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New Hardwood Floors Give Older Homes a Fresh Yet Timeless Look

You rarely see an older home without a beautifully seasoned hardwood floor somewhere within. They go together hand in hand. As the house ages and takes on its own character, the same can be said of the rich, warm charm of a hardwood floor that’s been around for a while.

Enduring as they are, hardwood floors can be subjected to heavy use or even neglect. After decades of sturdy service, the floor may need to be replaced. If you are now faced with the task of replacing worn hardwood floors, or are remodeling, you probably have questions about how new hardwood flooring will look in your older home. You’ll be pleased to know that new hardwood floors and older homes can still go hand in hand.

Hardwood choices for remodeling older homes

When looking at hardwood flooring and older homes, you’ll find two general categories: Wide-plank hardwood floors and narrow strip hardwood floors. Wide-plank boards, running 5” and wider, are the earliest wood floors found in American homes. They’re typically seen in kitchens, bedrooms and less formal rooms in the house. In the late 1800s, when machinery made wood sawing easier and more consistent, narrow strip floors (less than 3”) started showing up in “better rooms,” like the now antiquated parlor. Eventually, they became affordable enough to be common throughout most homes.

Hardwood choices back then depended on locally available species that were abundant as well as attractive. In Grandma’s day, it was red oak and maple. Period. Hardwood choices today still include the always popular red oak and maple, and expand from there to include walnut, hickory, cherry, pecan and many other species in both narrow strip and wide-plank. You can even combine exotic hardwood floors and older homes and still achieve a harmonious look. That’s because many exotic species have defined grain patterns and deep, rich colors that will enhance your older home with a timeless elegance.

If you want a floor that looks gently worn, consider distressed hardwood. Special staining and distressing techniques create the rustic, weathered appearance of aged hardwood that convincingly says it’s been walked on for generations. With details like character marks, nail holes and color washes, these floors evoke a sense of familiar history, yet still retain a beautiful warmth and charm, and comfortable style.

Hardwood floors have a look that everybody loves, and they retain their value. They’re easy to clean and maintain, too, plus they never go out of style. Just ask Grandma, although she may be a little jealous of all the hardwood flooring options available today.

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