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How to remodel a wood floor to look like an old floor


We love a challenge and this client certainly let us have it. They had an old fashioned floor that needed updating. But they wanted to replace it with a floor that maintained the old fashioned aspects of the existing floor. So, the question for us was: How do you install a brand new wood floor but keep it looking old in the process?

Before 2BEFORE:

To begin with, what they had was a unique floor with 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 inch widths throughout the floor. The old fashioned aspects were not only the varying board sizes but also the spaces and gaps between the boards which are wider in old floors than in newer ones. So we had to figure out how to maintain that look for them.

Work In Progress 1THE CHALLENGES:

The floor needed to be replaced because it had sun and water damage. Of course, once we pulled up the old floor, we discovered termite damage and that the wood sub floor and the screeds in front of the fireplace were completely rotten. (Screeds are essentially 1 x 4 wood supports that raise the wood above the concrete.)

Work in Progress 2OUR SOLUTION:

We removed all the damaged material down to the concrete slab. We replaced the moisture barrier first and then installed new screeds. Then we installed screeds with tar paper as an extra measure to protect the hardwood from moisture.

Finally, we installed new wood that matched the existing wood, right down to the dowels that cover up the screws that were used to secure the hardwood. We then sanded down the entire floor to remove the old stain and finish.


In order to maintain the old fashioned look with the various spaces and gaps they had before, we finished the floor with Tung oil. It’s an oil that was used hundreds of years ago on old boats. What this oil does is penetrate each board individually, rather than create a flat finish across everything.

Home Depot could never pull that off.