What to do with barn wood in family room?

windy0532April 7, 2013

We have a family room (house built in 1973) with one full wall of dark barn wood, two walls with barn wood half way up, and the last wall half brick with barn wood on top. This is on the bottom floor of a raised ranch. I need to replace the flooring and need suggestions! I am looking at luxury vinyl planks because we have had two issues with flooding now. I do not want to have to replace the floor again. Initially there was old commercial carpet, then we replaced with laminate.
The issue is color - the only thing I can find that seems to "go" ok with the dark barn wood is a dark vinyl plank. I am worried the room will be too dark but the other choices really seem to look odd with the barn wood.
Has anyone had to deal with barn wood? Painted it? ripped it out? Any suggestions appreciated...

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Annie Deighnaugh

While we love our vinyl plank flooring, I'm not sure that it's a good solution for a wet floor. The best thing for that is just stained concrete or tile. The vinyl can lift if it gets wet. If you want the wood look, they do make ceramic tile that looks like wood.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:06PM
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Stained concrete sounds like a good option. Tile can be a problem with water. It will pop if it's excessive. I guess you could ask about installing tile however a pool is done. Epoxy grout? I'm not sure how they accomplish tile under water. Be very selective with your tile man there!!

I don't think vinyl adhesive would hold up either. I've seen it popping in quite a few applications, probably due to moisture.

I also would not mix vinyl or laminate with something as rustic and authentic as barn wood.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 15:20

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Well the floor has never had an issue with moisture. Unfortunately we've had two broken pipes in the past year. It really shouldn't happen again but... The flooring guy said if the vinyl plank is glued down it would be fine if it got wet. He also said if I get floating vinyl planks they could be pulled up, dried, and put back down, which doesn't sound great either. Our tile in the bathroom where pipe broke has to be replaced so not sure that's best for water either?? Id love wood or bamboo but not sure expense is worth it in a bottom level of raised ranch? Plus they'd be ruined if this were to happen again

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:21PM
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The bathroom tile came up because the pipe broke? That's what I was trying to say. If you have flooding, the tile could loose its adhesion to the floor when it gets water logged. Grout is porous. I don't buy vinyl would not be affected. Reusing floating floors, I'd be concerned with mold which sets in very quickly when there's a water problem.

I'd check with many professionals, including the flooring and adhesive manufacturers. Be sure to talk with non-flooring people and on forums with homeowners having the same experiences.

Sounds like you need a thorough plumbing check before installing any more floors. Stained concrete is very attractive. You can add area rugs to soften.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:40PM
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self laying vinyl can be rolled back up the floor under dried then layed back down.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:49PM
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To address your original question, can you remove the barnwood and sell it? You could probably get quite a good price for that much barnwood!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:57PM
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I have thought about selling it just not sure about cost of repairs from taking it down...pipes have now been checked although still makes me nervous as there are other possibilities- dishwasher malfunctioning, toilet, etc..

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:28PM
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I painted mine here and have been taking it down and reparing the sheetrock one wall at a time. Its not spendy just really messy. Sheetrock dust gets everywhere in this tiny house. You have to spackle the nail holes and sand the entire wall smooth or retexture.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:58PM
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I had very dark real barn wood in my sunporch, I used a mixture of water and white paint and threw it on the walls with a wide old brush and now it looks like aged driftwood. Everyone asks where I bought it, it came from a real old barn lol and one fell down and we asked the owner if we could take it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:49PM
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I'm attaching a photo of the barnwood.
madeyna - what color did you paint it? Are you happy you've taken it down? I was worried the sheet rock would be destroyed and have to be replaced! Glad to hear it was repairable.

yayagal - do you have any photos?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:43PM
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I don't have advice about your floor. I do have experience with barn wood walls though. The house we bought had it on three walls of the family room with brick on the fourth wall. We lived with it for a number of years and it had some advantages - like I could move art around at will because you couldn't see small nail holes. About five years ago we ripped it out and put up sheetrock. No regrets at all. I like rustic but the barn wood was depressing, IMO. The one wall of brick is enough rusticity in the room I think. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:37PM
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I painted it a soft yellow to lighten the room up. Sheetrock is pretty easy to repair esp. If your willing to texture it. The wood took the beating when we removed it but then again we weren,t trying to be careful with it. I just wanted it gone. Someone wanted this place to look like a cabin at some point under all these old growth trees it just ended up looking dark and depressing. It had ruff cedar siding in the living room and dark paneling in the bedrooms.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:37PM
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That's a great suggestion. Sometimes it's easier to just put up another layer of drywall than to try to fix the damaged ones.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:41PM
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I was flipping through a back issue of House Beautiful today and saw this picture of painted planks on the wall:

Looks to me like the paint was diluted to let the wood & knots show through, more like a stain than a paint. The room is much redder in the magazine photo than the online photo. I love this look.

There are more photos in the slide show; one shows a boot room where the planks are painted blue. Gorgeous house, beautiful blend of rustic and formal.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Beautiful article

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Hmm, I don't see the picture. Don't know why the photo isn't showing up. It was there in the preview.

Trying again:

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:38PM
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I still don't see the picture I tried to post. But please do click on the House Beautiful link. Makes me wish I had barn wood in my home!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Trying a workaround:

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Thank you for the replies! I am leaning toward taking,it down but will have to consider the full wall,with doors that has it... Maybe I'll start with the others? Just really need to get a floor in there so it's usable

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:06PM
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