G and I bought a new apartment (yay!) that we now have to renovate. We are in total researching mode and I am obsessed with the idea of white-ish wooden floors. And this is where I am reaching out to you, my readers: Would you be able to direct us to pre-finished white-ish looking wooden floors similar to the ones pictured above? I am sure lots of my Scandinavian readers will have tips. I hope to find a wooden floor manufacturer that carries a similar type of flooring here in the US.
By the way, the image above is from Unplggd. It is Lotta Agaton’s home and it’s making me swoon. Click here for more images.
Why don’t you hire an architect. It will save you money and headaches…
I believe that a design job is best made by a designer, so an architectural job is best made by an architect…
Apr 4th, 2011 / 10:44 am
I haven’t seen much in the US marketplace in the way of pre-finished white wood floors. I will take a look at my samples today and see if I see anything. Ikea makes a laminate floor called Tundra which looks pretty similar to the picture. I haven’t seen it in person but it does appear to have a wood grain effect.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 10:48 am
I’ve always heard that finish called “pickling”. Now, that may be a Southern (US) thing, but expanding your search terms can’t hurt!
Apr 4th, 2011 / 10:50 am
I absolutely love the serene, rustic look of white wooden floors. I did a little research and found how to install them for $.45/foot. Here are two great guides:
Apr 4th, 2011 / 10:50 am
Apr 4th, 2011 / 10:54 am
Bleached wood, pickled wood, and pre-finished are good search terms or consult an interior designer.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 11:01 am
They don’t have any white options, although they seem to have lighter woods. But take a look at this dutch site/company – some of the most beautiful flooring I have seen in a long time. Worth a peek, even if this is not exactly what you are looking for….
(floors that are built to follow the natural curve of the wood).
Apr 4th, 2011 / 11:20 am
Try Quickstep, I have some white laminate flooring from them.
http://www.quick-step.com/europe/uk/en/floor/418315.aspx I have this one.
The US has different ranges to Europe but there is a nice white flooring in the Eligna range.
Love my white floor!
Apr 4th, 2011 / 11:51 am
Here is the quickstep US site with the white flooring they have
Apr 4th, 2011 / 11:54 am
Hi! It’s my floor! ; )
It’s an old pinefloor that has been..i don’t know the word in english but in swedish it is called “lutat”. (It is a very strong chemichal thing that takes the yellow out of the floor). After the “lut” it has been treated with white oil. I guess you could just buy any pinefloor and treat it like that. If you want a readymade floor danish Dinesen does the most beautiful floors(and most expensive unfortentately).
Apr 4th, 2011 / 11:56 am
Thanks everyone! I truly appreciate all your info/links/tips. And how lovely of @Lotta to reach out! I love the internets!
Apr 4th, 2011 / 12:09 pm
do you know about DOOR SIXTEEN? It’s a must for anyone doing a renovation. Or like me who just adore her. I believe she has wood floors in many different rooms in her house but here’s a link to one of her posts on her painted white wood floor.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 12:27 pm
Last year i installed ~1200 sq ft of Bamboo in my house, which i got from LL on clearance. the price was nice. They have a pretty decent variety as well, I am sure I saw some similar finishes when I was looking.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 12:28 pm
Lut = Lye
Apr 4th, 2011 / 12:42 pm
WE also wanted to put a white parquet here in Rome. We wanted it because I wanted a warm floor for our 3 children and a white floor to have more light in the house.
We saw white wood parquet floor at an exposition here in Rome.
My wife is architect, so she gathered some information, which I’ll summarize for you:
1) it is not natural. They process the wood very much to make it white
2) it is not as flat as marble. You will not be able to clean it well. Very soon white will be less white. Those lines that are part of the wood surface will soon become black lines.
3) wood is soft, furniture and shoes will slightly dig into it.
4) only the surface is whitened. The inside is wood color
We ended up choosing Calagatta marble. Maybe the children got a few colds more, but our living room is still quite in good shape after 6 years :-). This is it: http://archibit.net/images/galleries/interior/cassia_salone13.jpg
Ciao da Roma
Betta & Giacomo
Apr 4th, 2011 / 12:45 pm
just don’t spill any orange juice if you go with marble…
Apr 4th, 2011 / 12:52 pm
We have the Ikea Tundra floor and love it, though you do have to clean them all the time.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 1:02 pm
I bought TUNDRA at Ikea. Looks great: http://www.chliitierchnuebler.ch/blog/?p=2246
Apr 4th, 2011 / 1:08 pm
We can make your floor! Our company, Meyer Wells, is based in Seattle and we are wood enthusiasts, environmental advocates, and generally fun folks to be around.
