraped edges that reproduce the look of boards prepared for installation by hand. Carlisle craftsmen also offer several techniques exclusive to Carlisle for giving boards a timeworn, footworn or aged appearance.

What is reclaimed flooring?

Reclaimed flooring is made with boards that have been found in old barns, factories, warehouses and homes that are scheduled to be demolished. These timbers are decades or centuries old and show all the wear and tear that time and weather has created. Consequently, reclaimed floors have a rustic, antique feel that adds instant character and a sense of heritage to any room. At Carlisle, we offer Reclaimed Oak, Heart Pine and Chestnut floors, along with several more rustic options.

What is prefinished flooring?

Unlike unfinished flooring which must be finished after installation, prefinished flooring is finished before delivery to a home or business. These floors are sanded, stained and sealed at the manufacturer’s facility, enabling home or business owners to avoid the mess and the inconvenience of a floor that must be finished on site. Prefinished floors also help to make installation faster and therefore less costly.

What is wide plank unfinished flooring?

Wide plank floors use floorboards that are much wider than the standard 2¼” to 3″ board used in commercial flooring. In fact, wide plank floors may have boards up to 20″, though most floors use boards that are 8″ – 10″ wide. These extra wide boards make the grain patterns and personality of the wood more visible, and with fewer seams between boards, a wide floor makes the room seem less busy and more spacious.

What is unfinished flooring?

Unfinished flooring is flooring surface made of strips of wood that are stapled, nail or glued to a subsurface like plywood or concrete. After installation, unfinished flooring must be sanded to create an even surface and treated with several coats of sealant to protect the wood from daily wear and tear as well as potential water damage.

A number of hardwood and softer wood species may be used for unfinished flooring. Each type of wood has its own personality – the grain patterns and the hues of the wood differ significantly between trees. Unfinished cherry flooring has a rich red warmth while unfinished Walnut flooring has sumptuous dark chocolate hues. Hard maple flooring offers clear, hard flowing grain with occasional swirls, while Eastern White Pine has dense signature grain with subtle knots.