Posted on February 28, 2017
The Vintage Loft Story
There’s honesty in an old wood floor.
The scratches, dents, and scuffs all tell their stories. When you sit in an old mill or any building where the floors under your feet are a hundred years old, you can see the stories. The softly chipped edges, the worn patina and mellowed color of the wood have a charm all their own. In that history, there’s a beauty as well.
While we long for this kind of character in a floor, we really can’t wait for it to develop this irresistible patina naturally. That’s why Real Wood Floors set out to capture this look with our Vintage Loft Collection.
We tend to go all out in our design process.
For this collection we traveled to old warehouses and lofts, run-down factories and abandoned sanctuaries of industry, obsessing over the tiniest details to discover how to recreate the historic look in these beautiful old floors.
What is it that makes these floors so gorgeous? We first noticed the planks were huge and must have been hewn from considerably sized trees. To best imitate them, we chose European white oak lumber as our canvas because it gave us an ultra wide and extra long plank, expansive timbers that dwarf what most would consider “normal” sized flooring.
There’s also the specific characteristics of century-old wood.
Irregularities from expanding and contracting are inherent in wood, and slowly creates a perfectly imperfect visual. The secret we found to mimic this feature was to cut the veneer before it’s dried, causing the knots to shrink and pull more character from the wood. And instead of sanding the milling saw marks away, we purposely added them - a little reminder from the industrial age showing us that beautiful things can have the perfect mix of utility, authenticity and rugged beauty.
The one element we obsessed over the most was probably the edge detail of each board.
Modern floors are beveled on each side to have smooth and geometrically perfect edges. Old floors, however, didn’t have that machined edge but rather were worn down by foot traffic when their edges stood proud, creating an aged and kind of softened feel. We pored over the photographs we had gleaned from our research again, and our craftsmen developed an edge beveling technique, done by hand, that mimics the edge that has a century of service.