Hardwood Floors & flooring

Using Wide Plank Flooring to Restore Your Colonial Home

by Carol Ruth Weber

wide plank flooring

When restoring a colonial home to its original glory, it's important to research the history of the home and similar abodes. Wide plank flooring is a particular necessity for replicating the homes built in the colonial era, such as rustic cottages and old farmhouses.

Flooring Dimensions, Finish and Benefits

Generally, length of each wide plank board is often longer than modern cuts of flooring, and with a width of at least five inches. These dimensions lend themselves to the colonial era's vintage appeal. Although pine species of wood were most commonly used for homes in the colonial era, oak and cherry can be used as well for the purposes of the wide wood plank style. What adds to a true restored look, however, is the finish.

Today's wood floors are crafted by machines for a sleek, smooth and clean finished appearance. Wide plank flooring from the colonial period has a natural distressed look due to being cut, scraped and finished with hand tools. A gently uneven and worn look is common for wide plank flooring; the flooring wears its knots and dents like a fashion statement.

There are added benefits to using the rustic wide plank flooring; there is less seaming to trap dirt and debris. This makes the wide plank flooring easier to keep clean compared to narrower plank flooring with more seaming. In addition to its already uneven surface, wear and tear will only add and blend in with the wide plank appeal making it unnecessary to worry about small nicks and stress that occur with normal use.

Salvaged Wood or New Wood Flooring

Using salvaged reclaimed flooring allows for you to not only install a ready-made floor that is true to its historical period, but it also provides an eco-friendly option as well. The rugged, worn old-world appearance that sustainable reclaimed wood provides is a wonderful option available to purchase from companies specializing in salvaging original decor from historic homes and buildings. Much of today's wide plank wood flooring is installed using reclaimed wood to make the restoration historically accurate. New wide plank wood flooring is now crafted to replicate the period look of your restoration project. A variety of finishes, colors and woods are available to fit any decor restoration project.

Complimentary Details

Wide plank flooring is a linchpin for a restored colonial home, and it is important to perform proper maintenance in order to keep the flooring and other wood trim looking its best. Be sure to use floor protectors on the feet of furniture in order to prevent scratches and damage to the floor's surface. Area rugs should be placed as well, using special padding to keep them still and a cushioned buffer for added floor protection. Have visitors remove their shoes when entering the abode to limit the wear and tear that is typical of a modern home.

Always remember to clean and nourish wood frequently using natural protective products, just as you would nourish your skin to keep it from becoming dry and cracked. When done right, wide plank wood floors add a new element of restored brilliance to your colonial home, perfecting the overall finished look of your restoration project.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.