Almost every time you see a hardwood floor, hardwood table, countertop, or any application of hardwood, you’re looking at wood that has been milled into right angles. The boards are straight on all edges. That’s how it’s milled and how it’s shipped. Recently, live edge hardwood has been growing in popularity. That means that instead of cutting all of the edges square, the tree is sawn into boards but the edges are left natural. That creates uneven edges that follow the natural curves of the wood. The look can be very striking and very appealing. It’s being used in tabletops and counters more and more. The trend has also come to hardwood floors.
How It Works
Most hardwood flooring planks are rectangles that fit together evenly. Obviously, live edge hardwood flooring planks are not going to fit together neatly. Every tree is going to be unique and uneven; so, every live edge plank will be unique and uneven.
There are two basic ways one can incorporate live edge planks into your flooring. You can use several live edge planks in your floor and then traditional planks around them. To use traditional planks around them, the contractor will need to lay out where all the planks will go. Then, he or she will need to cut the traditional planks so that they fit flush with the uneven edges of the live edge plank. That will create a smooth, unbroken appearance and the live edge planks will look like inlays on the floor.
The other option is to lay down only live edge planks and then use a filler between them. The most common filler consists of hardwood that is ground into sawdust. The sawdust is then mixed with a hardening epoxy. The result is a type of wood paste that will harden. The paste is applied between the live edge planks to form one continuous floor. To make the live edge planks stand out, they can be stained a different color or a different color can be chosen for the epoxy.
Since live edge hardwood looks a little bit like driftwood, blue is a very common choice for the epoxy between planks. The blue can be a subtle blue that you might find on certain exotic heartwoods, or it can be a bright, royal blue. Using blue between the planks gives them the appearance of driftwood floating in the water.