A little information for you on pickling/ lye. The first step in any traditional whitening process is bleaching- by mixing sodium hydroxide with hydrogen peroxide a chemical reaction is initiated that sucks the color out of the wood (and just about anything else it comes in contact with). We typically don’t recommend this finishing technique to our clients as the process is toxic, the chemicals are corrosive, and generally hard on people & the environment.
“But I L-O-V-E these wood floors, what is a girl to do?!” Never fear- there are some great alternatives to bleaching that look great, wear well, and don’t burn flesh or kill fish. Our personal favorite is a natural, plant-based, oil finish from Monocoat- and lucky you they have some lovely whites!
Our wood flooring website is currently “under construction,” but we’d be happy to work up a sample for you if you’re interested.
Congrats on your new home!
Apr 4th, 2011 / 1:39 pm
There is a danish product called “Faxe lut”, which is a kind of lye with white pigment added, that you use to keep pine floors from yellowing. It hardens the surface and makes it easy to clean with water. You need to scrub your floor with the lye about once a year for the first few years. I’ve used it in my home and the floors get more beautiful with wear.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 1:47 pm
There are very few, if any companies here in the US who sell a white oiled floor. However, there is an Austrian company called MAFI, and they produce a superior product. Here is a link to the specific white oiled floor distributed by Architonic. Keep in mind that these are engineered floors. To most people that spells cheap and thin, but where there is a prevalence of radiant floor heating, engineered flooring has major benefits. And these floors are standard 3/4″ thick. If you are concerned about wanting to buy a floor that is sustainable, note that from manufacturing to installation there is almost no waste with their floors. We recently installed almost 2000 square feet and we literally had about 10 feet left over from the ends.
Otherwise, Danish/Swedish white floor soap is the way to go.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 2:05 pm
I second the white floor soap, or white lye soap treatment.. you wash raw wood floor with it and it gets the whitish but still natural look to it.. very popular in denmark/scandinavia as you already know..
Apr 4th, 2011 / 2:26 pm
White milk paint?
Apr 4th, 2011 / 2:30 pm
I’m in the neighborhood, and have been inspired by your blog for Years now, and was just inspired again by attending my first Creative Mornings event at Galapagos last week. Thank you.
For wood flooring, we often advise clients to check out this showroom in Manhattan:
They really have a great display, and you can ask lots of questions. I believe I’ve seen white floors there. Sometimes this is called “pickled white” stain, a flooring installer will be able to do it on a few different kinds of base wood. White Oak is pretty common.We’re working on a house with this kind of white siding, and using a process similar to what Lotta described. First the wood is treated with a bleach that draws out the “tanims” (which will otherwise cause the boards to yellow even after they are pickled or stained white.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 3:10 pm
Thank you all so much! I really appreciate all the tips!
Apr 4th, 2011 / 3:34 pm
White carpet was very popular at one time.
Then the cleaning bills came…
Apr 4th, 2011 / 9:16 pm
Additionally, my wife and I love the real hardwood floors in our 62 year old house, so I might be a bit biased.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 9:19 pm
The white floors in the photo are beautiful… but with my 2 boys all I can think is, “I’d have to clean those floors 3 times a day!” I’d rather enjoy my life than obsess over my perfect floors.
Apr 4th, 2011 / 11:07 pm
what you are looking for is (european?) white oak. You should have no problem finding it in the US.
I found this place in NY where they seem to have it:
Apr 5th, 2011 / 4:48 am
Addition to comment above:
where NY means state of NY, not city
Apr 5th, 2011 / 4:49 am
And I just found out on the site above that you can also make tiles out of bamboo, which is awesome! (and even whiter)
Apr 5th, 2011 / 4:55 am
Norwegian with light-coloured floors here.
