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Old 12-04-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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I'd like to install a new hardwood floor, but I want it to look old. I don't want to worry about every scratch and imperfection.

I'd like a wood type and stain color that doesn't show as much dirt.

I'm thinking a medium tone would be best, but most old wood floors have a ery dark mahogany type patina due to lacquer/shellac and years of wear.

Any ideas and suggestions on what would be the most low maintenance hardwood floor look?
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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No matter what color you start out with, it is going to get darker over time. Those old floors you see that are very dark can be stripped down to their original wood tone, and refinished. They will be much lighter after this. You could talk to architectural salvage companies and see if you can buy old floors that have been taken out of another home, factory, boxcar, etc.

Another way to get an older look is to choose a species that was more commonly used in previous times such as heart of pine, hickory, and oak. Also woods with an open grain and 'cathedralling' grain will give you more of an older look, than closed-grain woods like maple or cherry. These open grain woods will also hide scratches and imperfections and dirt more also. You can buy 'rustic' or 'scraped' textures too if you want to give new floors a 'lived in' look.

Width of the planks matters too. Modern hardwood floors are typically narrower--2 or 3 inch strips than older floors which were more often wider, 4-5" or more.
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: 38°14′45″N 122°37′53″W
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Yeah the trick is in the thickness of the planks rather than the color, I think.
Aim for salvage/reclaimed wood if possible.

Hardwood Suppliers - Old House Journal Restoration Directory
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
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Look for a "distressed" or hand scraped wood. It will cost more, but offers the look you are after.
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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Thanks for the tips!

I'd like a floor that looks decent with being cleaned once a week.

Mostly, I don't want to freak out if over new dents and scratches.

I want to be able to enjoy my hardwood floor!
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