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Cheap, charming wood floors

Wood floors are everywhere.  The choices are endless as to finish & color.  When we built our house, we wanted the kind of floor that you see in old homes.  Rich thick wood - real wood!  After looking around we found that this kind of flooring is very pricey and wasn't in the budget.  And then we had an idea! 

We used 3/4 inch tongue and groove pine boards on the outside of our house in the rafters.  It was a farmhouse detail that we couldn't do without. 
This is the stuff I'm talking about on our breezeway before it was painted a soft white.
You commonly see it on ceilings in log cabins.  You know what I'm talking about now, right? Well, we discovered that these boards are flat on the bottom.  No grooves.  It looked like thick, solid flooring.  And it was cheap!  The guy at the lumber yard gave us the "You can't use that for flooring." answer and to which we replied, "Why not?"  He had no answer other than it just isn't done.  We are not ones for not doing something just because noone else does it.  We wouldn't have a red farmhouse if we were!  So that became our wood flooring upstairs.
We installed it ourselves nailing each board in the tongue and groove area.  Then we sanded it with a hand held orbital sander. This took a while but we didn't want to tote one of the big ones up the stairs. Then, we finished it with two coats of polyeurethane.  Easy!  Except for the very large splinter that my husband got in his hand pushing in the last board.  It required medical treatment.  Really, it was that big.  You don't want to see the picture.
Anyway, we finished off the floor with hand cut nails.  These really made it look amazing.  Ordered from the oldest nail manufacturer in the US, they are still made the way they were 100 years ago.    We drilled pilot holes in the ends of each board, vacuumed, and then tapped the nails in.  They add that special farmhouse charm that we were looking for.  The slight distressing over the last 6 months has only made them better.

Total cost for 700 sq. ft.:
pine boards: $400
handcut nails: $200
polyeurathane: $45
medical copay: $30
grand total: $675
How's that for cheap & charming? 

Go to other posts on farmhouse to see additional pictures of the floor.


  1. I love that floor! Looks fantastic! But I thought you didn't use pine on the floor because it's a soft wood and wouldn't hold up as well. But in your case, the wear and tear is part of the look, huh?

  2. Actually, it is holding up better than we thought. Plus, since it is solid wood and almost an inch thick, we can sand it down someday if we need to.

  3. I love this!!! I've actually watched some DIY/home building type show and watched as they had professionals come in to lay the floor AND THEN the professionals beat it up. The process to "make" it look "aged" was wicked...and nothing I couldn't do myself. They took hammers and put small dents, they used chains and dragged them across the floors leaving scratches and scuffs...seriously crazy to use $3-$8+sqft flooring and then do that to it. Your way seems more realistic...and like I said I could do the scuffing and scratching myself.

  4. Thanks for dropping by my blog! I was on yours earlier and bookmarked this page for future reference. We love love love our flooring and everyone that has seen it has loved it! I just finished the kitchen up today and will be getting ready to stain it. So interested to follow you and see what all you guys have done. I love the farm life even though I am currently in a small town. A girl can dream though!

  5. My husband is a homebuilder by trade and now we are homesteading. Glad you found out a cheaper way to get the floor you wanted. They look AWESOME! Here is another nice looking floor that is cheap also. I saw this and thought "no way" then looking at the pics I thought "Very cool". Check it out.

  6. I absolutely love those floors. I too have been looking for affordable and durable wood floors, but haven't had any luck before I read your post. Now I can actually get hardwood flooring - can't wait to get started. Thank you so much!

  7. Hey Kim, how have the floors held up?

    1. Julie, We feel the floors have held up great. They do have normal wear and tear because they are soft wood pine but we like the lived in, old fashioned look and feel it is a good fit for our farmhouse. The great thing about these is they are solid wood almost an inch thick and can be sanded down if we ever decide they need it.


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