If you’ve been on design websites or social media, you’ve likely noticed the prominence of live edge hardwood. If you haven’t, live edge hardwood is wood that follows the natural shape of the tree trunk. Traditionally, the tree is cut down and boards are milled in perfect rectangles with straight sides. Live edge hardwood is wood that has been cut into planks but the sides have been left as they were. This saves wood from being discarded and creates a unique look. Alternately, there are some types of wood that are cut and processed to look like live edge wood when they’re not actually the natural edges of the wood. Either way, they haven’t become very prominent in hardwood flooring yet. There have been a few examples of live edge hardwood flooring and each one has gone viral.
The Gaps in the Planks
Traditional hardwood floors are designed to fit together perfectly. Gaps between the planks are avoided at all costs. That obviously won’t be possible with live edge floors. The different boards will have edges that do not fit together well. So, what do designers do about this? In the few examples of live edge hardwood floors, the most common solution is to create a mixture of flooring epoxy and some kind of wood. Chipped bark, sawdust, or wood chips are mixed with the epoxy to create a wood paste. After the planks are laid, the gaps are filled with the wood paste.
The examples of live edge hardwood flooring are still few and far between. However, the popularity of every example and the growing popularity of live edge hardwood in general indicates that they will become very popular in the future. That means that someone who wants to stay ahead of hardwood flooring trends should be on the lookout for live edge flooring.
Live edge flooring will bring many benefits to homeowners. The process for installing it is a little more involved than other types of hardwood flooring because the gaps must be filled. However, the milling process has fewer steps, which could bring down the prices. Furthermore, the installation could actually go quicker. Since the wood does not fit together tightly, there won’t be as much time spent trying to lay them closely together.
Live edge floors could also be easier to repair because there will be space between different planks. Removing and replacing a plank should be fairly simple.
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