How Do You White Wash Floorboards?
White washed timber floors create amazing results. Using simple acrylic white paint, white washed wood floors is relatively easy and inexpensive and will turn your floors into a beautiful feature.
If you have new floorboards laid, you probably won’t need to do a lot to make them look amazing. If that’s the case you only need to oil or seal them once they’ve been whitewashed and let the natural grain come through.
Feature Your Hardwood Floors With A White Wash
White washed floorboards looks stunning on old boards and bring light and space into a room; but they can be difficult to get perfect, so don’t stress if gaps or imperfections show up. That is part of the rustic charm of old wooden floorboards.
A whitewashed floor will pick up dirt and scuff marks rapidly, so remember to protect your floorboards with a topcoat or sealant that will be easier to clean than the whitewash itself.
An additional protective barrier with furniture will also help to minimise floor scuffing and scratching.
Can I Whitewash Darker Toned Hardwood Flooring?
Whilst it’s always possible to white wash dark hardwood timber, the finished product will be relative to what you have to work with from the start.
Should you be working with one of our typical Australian hardwood timber species such as Brushbox, Jarrah, Spotted Gum or perhaps even Turpentine, then you will need to reduce the natural colour of it first.
To do that, you’ll need to complete a process of bleaching the hardwood floorboards.
Hardwood floors can be bleached to remove the tannins, natural oils and waxes.
Before we take a look at the steps to whitewash your floors, lets first go over some tips to bleach the floorboards bringing them back to a neutral tone.
The safest and most efficient product for bleaching is a two part product named LiteniT which is a high strength, safe, VOC free, 2- component wood bleaching system. The 2 parts, both naturally occurring, bio-degradable oxidisers.
Use LiteniT to remove the natural colour from any bare wood. LiteniT will take out the red and lighten even the darkest timber.
Part (A) is the activator. Its job is to pull the tannin and natural colour from the wood to the surface. So expect the wood to go darker in colour when Part(A) is applied.
The following application process as described by Oak Timber Flooring is to:
Use a brush for small areas like furniture, bench tops or stairs as if you putting on a coat of varnish.
For larger areas cut in with a brush and use a string mop and bucket to apply as if you were washing the floor.
Don’t miss any spots and wipe off any areas that have pooled with product.
You just need to achieve a wet look. You will notice rather quickly as the tannin is drawn out he colour change can be quite dramatic depending on the species of wood.
Allow the’ surface to dry before applying Part (B).
Apply Part (B) Cut in around the edges with a cheap 90mm synthetic brush and be sure to apply plenty of product.
A medium house broom is ideal for applying the Part B as it works just like a big brush. Again, apply plenty of product and work it in with
the edges so not to miss anywhere. Try to keep to a spread rate of 10-12m2 per litre
Be careful with Part (B), as it is a strong grade H2O2 which is a oxidising agent and will burn your skin. So protect yourself with
chemical gloves and eye protection.
Application of Part (B) starts to bleach the extracted tannin and wood fibres, almost immediately.
You may notice some fizzing & foaming from the reaction and the colour changing rather quickly. This is normal.
Now you wait until the wood is dry.
Atmospheric conditions need to be factored in to the equation. Though usually overnight is required.
Once the wood is dry, that’s the level of bleaching achieved from that application. Some species of wood may require a repeat
of the process, if they are really dense like Grey Gum or notably high in tannin colour like Merbau.
Your next and very important step in the process, is cleaning the wood surface to remove all residues from the bleaching process. No coatings or finishes at all will stick or cure on the surface without cleaning.
Use fresh water and a small amount of detergent.
For floors, use the string mop and bucket and do the edges by hand with a cloth to get in close to skirting and corners. Once the wood is dry from
cleaning, this is the level of bleaching achieved.
Once the job is clean and you notice some missed spots, just apply some more Part(B) with a brush.
Leave for 60-90 mins, then clean off and allow to dry.
The bleached wood may be finished with any wood washes, stains, waxes, oils and water based clear coatings you prefer.
It is not advised to use solvent based coatings as they will turn yellow immediately.
Blackbutt Flooring – A look at the ever popular light toned hardwood?
