Does anyone have them? Are they hard to clean? Can you share pictures? Thanks in advance!
How wide are you talking about? We have 5" downstairs and love them. They are Garrison Time Inspired hickory/pecan and very easy to keep clean since they are engineered wood floors with a factory applied UV urethane finish. We have Mannington CA. 3" planks upstairs and love them, too (also engineered). We had random plank - 3" 5" 7" - in our kitchen and entry when we first built our home 16 yrs. ago. They were Mannington and engineered also. Few were doing this at the time and especially not in the kitchen. We were warned they wouldn't last. Well, they went through a major flood due to an ice maker line breaking and they dried up just fine. We did have a little damage at the back door from snow that came in after a big storm. We unfortunately weren't home for several days and the snow sat there soaking in. Mannington no longer makes the random plank and we didn't have any more replacement boards (we used them for another project - dumb, I know). I put a rug over the spot until we could remove them this year and replace with the Garrison. Moral of the story - keep some replacement boards on hand just in case! : )
There are some pics of our floors on the sofa thread. And here's a link to engineered floor info. Solid wood is great but the finish is usually applied in home, which can be a lot of work and costly. But there are benefits to both. I personally think engineered is better all around. The purists won't agree. : )
You'll see info on laminate, too. Laminate is NOT wood - it is a photo of wood. I'll stop right there as I have nothing good to say about it. : )
Google wood floor types and you'll come up with lots of info. There have been some good threads on the flooring forum, as well, but might be hard to find. Ivillage doesn't archive things like before - not that the search function works worth beans anyway.
Here is a link that might be useful: engineered wood floors
I love, love, love the engineered floors! I just had 3" Lexington Oak by Mohawk installed and they are GORGEOUS! My flooring guy says that research has proven that engineered are stronger and more durable all the way around. Purists may love solid, but solid is not recommended for every application so people need to check.
And I too, have nothing good to say about laminate.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE your floors. That's exactly the look I am going for. Thanks for the link - it will definitely come in handy. I really can't tell the difference between engineered and hardwood floors so I need to research. Either way, your floors are beautiful.
Count me in for the engineered wood plank floors too. I have Robbins Passeggiata 3 1/4" ash flooring, and I absolutely love it. I live in NH - arid winters and malarial summers, no AC and forced-hot-water heat so the moisture levels swing drastically). Others I knew with solid hardwood floors got gaps every winter and that just drives me NUTS because the cracks between the boards can collect dirt and expose unfinished wood where moisture can infiltrate and spoil the finish. People are very stubborn here about "solid wood has done us fine for 300 years, it'll be fine for another 300!" so I had to fight to get engineered instead of site-finished solid that is the standard here. Site finishing was not an option because we couldn't move out for installation! Besides, I do believe that the factory finishes are more durable than site-applied finishes, since they have the benefit of controlled conditions, kiln curing, etc. (We bought an extra bundle because we knew we'd have to patch the spot by the dog's bed since his nails grow at turbo speed and the floor's pretty gouged.)
I adored the look of the extra wide planks, especially the distressed and handscraped types in 7"-plus widths, but they were just SO expensive! I paid $9/sf installed for my Robbins flooring while many of the wide-plank floors I looked at ran much more than that just for the materials for a good quality product. *choke* Bruce has some relatively-inexpensive 5-7" plank floors at around $6-7/sf uninstalled but I'm just not knocked out by their finish quality, the planks were either square-edge (sock-catchers if your floors are not perfectly flat) or had a deeper bevel than I liked, and their veneer layer is thinner than Robbins. Robbins warrants for three full refinishings! As of early 2005 they had the thickest veneer layer in the industry, a full third of the board's thickness. I like their extremely small microbevel as well because it doesn't catch dirt, it sweeps out fine and you don't catch your socks (or worse chip the floorboards where there's raised bits due to subfloor imperfection).
