Hardwood floors add warmth, beauty, and character to the design of any home. Properly maintained, a hardwood floor can last for centuries, growing more beautiful with time.
As wood ages, it develops a patina and wear pattern unique to its environment. This antiquing is highly desired for many interior design schemes, as it adds additional interest and depth to the room.
Distressed hardwood flooring is one way to capture the look of a worn and antiqued floor, without needing to do any of the wearing down yourself. Distressed floors have all the character and charm of a floor that’s been in one place for years, but with a finish that will let them hold up to today’s modern lifestyle.
There are many different types of distressed floors. Some are made from reclaimed wood floors that have already been in use for a hundred years of more. Others may be distressed through any number of processes to control the look and wear of each board.
Distressed floors come in many wood species, shades, tones, character and grain patterns, and with different levels of wear. This means, that whether you have a rustic cabin you want to complete with a rustic hardwood floor, or you have more modern cottage that would benefit from some antiquing, there is a distressed hardwood floor that can meet your needs.
Distressed Hardwood Flooring Design Ideas
These nine distressed hardwood floors will show you some of what’s possible when you install them in your home.
1. Rich, Warm Variation
Antique wood comes in many sizes, wood species, and shades. By mixing several different antique woods together, you can get a floor that has an incredible depth and warmth to the color and patina.
This Rocky Mountain Mosaic flooring features several woods in warm tones, each with its own wood grain. You’ll have light and dark spots, which is perfect for selecting the rest of your decor; simply use the different shades as jumping off points.
Choose similar colors for a very warm, subtle effect in the room, or go completely opposite, with some cool blues and grays to create a room that pops with a very dramatic contrast.
2. Uniform Tone
Antiqued or distressed wood doesn’t have to mix different shades and species. If what you’re looking for is consistency, you can’t go wrong with this reclaimed oak flooring. White oak has a subtle blue/gray undertone with a amber surface.
This gives you a lot of options for decor, while the distressed finish of reclaimed wood ensures that your floor won’t lack for character. While the color is more uniform, the wear marks will still be unique to the floor, giving it its own, personal look.
3. Floor with History
There are many sources for antique, distressed, and reclaimed wood floors. This floor is made of reclaimed barn wood. Wood taken from old barns predates the 1930s, so these floor boards are already 100 years old. They show the character and wear of their previous life, but have many years left in them still.
These floors have a history that shows in their patina, their saw marks, and their wear. The variation in color comes from the way the wood weathered over time, giving your home a very natural look.
4. Rustic Flooring
Reclaimed wood can come from so many sources, some of the boards may be more distressed or rustic than others. This rustic oak floor has more character and wear marks than its cousins. The deeper color comes from the patina the wood developed over the years, and you can see more marks from its history in its surface. This floor is more highly distressed, and brings an instant cozy charm to any room you install it in.
5. Varied Widths
When you choose mixed antique wood floors, one of the things that you’ll find is a variation not only in wear and color, but in the width of the planks as well. This Coastal Collage floor shows the saw marks of its past use, but it’s the variation in the size of the planking that brings the real interest to the floor.
Alternating the different widths can give a striped appearance to the floor that helps to highlight some of the distressed areas a little better.
6. Wide Plank Distressed Hardwood Flooring
When many people think of old or antique wood floors, they’re picturing this - wide plank, antique heart pine. These reclaimed pine floor boards have the rustic charm that most people think of when they picture distressed hardwood flooring.
Heart pine has a unique appearance that is instantly recognizable. Using reclaimed heart pine also brings original wear marks and patina that help put emphasis on the distressed look, but in a very natural way.
7. A Subtle Mix
Not all antique or distressed wood floors will have a dark patina. This antique floor made of reclaimed Elm shows off some of the lighter tones that are available.
A light-colored distressed wood floor fits in better with many of today’s more modern homes. It has all the character of other distressed woods, but the light colors let other features in the room take the spotlight. The subtle blending of color and pattern on the floor only help to highlight the entire interior design.
In this case, the light shades are ideal for blending with the cabinetry, while the darker areas provide accent color for the walls.
8. Distressed Oak
There are different levels of distressing that can be achieved through the use of reclaimed wood. This reclaimed oak floor still has a glossy sheen that reflects the light, but it also has a pronounced grain that shows off its texture and color to perfection.
The slightly wider than average planks also show off the grain pattern better than narrower boards, letting the distressing come through. This is a floor that has clearly been used, loved, and used again. It’s ready for another hundred years of work, and will provide a beautiful floorings surface the entire time.
9. Lights and Darks
When you want to combine your distressed wood floor with other hardwoods in the home, consider using a mixed antique wood. Floors like this feature so many different wood tones, it’s easy to find one that matches, but that still provides enough variety to the room that it won’t feel bland.
In this kitchen, the honey-colored cabinets pick up the mid tone from the floor. The lights and darks on either end of the color spectrum help to provide depth and dynamic interest to the room.
Invest in Distressed Hardwood Floors
Whether you’re going for an industrial vibe, a rustic cottage feel, or you just want to add some character to your modern home, distressed hardwood flooring is a great choice.
Hardwood floors can last for hundreds of years and still maintain all their beauty and character. In fact, many floors only continue to get better with age. Using a distressed floor gives you all that charm and warmth instantly, and without the work of wearing the floors down yourself.
Choose a single, reclaimed wood, an antique wood mix, or a bespoke distressed floor made just for you. Regardless of the type of distressed wood flooring you choose to use in your home, you’re sure to enjoy its presence for many years to come.