The term dirty top wood flooring is often used to describe a rustic grade that contains the original mill marks and wear left behind from decades of use as a former structure and is a product that has limited supplies available. Sometime also called hit and miss or skip planed, dirty top wood flooring and paneling is created by simply not removing the old original face of the boards leaving the original rustic appearance in tact.
While the name implies a "dirty face" or "dirty top" there is actually no dirt or debris on the finished planks, it is merely a way to describe the overall look of the flooring or paneling being produced. Depending on the species of the wood there are variations in the overall color and tone of the finished woods.
Original surface dirty top pine and oak are two common species used to create rustic flooring and paneling. Pine is prized for it's warm rich pumpkin tones and is a durable wood that is available in wide widths and long lengths, as the trees used to produce the lumber were large, tall and straight. Oak is a wood found in many barns and rural structures throughout the country and in it's rustic form has a brown grey appearance.
Reclaimed barn wood is a classic choice for a dirty top wood floor. Enhanced by weather and the natural elements over long periods of time the wood has tons of character and charm. Barn wood flooring includes nail holes, sound knots and the original saw teeth mill marks left behind from when the original boards were first created.
Utilizing mixed wood species is another way to create a dirty top product with great character. Because of the rustic nature of the flooring it can be hard to determine what a specific species is, yet, when multiple species are blended together the results are a floor that has natural variation in color and tone.
While there are many terms to describe dirty top wood flooring and paneling, the overall appearance is rustic with original mill marks left behind. At home in many settings from a rustic cabin to a modern office space this unique product has many uses.