Last fall, when I dropped in on Mjölk, my favorite Toronto housewares emporium, owner John Baker invited me upstairs to see the newly renovated flat where he lives with his wife, Juli, and their two daughters. The first thing I noticed were the pale Scandi floors. When I commented on their perfection, John said, “It’s much easier than you think to get the look.” (He was referring to our post How to Create a Scandi Whitewashed Floor, which describes a more complicated route.) Of course I immediately asked John to share his secrets; here’s what he told us.
Above: John and Juli’s Toronto kitchen.
Above: “First, we applied a coat of Woca Wood Lye to bleach the boards.”
Above: “Next, we added several coats of white wood soap. You could also coat the floors with a white pigmented oil or clear matte urethane for an even tougher finish. However, the soap treatment is the traditional Scandinavian way, and it will develop a beautiful patina with age. We have used this finish on both our cottage and home, and we are really happy with it.”
Above: “We used 10-inch-wide solid Douglas fir boards from Peerless Forest Products in British Columbia. They’re tongue and grooved and also screwed and plugged with matching Doug fir dowels (the boards have to be screwed, otherwise they would begin to bow with age),” John says. “It’s not fancy stuff, but it’s reasonably priced and we actually like all of the knots. Compared with the prices from Dinesen, the standard bearer, Canadian Douglas fir is cheap. It didn’t make sense shipping wood from Denmark anyway, when we have so much of it here in Canada.”
For another (slightly more involved) technique, see Izabella’s post Scandi Whitewashed Floors: Before and After. Also have a look at:
- Dinesen’s Custom Floors
- Remodeling 101: Wood Flooring Patterns
- Outbuilding of the Week: Tiny Cabins in a Norwegian Wood
Frequently asked questions
What is whitewashed flooring?
Whitewashed flooring is a flooring style featuring a light, white look that brightens up the space.
What is Scandi Style flooring?
Scandi Style flooring is a flooring style popularized by Scandinavian interior design. It is characterized by a light, minimalist aesthetic and natural, organic materials.
Can any type of wood be used for whitewashed flooring?
Yes, any type of wood can be used for whitewashed flooring, although some woods may require more prep work than others.
Is it difficult to install whitewashed flooring?
Installing whitewashed flooring can be challenging, and it is recommended that it is done by a professional to ensure proper preparation and execution.
What is the maintenance like for whitewashed flooring?
Whitewashed flooring requires regular maintenance to keep it looking pristine, including sweeping, vacuuming, and occasional spot cleaning with a mild cleanser.