As Lotte and others point out, these are “pickled” pine floors. The common thing to do is to bleach the pine wood using a process of lye and oil; that gets you a pale finish where the texture and knots of the wood still peek through the veneer.
Keep in mind that while this type of finish looks great, it’s not without its share of problems. For one, the finish will prevent the top-side of the wood from breathing, which will eventually (over many years) bend the underlying wood grain and make the floors uneven.
Long before that happens, however, the oil will start evaporating and, because pine is a very soft wood, mix with dust and dirt in microscopic dents and scratches, giving you a darker wood that’s sort of crusted with a discoloured grayness.
The other thing about pine wood is that it’s quite yellow; so what you get, eventually, is something like this: http://bit.ly/gl2pqy. To maintain the white colour, you will need to wash the floors frequently with whitening soap, and the lye process needs to be repeated every few years.
That’s one reason why a lot of people, when choosing pine, go the opposite route and darken it instead, like this (http://bit.ly/gxeUWL) or this (http://bit.ly/ecWN3e). There are different cultivars of pine that have different colours, which will also affect the end result.
Personally I recommend just painting the floors white. It’s a lot simpler to maintain.
Apr 5th, 2011 / 7:02 am
Try Dinesen for flooring http://www.dinesen.com/
Apr 5th, 2011 / 7:33 am
In a previous apartment, I pickled (bleached) the oak floors and gave them a white wash. The degree of whiteness varied between two of the main areas; in one the wood grain showed, and was slightly variegated from in pale gray and white. The more uniformly white floor showed EVERYTHING: dust, hair, scratches etc. and was a bit of a pain to keep clean. So you might work this bit of info into your thinking, depending on how you like to live etc…Good luck figuring it out. Sally
Apr 5th, 2011 / 8:49 am
Have a look here:
we have this white wooden flooring in our living room and kitchen – and it is fantastic!!
Apr 5th, 2011 / 9:44 am
Lotta’s blog is really great! Sorry, I don’t know anything about floors in US, just can share some similar sources (that inspiring me too)) :
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com , of course.
Apr 5th, 2011 / 11:10 am
This company in Georgia does a vairty of custom floors and they’re great to work with. I’ve seen some of their ‘white’ floors in person.. absolutely gorgeous.
Apr 5th, 2011 / 1:10 pm
I have something like this:
It’s ceramic tile that mimics the wood effect you are after. Might be worth considering – it’s more hard wearing, scratch and dent resistant, stain resistant, etc.
Apr 5th, 2011 / 1:30 pm
great, solid wood, natural flooring
I think you’ll like the natural douglas
Apr 5th, 2011 / 6:10 pm
I’ve been drooling over all white apartments/houses now for a while too. I love how bright they are and weightless they feel. I didn’t think that the dirt would be that much more visible on them, but I’m probably wrong. BTW, I can see the dirt, and the hair, especially the white fluffies (which should disappear on white floor) on our floor (all natural white oak and douglas fir from 1930’s) as well, so what does it matter? I hope you go with the white floor. I trust that you would not choose a cheap laminate (as many have recommended). Utterly gross. Solid wood or engineered hardwood with the thickest top layer. So many great recommendations in the comments here. Need to save this for my next house.
Apr 5th, 2011 / 10:31 pm
This looks amazing. The white with green plants everywhere make for such a refreshing atmosphere…good luck with the renovation! Hiring an interior designer seems like a good route to take.
Apr 5th, 2011 / 10:36 pm
my english is not good enough, therefore in german:
meine mutter hat das gerade zuhause gemacht:
die bodenriemen sind tannentäfer (der eigentlich für die wände ist, aber etwas breiter als normale riemenbodenplanken), danach mit weisser lasur eingestrichen (aus dem fachhandel) und mit einer speziellen versiegelung für treppen und böden fertiggestellt. dieser schützt den boden vor abnutzung und macht ihn leichter zu reinigen. einzig im eingangsbereich ist tannenboden halt etwas heikel, da er sehr weich ist. aber das resultat ist unglaublich schön!
Apr 6th, 2011 / 7:38 am
Looking at the picture it appears to me that this floor is likely to be sanded floor boards (probably pine) that have been burnished, stained white and then coated with a polyurethane finish.
Not a fan of prefinished myself, they look and feel tacky, don’t offer great protection from minor floods and are often overly expensive to boot.