The heartwood in Blackbutt can be any colour from golden yellow to fade brown. Sometimes, some pink may permeate in.
Blackbutt has a straight grain and even texture and a result, it is quite popular for interior applications.
Although Blackbutt can be painted or stained, we believe it’s best finished sanded & polished to show of it’s natural characteristics.
Blackbutt is a versatile timber that is used for many domestic applications, both interior and outside. These include framing, poles, wood decking and the ever popular interior timber flooring.
Blackbutt flooring is a premium flooring options and is one of the highest value timbers predominantly grown in the north coast of NSW, called the Northern Region.
It is also common in and around coastal forests, from southern Queensland to southern NSW. Plantations are established in Australia and many overseas countries.
Australia’s vast forests are carefully, conservatively handled to ensure an accountable amount of wood is gathered. Timber utilises a fairly small quantity of energy throughout processing compared to other building materials like metals and concrete, the timber itself is a carbon storer and has a long working life.
Because it is extremely durable it can be sawn and dressed in a much larger range of sizes upwards of 125mm to 130mm wide and around 14mm in thickness.
It’s this durability and ability to be dressed to such a thickness make sit one of the most popular choices for timber floor coverings.
Blackbutt timbers are chosen for their lightness of colour. There are many different species of hardwood with richness of grain that makes them a popular hardwood.
In NSW, we are very lucky to have access to such an excellent supply of rich coloured hardwood. Though many homeowners will make the choice for the darker tones, many individuals have actually desired to go to something with lighter tones while retaining the warmth and charm of hardwood.
This is where Blackbutt has become a favourite. There is a richness in the tone which is actually shown to be extremely popular. The New South Wales range tends towards pale colours and pinks, whilst the Western Australian range tends towards pale colours and light browns and gold.
Blackbutt timber has lots of natural features including:
– Insect trails
– Gum Veins & gum pockets
– Surface monitoring
– Burrs (aka burls).
The Janka Dry Solidity = 9.1
Blackbutt floorboard dimensions range is:
– 180×20.5 mm
Blackbutt flooring is available in the following grades:
Classic grade – Is primarily clean boards with very little natural features. This grade offers a more consistent, tidy, sophisticated appearance.
Standard & better grade – has a larger variety of features having mixed cleaner boards and moderately featured boards. It can be thought of as the leading 50% cleanest boards.
Australiana grade – has a moderate quantity of natural features. Australiana grade gives off the more natural side of the hardwood species.
Natural grade – has the highest amount of natural features. A rough, rustic appearance that flaunts the hardwood in its rawest natural appeal. As a rule of thumb, you can anticipate at least one significant natural feature in every board. This grade is more often known as ‘rustic grade’.
Overall, Blackbutt flooring is an excellent option in Newcastle for those who need a durable and long-lasting floor particularly for growing families. Blackbutt flooring also has a high resistance to excessive wear and tear, which makes it a good choice for property investors providing a high-end feel in their properties.
The floor boards come in a variety of neutral, easy-to-match colours; this makes it particularly easy for homeowners to retrofit the flooring into their home’s existing décor.
If you think Blackbutt flooring would be a good fit for your home, contact Freedom Flooring by clicking on the contact us image below and complete our enquiry form.
Can You Run Hardwood Flooring Parallel To Your Joists?
The direction in which your hardwood flooring is laid is generally up to you.
There are some cases where technical specs need to be followed, however in most cases a choice of direction can be made.
In cases where hardwood timber is laid directly onto joists (subfloor structure), then you will have to lay them at right angles for obvious reasons, leaving you with no choice.
So the first thing you’ll need to think about is the direction of your floor joists.
Where plywood is screwed directly to floor joists as a barrier between the hardwood floor boards, in most cases it’s still the conservative option to go perpendicular across the flooring joists.
Should you decide to go parallel to the joists, then you might end up with areas of floor covering that aren’t totally supported.
Over time, this can result in the plywood sagging in between the joists, and if the plywood drops, it could possibly cause your hardwood floor to twist and buckle causing major issues and unpleasant aesthetics.
If your laying floorboards over particle board, or concrete slab with battens or any other type of core solid structure, then you have the option of which direction.
