How to pull off rustic wood flooring

Rustic styles of wooden flooring are naturally associated with more traditional homes such as country farmhouses, pastoral cottages, or rural log cabins. You know the look: distressed textures with plenty of knots, irregular floorboard patterns, all topped off with a weathered finish. Nowadays however, it’s a style that does more than give your home a touch of charm. Indeed, rustic flooring has been experiencing a vogue in the realm of modern design for the past 20 years, only now it’s favoured more for its shabby chic appearance than its old world charm.

Just look at all those trendy bars and cafés that are decked out with reclaimed hardwood planks. This style does not just have to be the reserve of period buildings; it can equally be applied to contemporary designs that don’t have an overarching traditional aesthetic. With this in mind, let’s have a quick look at how you could pull off rustic wood flooring in your own home.


Buy the real deal

While there are plenty of great artificial materials available in these technological times of ours, truly nailing a rustic look has a lot to do with forgetting about modernity and giving your flooring that ‘authentic edge’. Since wooden flooring is renowned for getting better with age, it shouldn’t be too hard to find some beautiful vintage hardwoods on the market. This might involve choosing materials that have been naturally stained and worn during a previous installation.

It’s the little quirks that give the wood a rustic character, so keep an eye out for grains, holes, scratches and knots. Reclaimed woods salvaged from specialist merchants are guaranteed to give your floor this unique appearance – just be prepared to embrace its imperfections, warts and all!


Find your balance

When introducing a rustic wood floor into a new setting, many people worry about it clashing with the clean, straight, smooth and proportionate features that already define their space. Luckily, there are plenty of rustic woods that are more conducive to a contemporary feel. Off-the-shelf options tend to be more in line with our present-day sensibilities, combining the colours and irregularities of genuine aged woods with the familiar smooth and shine of engineered woods.

While not the same kind of statement piece as a fully reclaimed floor, fresh rustic grade lumber is certainly a quicker and easier option for those looking to incorporate rustic accents into a more modern home. Furthermore, it’s far cheaper than other off-the-shelf options such as prime grade woods: a big bonus for those working on a budget.


Use rustic colours

If buying completely new flooring is not an option for you, it’s always possible to give your existing flooring a rustic rework. Most wooden floors can be glazed and varnished for a time-worn appearance. Rustic floors usually consist of of warm, neutral, dark or matte tones, working within spectrums of brown, yellow, white and even red – whatever matches the existing palette of your room best. Get creative: scratch the glaze while it’s still wet for a rough-cut texture, or finish the job off with random flecks of paint.


Give your floor a beating

Sometimes, to nail the rustic look you have to do exactly that: nail it, with actual nails! While not for the faint-hearted, more adventurous DIY types might want to force dents and holes into their floor using drills, hammers, blades and screws. The resulting look is unabashedly rustic and distressed, especially with more malleable hardwoods like pine and oak.

Just remember, you’ve got to be dead-set on a rustic style before making these permanent changes. It might be fairly easy to make artificial grains and scratches on a wooden floor, but they’re absolutely impossible to remove! We also recommend sanding down any nicks and splinters when you’re done, not just because it looks a little more natural, but also because it’s a lot safer underfoot.


If you’re interested in this style of flooring and you want more information, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Hudson Flooring team. You might also want to have a quick browse of our beautiful range of wood floors.