Floors are one of those components of a log home that can sometimes be an afterthought. We like to think of them as a great opportunity to show off your style and add extra beauty to your log home. Four of the most important factors to consider when choosing flooring options for log homes are:
We’ll take a look at four different materials and how they perform with respect to these four factors.
Hard Wood Floors
Hard wood floors continue to be the most popular choice for our log home owners. With a wide variety of wood species, stain colors and board widths, you can achieve many different looks with a wood floor. In an open floor plan where one room flows into the next with no real separation, wood floors can be used to help define where one room stops and another starts. Take the photo below for example. Where the dining room ends and opens into the great room and entry, the direction of the floor boards changes by 90°.
While hard wood floors are very beautiful and blend nicely with a log home, many homeowners are often concerned with the durability of wood (especially those who have large dogs, whose nails can scratch softer woods.)
There is a scale that measures the hardness of different wood species so you can research ahead of time how durable the species of your choice might be. It’s called the “Janka Hardness Test.” The hardness of the wood is measured by how much force is required to embed a steel ball halfway into the wood. The more force required, the harder the wood. To see a listing of how each wood species scores, check out this Wikipedia article. We are particularly impressed by the scores that “Brazilian Walnut” or Ipê received (and how nice it looks – though it can be pricey). See photos of “Brazilian Walnut” at Lumber Liquidators.
Of course, one nice thing about hard woods is that they can be a showcase for beautiful area rugs. Area rugs are a great choice in bedrooms (like the log home bedroom photo shown below) so you don’t have to put your bare feet on a cold floor in the morning. Rugs can also be used in a high traffic area to protect softer species of wood flooring – such as a rug inside the front door.
No matter how hard the species of wood you choose, most stone used for flooring will be harder still. So for areas that will receive a lot of foot traffic or wear and tear, flagstone can be an attractive solution. However, the hardness of stone can also make it less comfortable to stand on for long periods of time. The look of a flagstone floor is natural and solid, with a hint of the rustic – a good match for a log home.
This log home entry (shown above) is the perfect application for a flagstone floor. The entry is exposed to a great deal of foot traffic, moisture and dirt. Flagstone is a relatively low maintenance material, though more porous varieties of stone may require sealing every few years. The grout used between the stones can also become dirty and discolor over time and benefits from regular sealing.
This log home (shown above) highlights two of the flooring options for log homes. It has a hard wood floor in the dining room, which transitions into a flagstone floor in the kitchen. The grout used for the flagstone floor in the kitchen is a dark colored grout which blends nicely with the color of the stone and will not show dirt as quickly as a white grout.
Much like flagstone floors, tile floors are one of the more durable flooring options for log homes. We often see log home owners use tile floors in entries, mudrooms and bathrooms. Tile floors can be inexpensive and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes.
This log home (shown above) has a long mudroom with coat storage and a bench for putting on and taking off shoes. This high traffic area will be exposed to a lot of moisture, and the homeowners chose their flooring accordingly. The tile is a ceramic tile with coloration very similar to slate. Tiles like this make the look of stone possible, with lower costs, and lower maintenance.
This log home master bathroom also has a ceramic tile floor made to look like stone. It is wise to make sure the tile selected for a bathroom has enough texture to make it slip resistant. A perfectly smooth, high polish tile is not a safe choice for bare, wet feet.
Finally, carpet is a popular choice for log homeowners to use in bedrooms. It can be very cost effective, and of all the flooring options for log homes, carpet is certainly the most comfortable. It’s soft on achy feet, and less chilly on bare feet than a hard surface floor. The downside of carpet though is its propensity to attract and contribute to allergens. And, when it comes to durability, carpet will not last as long as any of the hard surface flooring options we’ve covered. That is why carpet is best suited for lower traffic areas where comfort is important – like the log home bedroom shown below.
We hope we’ve got you thinking more about what a fun and important task it is to pick the right flooring options for log homes. If you would like more information on any of the log homes pictured in this post, please feel free to contact us and ask for some more info.
And, we’d also love to hear what kind of flooring you prefer. Is there a species of hard wood floor that you’re in love with? Do you like a log home with more carpet, or less carpet? Or, do you go for something completely different like cork or stamped concrete?? Just leave us a comment, or share with us on Facebook.