Whitewashed hardwood flooring for modern, farmhouse and shabby chic decor
Whitewashed floors have made a huge comeback these last few years. The cool thing about the newer whitewashed floors is that they have a whole new look and feel vs what was popular 20-30 years ago. Now, the white floor have more texture and dimension, as well as wider planks, so they really give a modern, spacious and airy look.
You’ll notice that you can find whitewashed floors with more character (i.e. knots and mineral streaks), with etching (i.e. wirebrushed), with softer and matte looks. And, there’s a variety – some are whiter; some just have a hint of white.
These floors are great options if you’re looking for a modern style, farmhouse decor as well as a Nordic style. The lighter/white floors make your space look larger, and they show dirt less (compared to darker floors).
Whitewashing tends to work a bit better on prefinished floors (because most installers do not know how to refinish these floors properly), and you tend to see more whitewashed floors in an engineered format (as it’s easier and less expensive to do wider planks).
So, I thought I’d provide some advice on selecting whitewashed floors and some of my favorites on the market. If you click on most of these pictures, you can find out more details (e.g. price, thickness) and even buy them online.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Tips for choosing whitewashed hardwood flooring
Here are the key things to consider when selecting whitewashed hardwood floors..
1. Plank width
Wider planks make your room look larger (that’s just how our eyes work). Most whitewashed hardwood come 5 inches or wider. Some even come as wide as 7 or 7 1/2.” While wider does make your space look larger, bear in mind that if you have a very small room, a super wide plank (i.e. 7″ or wider) make look too wide and too chunky.
2. Solid vs engineered
In general, I’m a big supporter of doing solid hardwood when you can as this gives you the ability to sand and refinish many times. But, engineered wood often works best for warmer and more humid environments and in homes or apartments built on a concrete slab. And, there are now many engineered products that can be sanded. You can read more about this here: solid vs engineered hardwood).
You will find that most wide whitewashed woods come in an engineered format since most people prefer wider planks when it comes to white floors. Prices get much more expensive on wider solid wood planks.
Please note that if you’re using solid hardwood that is 5 inches or wider, you’ll need to both nail and glue the planks (as they expand and contract more). This is a very common mistake that DIYers, novice handymen and general contractors make. So, don’t let it happen to you.
3. Gloss level
Most people prefer satin (low sheen) and even matte (no sheen) finishes now, and when it comes to whitewashed floors, more people gravitate towards matte. it just looks better and more stylish and works better for the look people are trying to achieve with this shade of wood.
4. Wood species
Most whitewashed floors work best with American/Canadian hardwoods such as oak (especially white oak), maple and birch. Occasionally, you’ll find some with ash or hickory. White floors do not work well with reddish woods (e.g. American Cherry, Brazilian Cherry) or pines, which typically have orange or reddish undertones. These over shadow the white wash and make wood look pinkish or orangish.
Maples and birches are lighter/blander, so often the whitewash looks whiter on these woods. The graining on these species is smoother too,and some people prefer it.
Oaks have stronger graining, so if you if you love strong graining or want a wirebrushed or etched look, then choose oak.
But the truth is sometimes it’s hard to define what you like until you see it, so let’s take a look at some of these gorgeous woods. I’ve included a range of whites and even some that are closer to natural. Click on the pictures if you’d like more info about the products.
11 Whitewashed hardwood floors
How to accessorize your home for a farmhouse look
If you’re going for a farmhouse style look, here are some ways that you can add some rustic charm to your home. A super simply way to add some charm is simply to add some farmhouse style signs. So, I’ve put together a few choices that you can order on Amazon. You can click on any of below pictures to view them on Amazon.
You can find more farmhouse signs here on Amazon.
Want to see the floor cleaning products I recommend? This is my first choice vacuum for hardwood floors, the best steam mop for tile floors and best hardwood floor cleaner. You can see all my recos on my Amazon Influencer page.
So I hope you have enjoyed white washed hardwood floors. Let me know your favorite in the comments. Oh, and if you’re looking for how to whitewash existing hardwood floors, check out this article.
- How to whitewash existing hardwood floors
- Best farmhouse shades of paint
- Hardwood flooring trends
- How to refinish your hardwood floors gray
Complementary products that will prolong the life of your hardwood floors