Don’t know about over there but over here in the UK the best folk to contact would be scandafloor (http://www.scandafloor.co.uk/) who have unrivalled experience at producing these types of floors at decent prices.
Apr 15th, 2011 / 5:12 am
While they aren’t pre-finished, the price was right for us to install knotty pine floors (1.09 a square foot) We then stained them white with wood stain and put three coats of poly on top of that. Green? Well, conventionally, no. But if they last 50 years I say that’s pretty damn sustainable. Pictures here: http://www.forkknifeandspoon.com/blog/2011/4/11/demolished.html
We got the wood from lumber liquidators!
Apr 16th, 2011 / 11:53 am
adorably natural: http://boardbook.thehansenfamily.eu/2011/05/bolefloor-not-straight-line_06.html
May 6th, 2011 / 1:24 pm
How can I order “Faxe Lut” from the states? This soap (lye & white pigment) product that Evelyn & Peter described sounds like what I’ve been looking for: natural, historically proven, and a product that improves the wood as it ages… At this point, I’m ready to try it however, when I google “Faxe Lut” it gives me only Swiss sites that I cannot read. Is this product available here? Help! -Ann
Jun 8th, 2011 / 11:58 am
It looks amazing, white and green combination is really marvelous.
Aug 30th, 2011 / 5:44 am
I am searching for something similar. I would love the look of even a painted wood floor in a thick pre-engineered finish.. (those things wear like iron) If ever found something in the U.S. let me know.. I[ve looked everywhere.
Sep 4th, 2011 / 11:28 am
Ann – if you are still looking for a lye with white pigment in it, check out Woca’s products. I order them online from TheFloorGuy.com. Note though that the lye + white pigment isn’t a wood soap. Woca also has a wood soap though with white pigment in it, also available from the same site.
Sep 21st, 2011 / 2:33 pm
I haven’t seen anything like this in the US before, but you’re right, it is gorgeous! I am swooning as well! Something you might try is contacting a flooring company directly. A lot of time, even if they don’t carry the product, they will go out of their way to special order it for you. It’s worth a shot, right? I think it is for something that swoon-worthy.
Nov 9th, 2011 / 4:56 pm
Thank you so much for all the nice referrals to Dinesen. We are a family run company in Denmark, today run by the fourth generation. Dinesen Douglas is very popular and we actually have several shipments to the US.
Nov 22nd, 2011 / 6:09 am
Scandinavian floors are bleached using oxalic acid. It is available through ‘natural’ paint product shops. We’re doing over a 19th century farmhouse and I’m considering bleaching the floors for a gorgeous Gustavian-style design.
Nov 27th, 2011 / 8:22 am
what to use for a sealer. we’ve had beautiful glossy white floors for yrs and can’t find anyone that can re-do them and stay white. all sealers yellow, apparently our original sealer was taken off the mkt.
Jan 15th, 2012 / 1:29 pm
I live in Finland and we make wooden floors white by using WHITE FLOOR PAINT. Oil based lasts longer than water based. Simple solution.
Feb 4th, 2012 / 4:14 pm
Congrats on the “new” place (I’m a bit late in getting here!). I hope the floor has worked out well. I don’t mean to piggyback on your own DIY discussion, but I’m trying to work out how I might create an effect like these Barcelona-based designers have: http://www.smart-urban-stage.com/blog/future-of-the-city/new-ways-of-sanctuary/ Working on creating a sanctuary of my own, and I suspect your readers and friends might have some cool tips. Thanks!
Jul 13th, 2012 / 7:53 am
Danish floors are treated in their raw state with lye soap then “brune sæbe” (literally brown soap). The white effect is simply achieved by putting powdered chalk into to the brown soap mixture you use to wash them every week (OK maybe you don’t put chalk in every week but you get the idea). Very warm underfoot compared to lacquer (Danes don’t wear outdoor shoes indoors) and is not as high maintenance as it sounds but prone to getting dirty in high traffic areas and you’ll get the occasional splinter shortly after the washing process (the moisture lifts the grain).
Sep 5th, 2013 / 8:40 pm
I love Lotta Agaton’s home!!! It’s an old post, so I’ll be very happy to see how you renovated your place. Keep posting!
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