What Exactly Are Reclaimed Hardwood Floors?
If you’ve been in the market for hardwood flooring, you’ve likely seen options for “reclaimed” hardwood flooring. It has become trendy for many different people. Those who have ecological concerns like reclaimed wood because no new trees have to be chopped down to create it. Stylistically, it provides a classic, antique feel even to new constructions. However, you might be wondering what exactly it is.
Reclaimed Hardwood Is Old Wood Repurposed
In its simplest sense, reclaimed hardwood is old wood that has been moved from its original use. That could mean that you simply take old hardwood flooring from one building and install it in a different building. This is the simplest and fastest type of reclaimed hardwood flooring. Very little crafting needs to be done beyond what would normally be done to install a new floor. However, there are also some more exotic hardwood flooring options as well.
In the past, many old growth trees were felled for lumber. Now, that lumber would be very expensive and reserved for high-end applications. Before industries had a good grasp on how much they were deforesting, old growth wood could be used for barn doors, ceiling joists, and other basic uses. That means that the frame of an old house or an old barn might be made of 100-year old teak. That would make an absolutely gorgeous hardwood floor. So, the manufacturers will buy that wood and treat it like new lumber. They’ll mill it into hardwood flooring and sell it as reclaimed wood.
Why Is It Desirable?
Different people have different reasons for preferring reclaimed hardwood. From a green point of view, the wood is desirable because it repurposes existing. No new trees have to be felled. That helps to fight deforestation around the world. From a design point of view, reclaimed wood is great because it looks incredible. Many hardwoods have oils that tend to darken the wood over time. When combined with weathering and handling, they develop a patina that looks antique and attractive. It’s the kind of visual appeal that you cannot replicate even with modern technology; only time can create the look of antique teak wood, for example.
Where Do You Find It?
There are two basic ways to find reclaimed hardwood. You can buy from a manufacturer who has bought it already, or you can source it yourself. If you know of local construction happening, the construction companies will sometimes discard the old wood for anyone who wants it. That wood could be great hardwood that you have turned into flooring.