I'm not one for strip floors, I find them too busy. Besides, I am an old-house nut, and old New England houses had wide-plank floors, not these stingy little strips! I visited one early-1800s house on the town's historical society house tour where the narrowest board on the floor was 12", many were 16" and even 20", all rock-hard pine. Had I had gobs of greenbacks and a house that could carry it, I'd have gone for wide planks in reclaimed wood. *swoon*
With each post I am leaning more and more toward engineered wood.
johnmarie - I too love the micro-bevel edge but was concerned about keeping it clean (have an 18 month old and an 8 year old and keep having visions of cracker crumbs between the planks). I love the handscraped finish as well but they are even more pricey. I love the New England farmhouse look. If I had my way, I would live in New England and not near NYC. Unfortunately our friends and family are all here but one day when my kids are grown, perhaps I can buy my New England farmhouse with my 7 inch wide plank micro beveled handscraped floors in a walnut or pecan finish!
Seriously, we have had NO problems whatsoever with "cracker crumbs between the planks" and I will tell you a secret - my DH is a SLOB and I ain't a helluva great housekeeper either. :-) The dog tracks in dirt from outside and the cat has a mysterious talent for pinching cat litter between her toes and depositing it all over the house. The tiny microbevels just don't collect dirt. If you go engineered or even solid prefinished I strongly suggest that you don't go with a square edge unless your subfloor is perfect - especially with a little one who may not be too agile on his/her feet you don't want to risk the trip hazards of boards that don't fit perfectly together at the ends.
Here're a couple of pictures of the LR and library (formerly dining room, ignore my nightstands!) floors...
I don't have a photo, but we had been living in our house 6 years when we decided to take a look at what might be under the 2 second floor bedroom rugs. The seller (he was a real nut) had said he didn't want to bother refinishing the floors upstairs, so he put down wall to wall berber. Well.... we found 5 inch wide pine floors! Original to the house we think, which was built in 1860. Gorgeous. Breathtakingly gorgeous! So, we put the rug back down over them and are saving up to have them refinished, since they are dull and have some waterstains. I think we'll have them done in the spring!
We have recycled wide plank heart pine wood floor in our bedroom. Very beautiful -- but the dog's claws have gouged the wood floor near her bed. One of these days we will have to have them sanded and refinished. Oak would probably have been more scratch resistant.
Meh. Wood scratches. It's just what it does. Our floors are ash, 2% harder than oak on the Janka wood hardness scale, and they're very scratched in front of the dog's bed because that's where he waits for his dinner and gets very excited right there. We figure "So what?" If we'd wanted something impervious to scratches, we'd have gotten through-body porcelain tile - hard on the feet. (Even the acrylic-impregnated hardwoods like Hartco Pattern Plus scratched under our testing.) We have an extra full case of boards left for patching where needed before we sell the house. IMO wood flooring isn't for someone who is fanatical about perfection, it's for someone who appreciates real things getting real use and - to drag out a trendy word - patina rather than wanting things to look brand new forever. Getting that first scratch in a new wood floor is almost a relief, then you can stop babying it and start living on it!
Rosefolly, try one of those stain pens. I keep one on hand for minor scratches and dings, and it works great. For larger areas, you could get a stain to match and rub it on the area. It wouldn't be perfect but would make the scratches less noticeable.
Btw, love those heart pine floors! They give such a beautiful yet unpretentious look to a home. Lucky you!
Hate laminate? I've 5 cats & 3 dogs (yorkie, Maltipoo & black lab) with laminate everywhere...7.75" wide TrafficMaster Western Hemlock planks...They've been down four years & love them..I have NO scratches..figure that.
I installed laminate once in a reno where two rooms and a hall were melded into a single room. We put it right over the mismatched and irredeemably stained oak floors. It looked great. And cost 1/3 the price of hardwood, if you included the cost of removing the old oak and adding a new sub-floor. Laminate is also used here by small landlords, who find it holds up better to abuse than hardwood.
I recently used 5"oak planking in less than select grade to add "character" to the formal rooms in a home I built to sell. I also used 3" "character maple" on the second floor. I wouldn't do either again. I was too successful. Too many prospects confuse the image of an established property with it simply being an old house.
5"x3/4" thick oak plank adds to Old World ambience
worthy - Those floors are absolutely amazing! Wow!