It all started with a magazine ad:
When I saw this ad, I was going to write a post about the room. You know, one of those ones where I go item by item and talk about how cool the room is.
I was going to talk about the open-beam ceiling, the stone walls, the awesome doors, the cool black framed mirror, and the green rattan chair. That was my plan.
Then I noticed the floors.
I know, I was supposed to notice that first. It’s a floor ad. But I’m me and that’s just what I do. But when I did notice the floors, I really noticed them.
It was the ad copy that got me.
I want a floor that will give my home a look that normally takes decades to earn.
At first I was like, oh please. But then I thought about that a little and I looked at the floor in the picture. I finally concluded… “why not?” If I can get a floor that really does have that
oldvintage look, and it is real wood so it sounds good and feels good, then why not?
Does It Really Look Rustic?
As you can see, the ad is from Shaw Floors. I’ve installed thousands and thousands of square feet of Shaw products over the years and I’ve never had a problem with any of it that I recall. So it’s good stuff, but does it really look old? I went to the website to look at this exact product to see what I could see.
Rosedown Hickory Plank
From the Epic Legends collection, this stuff does appear to have a pretty nice rustic look to it. I think the addition of stone walls and an awesome open beam ceiling can do wonders for any floor, but overall, I thought this was nice.
While I was on the product page at the website, I saw a standard spec sheet. This is the kind of thing you’ll see when looking at any manufactured wood floor and it’s the lingo your flooring guy will use when he’s talking to you.
I thought maybe I could lend a helping hand and explain some of these terms. Here is a screenshot from the product page:
- Plank Width: 5″ – For a rustic floor, that’s about perfect. (always get wood that has “real” seams between all planks… sometimes manufacturers will make a product that looks like two or three pieces of wood in every actual piece… this ends up looking fake due to difference between fake seams and real seams)
- Plank Length: Random – This is really important for a good looking floor. When all the planks are the same length the look isn’t as natural. The same thing as above applies to end joints. You really don’t want any fake joints.
- Plank Thickness: 3/8″ – Usually, thicker means more plies, and thinner means fewer plies. But it’s the top ply that is the most important. How thick the actual finished material ply is will effect how well the floor wears over time. I prefer floors at least 1/2″, but there are many products at only 1/4″. This one is in the middle as far as thickness goes.
- Micro-Beveled Edges – These are really a pretty good thing overall, especially on a rustic looking floor. This means that the edges of each plank are slightly angled at the very top, so when you put two of them together it creates a more visible seam. This is good because it’s forgiving of mistakes in installation and imperfections in your sub-floor. (the negative is that these can catch tiny amounts of dirt, but it’s really not an issue. You also don’t want this if you want a “slick” looking floor)
I almost forgot the installation options: Nail, Staple, Glue, or Float. That pretty much covers all of them. The more versatility here the better. It keeps your options open to fit various sub-floors, installer preferences, or easy DIY learning curves. (The easiest IMHO is nail or staple, assuming you have a wooden sub-floor)
Can you believe all that started with a magazine ad?
I hope this is helpful. If I can answer any questions, please ask them in the comments. When I reply, you’ll get an email.