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As hardwood flooring experiences a significant surge in popularity and trends expand across social media, you’ve likely seen a lot of terms that you haven’t heard before. It seems that when social media and design websites use these terms, they assume that you know what they mean. One term that has been used frequently recently is “ebonized” or “ebonizing.” When you see it paired with dark black hardwood floors, it’s easy to pick up through context clues that ebonizing means turning the floor black. How is it different from painting or staining, though?

How It Is Different

Staining wood involves a solvent and a pigment soaking into the pores of the wood. Painting mostly stays on the surface of the wood. Ebonized wood is wood that has undergone a chemical reaction that turns it black. That means that the wood won’t fade in the light or show uneven color.

Ebonized wood is wood that has been treated with iron acetate. The iron acetate interacts with the chemicals in the wood to turn the actual wood black.

Why Choose This

Ebonized wood floors are popular because they are somewhat personal and unpredictable. Each floor ebonizes differently depending on the type of wood, the ratio of iron to acetic acid in the mixture, and other factors. That means that two floors of the same type of wood can be ebonized and look different. That’s very popular for DIY and rustic looks online; that’s one of the reasons it is trending.

Another reason ebonized floors are trending is the distressed or rustic look. Ebonizing, in many ways, mimics the natural aging process of wood. The wood picks up a darkened patina from oils and minerals over the years. If you want a new floor to look aged, ebonizing can definitely accomplish that.

Lastly, ebonized floors are trending because you can perform it all yourself if you wish. There are commercial ebonizing solutions that are guaranteed to provide you with a quality finish. However, the trend is making your own solution. You only need iron and acetic acid; if you go under your sink, you’ve likely got steel wool and vinegar. That’s all you need. The ratio of steel to vinegar and the amount of time you allow them to soak will affect the color. Everything is under your control.

Now, when you see social media posts about ebonized floors, you’ll know what they’re talking about.

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