As hardwood flooring trends change, those who have been keeping track of them have likely seen limed oak floors. The floors are very popular on social media and blogs dedicated to home design. Typically, they’re paired with lightly colored interiors and bright colors on the walls or furniture. However, you might wonder what exactly are limed oak floors.
Liming floors is not a new practice; in fact, it’s actually a very old practice. In order to keep the floors safe from bugs and decay, homeowners in the past would apply a lime paste to the floor. The lime paste would soak into the pores to keep it preserved. Lime is a calcium-containing substance that is very caustic. The calcium makes it white. The caustic chemicals also bleach the surface of the wood. So, when floors were limed, they would look grayish-white. It was originally a practical solution to preserve the wood but the look has become iconic of old New England homes.
That’s the history of limed floors. As with many historic practices, it is now replicated for new homes.
Limed oak floors are often paired with light gray or white interiors to give an entire home a seaside look. There are ways to achieve the look in new floors. Some people choose to use a grayish-white stain that will closely mimic the look of limed floors. Sometimes, these are called limed floors but typically, they’re categorized as simply white hardwood.
If you want to actually lime your floor, you can get the look with a modern liming paste. Modern liming pastes are more tailored to creating different looks. You can determine how gray or how white you would like your floors to be. Furthermore, liming your floor will still provide you with the benefits for which it was originally intended. Liming the floor can be used in conjunction with polyurethane or varnish. Alternately, you can leave the floor unfinished; the lime will protect it.
Pairing the Floor
When you look at limed oak floors on social media, you’ll likely see the floors paired with different types of interior. Some people choose to pair the lightly colored floors with lightly colored walls. That lends itself to the seaside look; it also increases the amount of interior light. That makes it a good option for rooms with windows. If you want to make the floor stand out, though, you should consider using dark or colorful interior decorations.