Reclaimed Wood Flooring

June 13, 2008
reclaimed wood flooring
Using reclaimed wood flooring in your home or office is one environmental approach to getting beautiful floors. More and more resources appear online and in the phone book all the time. Maybe you even have a recycled construction supply store in your area that will have choices of beautiful reclaimed wood flooring.

The old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” really holds true when it comes to reclaimed wood flooring. Salvaging and re-using a beautiful, old wood floor can yield dividends in unique decor and landfill savings. SmartWood Certification Systems estimates that reclaiming one million board feet of lumber preserves one thousand acres of old growth forest. The rich warmth of aged wood is a treasure that can only appreciate with time.

The variety of woods that can be found in reclaimed wood flooring include white pine, oak, elm, Western red cedar, redwood, Douglas fir, elm, ash, hemlock, walnut, hickory, and many others. Most flooring is pine or oak; other species tend to be more rare and therefore more expensive.
Reclaimed wood flooring is a small but growing industry. In the past, it was deemed more cost effective to rip up, chip, and dispose of old flooring no matter what the value of the wood in it. But today’s discerning buyers are willing to pay a premium for properly reclaimed wood flooring, and so the number of firms that specialize in salvaging old flooring has mushroomed.
Reclaimed wood flooring doesn’t necessarily come from floors. Often, the wood is reclaimed from interior or exterior walls of barns and other buildings. The wood is remilled to flooring dimensions and for smoothness. But it is common to see interesting weathering patterns in the wood, nail holes with rust stains, and other characteristics of weathered wood.
Barnstormerswood.com is one reclaimed wood flooring specialist who specializes even further. The company dismantles 19th century barns to produce reclaimed wood flooring and reclaimed structural timbers. Barnstormerswood.com takes pride in being able to dismantle any barn in the U. S. in two weeks or less. You can view photo galleries of current and past projects on the company’s Web site. The company resaws and kiln dries its wood before selling it.
The Mountain Lumber Company does not specialize in any type of building, but it does specializing in reclaimed wood flooring. (The company also refers to its products as “antique” flooring.) While it makes use of flooring planks, Mountain Lumber also resaws and kiln dries structural timbers to make reclaimed wood flooring.
Elmwood Timber Co. reclaims stone as well as wood. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Elmwood Timber can work with you via mail order. The company will supply samples, take specs, and ship reclaimed wood flooring to your door. They also offer a limited selection of products for sale online.
The market for reclaimed wood flooring is growing even as the number of trees harvested declines. Reclaimed wood flooring tends to have much tighter and more interesting grain than the forced-growth farm trees used in much timber today. People have come to realize that natural resources such as trees should not be harvested needlessly. There are millions of board-feet of beautiful, strong antique wood locked up in buildings across the country. Firms that harvest this precious resource, and the customers who buy their products, are helping to preserve our living heritage in the form of breathing trees.

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