Unfinished Wood Flooring

An introduction to unfinished wood flooring.

Unfinished wood flooring offers a world of possibility. Designed to be finished after installation, unfinished wood flooring comes in many wood varieties and with a great number of options for customizing the floor. It can be stained in virtually any color and textured to make it look centuries old.

As you consider what kind of unfinished wood flooring to installing your home or business, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors offers this short primer on unfinished floors to help you sort out all your options.

Why Carlisle is #1 in unfinished wood flooring.

As a leading force in flooring fashion for more than half a century, it’s no surprise that Carlisle today leads the industry with unfinished wood flooring of the highest quality. A Carlisle floor is a defining feature of any space and a welcome reminder of where you are every time you cross the threshold.

The craftsmanship that produces our unfinished wood flooring is nothing short of remarkable. Our New England craftsmen are true artisans with a love and feel for fine wood – they understand that every board tells a story through grain patterns and color variations, and they painstakingly inspect each plank to make sure every detail is just right.

Our long-held relationships with timber growers and sawyers who share our commitment to sustainable forest practices ensures that we can preserve natural resources while selectively harvesting trees that will produce the most beautiful wide plank floors in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which unfinished wood flooring is right for your space?

One of the most exciting parts of designing a space is choosing the unfinished wood flooring that will serve as the surface for your home life or business environment. At Carlisle, each species of wood has its own personality in terms of range of hues and grain patterns.

  • Walnut offers rich mocha hues and complex grain patterns. Unfinished Walnut flooring is suitable for any setting – from rustic country kitchens to elegant formal sitting rooms.
  • White Oak it is a versatile and dense wood with dramatic grain patterns that range from simple and sleek lines to vibrant swirls.
  • Red Oak hardwood offers deep, salmon tones with exceptional widths and lengths, in boards that can be finished to be as modern or as rustic as desired.
  • Birch offers grain patterns that range from highly figured flames to subtle swirls, with hues that combine blonde outer edges and warm amber portions.
  • Ash makes for highly dense and durable hardwood floors and comes in colors that range from cream to light blonde to rich nutty brown hues.
  • White Maple delivers strikingly beautiful grain patterns reminiscent of flowing water, with clean and lighter hues that provide a more neutral finish.
  • Brown Maple floors have a distinctive brown heartwood with subtle and consistent grain patterns. Hard maple floors are cut from the oldest part of the timber.
  • Cherry wood floors have a deep, glowing red color. Unfinished cherry flooring will darken to a rich, burnished auburn color as the floor ages.
  • Hickory has a tensile strength that rivals steel, making it one of the most durable hardwood floors available. From lighter blonde sapwood to cocoa brown and beige hardwood, Hickory can be stained to provide a subtle color palette for contemporary styles.
  • Rift & Quartersawn White Oak produces strikingly beautiful and durable hardwood floors with straight parallel grain lines that can be finished with almost any stain color.
  • Eastern White Pine offers a smooth grain with beautiful knots and versatile finish capabilities.
  • Heart Pine has colors that range from amber and pumpkin to more modern, darker hues.
  • Hit or Miss Pine features authentic reproductions of the saw marks that were the hallmark of milling processes from a century ago.
  • Reclaimed Oak, Heart Pine and Chestnut hardwood flooring offer a warm, antique appearance. We also offer several varieties of reclaimed floors with a more weathered and rustic look

Can unfinished wood flooring be stained to any color?

Carlisle offers a virtually unlimited assortment of stain colors. And while it’s theoretically possible to stain any wood any color, it’s unlikely that you would want to pick a stain that would cover up the personality and grain patterns in your unfinished wood flooring.

Can new unfinished wood flooring be treated to look old?

There are techniques for distressing unfinished wood flooring to give it an antique appearance without incurring the cost of actually reclaiming and milling antique timbers. These techniques include adding hand scraped edges and saw marks that reproduce the look of boards that were milled more than a century or so ago. At Carlisle, we also offer several proprietary techniques that give unfinished wood flooring the appearance of boards that have been weathered and worn down by time and foot traffic.

What is antique wood flooring?

Antique wood flooring, also known as reclaimed flooring, is created from old floorboards, siding, joists and other wood found in old buildings that are scheduled to be demolished. The wood in antique flooring shows all the imperfection of boards that have been lived on and walked on for generations, adding a sense of history and heritage to any room.

What is quartersawn or rift sawn unfinished wood flooring?

Rift sawn and quartersawn boards are cut with special techniques that produce a very even grain pattern that runs in straight parallel lines for the length of the plank. These techniques leave more waste in the cutting process and make rift sawn and quartersawn oak flooring, for example, more costly than plainsawn boards.

What is engineered wood flooring?

Engineered wood flooring is a composite of materials that are designed to be more resilient in conditions where temperature and humidity fluctuate at greater-than-normal levels. An engineered floorboard is made with a top layer of hardwood that is glued to multiple layers of backing material such as plywood, fiberboard or pressboard. At Carlisle, our engineered wood flooring is made with Baltic Birch backing to produce a stronger floorboard. Engineered wood flooring is not appropriate for locations where the relative humidity may fall below 30%

What is prefinished wood flooring?

Prefinished wood flooring is a product that is sanded, stained and sealed before it is delivered to a job site for installation. The finishing process takes place in a manufacturer’s facility where it can be closely monitored. Prefinished floors enable home and business owners to skip the messy sanding process as well as the inconvenience of having to vacate the premise for a day or two while the floors are sealed.

What is wide plank unfinished wood flooring?

Wide plank unfinished wood flooring uses wooden floorboards that may be anywhere from 4″ to 20″ wide. (Standard commercial floorboards are only 2¼” to 3″ wide.) With more width, each floorboard is able to reveal the grain patterns, color variations and personality of the wood more fully. And with fewer boards required to make a floor, there are far fewer seems between boards, creating a more harmonious and less busy look. Wide plank floors make rooms seem more spacious, luxurious and elegant.

What is unfinished wood flooring?

Unfinished wood flooring is a widely used flooring surface made with strips of wood cut from hardwood trees or softer wood trees like Pine. The strips are adhered to a subsurface like plywood or concrete with glue, nails or staples. The floor is then sanded to make it even, stained (if desired) to a specific color, and sealed with varnish or polyurethane to protect the wood from water and from daily wear and tear.