Rustic Hardwood Flooring

Capture Today’s Style

January 26, 2023 | By Bruce Product Design Expert

You’ve likely heard the saying, history repeats itself. That’s certainly the case with one of today’s pervasive design styles – rustic. And nothing makes that statement quite like rustic hardwood flooring.

Natural materials define rustic homes. So, you’ll find lots of stone, cozy furniture, earthy tones, and textures. You’ll also see raw-edged tables, cowhide rugs, and, of course, mason jars. Rustic hardwood flooring complements all those elements.

Rustic Interiors Take a Page from the Past

Early homesteaders from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries set the tone for today’s rustic style. Their homes focused on simplicity, warmth, and comfort after working long hours. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in a log cabin or old farmhouse. A rustic style can complement any home’s interior.

Today’s interior design style translates that past into these essential elements to capture a rustic flare:

  • Colors: Browns, grays, greens, and reds create an earthy tone in homes. Reddish brown colors are also popular with rustic designs. Color schemes come from nature to mimic wood bark, stone, and soil.

  • Organic Materials: Homeowners turn to reclaimed lumber for everything from flooring and wall coverings to furniture and shelving. They also expose older elements in homes, like flooring or beams.

  • Organic Materials: Homeowners turn to reclaimed lumber for everything from flooring and wall coverings to furniture and shelving. They also expose older elements in homes, like flooring or beams.

The same is true for furs and animal hides to capture a natural look. For example, cowhide rugs are popular. Leather furniture also fits the rustic design.

  • Weathered Looks: Wood sets the tone in rustic homes. And the more wear the wood shows, the more authentic. Nail holes and scuffed-up wood add a patina and aged look. So, as mentioned, reclaimed wood is a sought-after item.

In addition, wide plank rustic hardwood flooring is a staple for conveying a rustic appeal.

  • Textures: Burlap, linen, and wool fabrics create a cozy feel that identifies with a rustic style. And let’s not forget quilts, traditionally made by hand. Hand-woven rugs and baskets also lend themselves to a rustic theme.

Rustic Hardwood Flooring Lays the Foundation

Rustic hardwood flooring is the essence of this design style. It literally sets the foundation for all the other ingredients that make up a rustic style.

Thanks to today’s manufacturing processes, you have a variety of ways to capture that authentic hardwood look – laminate flooring, luxury vinyl plank, or porcelain tile. But no other flooring solutions compare to genuine hardwood flooring for its natural beauty and durability.

Unlike other flooring options, solid hardwood flooring lasts for years. Remember, some of the flooring from those pioneer homes we mentioned is still around today.

When selecting your flooring, you’ll want to pay attention to the species, finish, and plank widths – to name a few of the essential attributes of real wood.

Use Native Species for Rustic Wood Flooring

If you’re installing rustic hardwood flooring, why not rely on what worked for early homesteaders? They used what the forests provided: pine, walnut, oak, maple, ash, and hickory.

Even today, oak flooring remains the most popular selection among homeowners.

Each species has unique grain and colors to capture different looks for your flooring. For example, oak features a tight, uniform grain.

On the other hand, Hickory’s grain varies throughout. Its color scheme does the same. So, it brings distinctive character to rustic wood flooring.

Each species also varies in hardness. And that matters because the harder the wood, the more durable it is. Hickory sets the tone for hardness, followed by maple and oak.

Although pine flooring remains popular, it’s a softer wood. So, it scratches more easily and won’t stand up to heavy foot traffic as readily as the harder woods mentioned.

You can take a closer look at the hardness of each wood species measured by the Janka scale here. It will help determine which type of hardwood flooring works best for you.

Wide Plank Flooring Equals Rustic

Whether or not you’re out to accomplish a rustic look, wide plank flooring is on trend. But if you are out to capture the look, remember that wide plank flooring was standard fare in colonial times.

Wider planks and longer flooring sections create fewer seams, resulting in a clean, smooth, and rustic look. It also creates dimension to a room, making it look bigger.

The most trending plank widths range from 6-10 inches. However, wider widths are available, some as wide as 20 inches. Wide plank rustic wood flooring is often engineered hardwood.

Textures Add to the Rustic Look of Flooring

Many homeowners want their wood floors smooth and new looking. But that’s not in line with a rustic style. Rustic hardwood flooring is typically distressed to create a worn look. The flooring features nail holes, knots, mineral streaks, and other imperfections.

Manufacturers like Bruce® sell prefinished hardwood flooring with these rustic elements. So you can buy your flooring from a local home center and have it ready to install.

However, some homeowners prefer unfinished hardwood flooring. They’ll have their contractor install the hardwood floor, walk on it, use chains to ding it, and add scratches for a rustic look before finishing the flooring.

Distressed Wood Flooring Finishes

You have some options available to capture a distressed look.

1. Wire Brushing: This finish involves scraping the hardwood flooring with a hard-bristled wire brush. Doing so exposes the wood’s grains from the growth ring. The process adds texture to the flooring.
2. Hand-Scraped: Hand scraping adds definition and texture to create the look of rustic hardwood flooring. The surface of the wood is scraped before finishing.
You can purchase distressed flooring as solid hardwood or engineered hardwood. It’s best to select a matte finish that features the graining. In addition to adding a rustic flavor to solid wood floors, the textured, matte finish also helps hide dirt.

Barnwood Flooring – The Ultimate in Rustic

Regarding rustic hardwood, barnwood flooring captures it all – reclaimed wood, distressed finishes, and wide planks.

Genuine barnwood flooring uses recycled planks from older barns and other structures. So, they’re wide planks, as most barn floorings used eight-inch planks. In addition, they have a naturally weathered look, including nail holes and color variations that add character when used for rustic hardwood flooring.

Another advantage is that barnwood flooring is eco-friendly. The wood is recycled and repurposed versus being placed in a landfill.

Owing to their popularity, some manufacturers like Bruce have created prefinished barnwood flooring. Working with Bruce, Mark Bowe fashioned a collection of solid and engineered hardwood flooring inspired by the timeworn character of reclaimed barnwood flooring.
The collection features 20 products using oak and hickory hardwoods.

Hardwood Flooring Made in the USA

Bruce remains the hardwood flooring of choice among professionals and DIY enthusiasts even after 135 years. We make our wood flooring in the USA and source the hardwood from forests in the Appalachian region.

You can select from solid hardwood and engineered wood floors in more than 350 styles, including rustic hardwood flooring.

We also offer waterproof hardwood flooring with our Hydropel® collection. And our new Dogwood® Densified Wood ™ flooring gives homeowners dog-proof flooring that handles everything your pets throw their way.
Use our hardwood visualizer to see how our floors look in your room. Then find your nearest dealer with our retail locator.

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