Wood flooring is one of the most popular choices, and for good reason — its natural feel and fascinating ageing process is attractive to any homeowner looking to replace their existing floor with something that has a little personality.
Let’s talk about pine — a softwood that has been used as a flooring option for centuries, and is still in situ in many older homes.
Pine is cheaper than hardwood options, but is a long-lasting and tough material that can look beautiful for years if looked after properly. When new, it can feel a little stark so you may want to opt for a dyed version to calm down the brightness a little, but check that the colour dries to the finish you require on a small piece of wood before you commit. Protecting the wood at this stage is crucial; opt for a high-quality varnish or finishing oil.
Old boards can warp over time, something you will need to be aware of if sanding down wood that has been in place for a while. Adjust the sander as you work to avoid leaving a sanded strip along the highest points and, after sanding, always apply your chosen varnish or oil to maintain a level of protection. Which brings us to our next choice — which is better: varnish or oil? Varnish offers a higher level of durability but is more work in the long run — as it becomes chipped or aged you will need to sand it before you apply a new coat. Oil will need reapplying more frequently, but it is a simpler process and does not usually require sanding, unless there is damage to the floor.
For further protection, rugs are a great addition, particularly in high-traffic areas where more wear and tear and damage is likely to occur. And, as with any flooring, regular sweeping and cleaning will help keep it tip-top for years to come!