Newer residential homes or those typically built later than 1990, are subjected to more rigorous building regulations. Newer houses have more level sub-floors that are required by code to meet minimum deflection scores.
The directions you lay hardwood floors in a new house is based more on visual and style factors as opposed to the directions of the joists. In these instances the wood floor planks are normally laid in parallel to the longest run or wall in the installation.
It’s always best practice to inspect the sub-floor first to identify the levelness and evenness.
Any sagging or bounce across the sub-floor will be noticeable. Where there are instances of this you’re going to have to either repair the subfloor structure or lay the floorboards perpendicular to achieve greater structural strength.
Try to avoid altering directions in your flooring in various spaces, and do your finest to prepare the layout prior to starting your floor installation.
Our Top Tips For Determining The Laying Direction Of Your Floorboards
Front door way or long hallway
If you’re laying a hardwood floor near your front door or through a long hallway, you may want to consider laying it so the boards run perpendicular to the entrance, if you can. Why? Laying the boards in this way allows them to flow naturally with traffic and just looks better.
This space is a short hallway leading into a family room to merge the two spaces together and to lead the way into the family room they have run the flooring along the length of the hallway.
If you’re laying your new floor in one particular room, like a bedroom, for instance, it’s wisest to lay the floorboards parallel to the longest wall in the room to give the illusion of a larger space.
Where possible, always begin in the corner furthest away from the door. Doing so will leave the last board at the door which can be cut in and around for a perfect fit.
In an open concept space a focal point is necessary and here they chose to run the flooring leading through to the grand fireplace
Natural Light Source
You might want to consider running the boards in the direction of the light if you’re installing your new hardwood flooring in a room with lots of natural light.
That’s due to the fact that if you run them perpendicular to the light, the light will run throughout each individual joint, and any minor variation with the boards will appear and cast a small shadow.
Running your flooring in the same direction as the light removes this problem and makes for a clean-finished flooring.
In this room the decision was made to run the flooring the length of the room there by accentuating the natural light and broadening the overall space.
You can opt to lay your floor on the diagonal or choose a fascinating pattern like a herringbone.
When done properly, patterns can add depth and dimension to a room and are undoubtedly beautiful when finished.
Patterns in hardwood flooring, especially complicated ones like herringbone, truly require a specialised floor installation company lay, so it’s most likely not a smart choice if this is your first go-round at laying a wood floor.
Striving for that cool, calm and collected Scandinavian look? Well it seems you’re not alone.
When you think Scandinavian style, you typically think picturesque mountain lodges featuring simplicity, minimalism and functionality.
The light, bright interior styling we associate with the Scandinavian style is a great way to give your home a fresh, clean feel.
Australians have fallen in love with the trendy contemporary look of a stylish and uncluttered design.
Whilst functionality and simplicity are at the forefront of design, Scandinavian styles aim to maximise natural materials and light.
Timber floors that are naturally light in colour or perhaps have been bleached, lime-washed, oiled, waxed or low sheen white brush stroke painted reflects light well, and its those timber grains and tones bring warmth, texture and feel to the natural outdoor world.
Where to start?
…Pale white is the ideal colour tone for a Scandinavian design.
A floor in a light hue creates an optical illusion of space in rooms with ceilings lacking in height.
The natural characteristics like knots and cracks in Pine timber floor boards when lime washed produce a lively and elegant ambiance in a contemporary manner.
Choosing a blank canvas allows you to create an atmosphere of simplicity and serenity. By choosing light colours as your canvas, you can easily decorate the space with personal mementos and lamps and furniture emphasised by durability, beauty, functionality, and natural forms.
Add character with splashes of colour using pillows, lamps graphic art or designer accessories in vivid tones.
Not sure which Nordic style floor to go for? Why not view our collection of some stylish Scandinavian style wood flooring.
If you’re looking for a new timber floor and considering a Scandinavian style, reach out and speak to us at Freedom Flooring.
We know the questions to ask to help you reach a conclusion about what specific style of Nordic floor would best work for your home, your lifestyle and your budget. Our priority is that you get the best timber floor for your home.