How to age a wooden floor

Wooden floors are a popular feature with many homeowners, but a brand new, pristine floor might not always be the right look, especially if you have a period property. Original wooden floors in older buildings will have been made by hand and will have been subject to wear and tear over the years.

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Fortunately, wood is a versatile material that lends itself to different treatments. If you want a distressed wood floor, the look isn’t hard to achieve. Before you start, it’s a good idea to look at some genuine old wood floors and see how they age in real life.

Scraping by

Ageing a floor takes a bit of effort, but it is worth it in the long run. Start by using a hand scraper on the floor to remove any existing finish and provide some texture. Scrape in the direction of the grain and avoid any knots that may be in the wood.

Start in an inconspicuous area; some woods respond better to scraping than others. Of course, good-quality flooring from a place like Wood Floor Warehouse should be fine. Varying the angle and amount of pressure on the scraper can produce different textures so you can experiment to get the right finish. When you have finished scraping, use a wire brush to add a grainy feel.

Adding wear

Experts reckon that the distressed look for interior décor is going to be big this year. After texturing your floor, you will need to simulate years of wear. If you own a dog, you can have some fun here, playing a game of fetch with the animal will lead to the dog skidding around and its claws leaving scratch marks.

Don’t worry if you’re not a dog owner; you can simulate wear using tools like saw blades, drill bits and hammers to create scrapes, dents, chips and other marks. Don’t overdo this. Think back to the old floors you looked at and how they appeared.

If you want to add a bit more character, you can create burn marks using a soldering iron or drops of liquid to create small stains. Again, experiment on an out-of-sight area to see what works and what does not. Start small; you can always scrape off marks and start again to get the look you desire.