As a custom home builder, choosing the right flooring for your client’s construction project is crucial in creating a beautiful and sustainable home your client will celebrate you for. Reclaimed wood flooring has gained popularity in the past two decades due to its unique character and environmental benefits, with no signs of waning at all. However, there are key factors to consider when selecting reclaimed wood flooring to ensure a successful installation. In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider from a custom home builder's point of view when suggesting or having to incorporate reclaimed wood flooring into your construction project.
- Installation Methods: Understanding the Differences
Installation methods for reclaimed wood flooring may differ slightly from other types of flooring. Reclaimed wood may have inherent characteristics such as knots, cracks, and irregularities that require special attention during installation. Techniques such as blind nailing and gluing may be needed to properly fit and fasten reclaimed wood flooring. All of our custom floors at The Vintage Wood Floor Company are fastened floors and not floating floors. We recommend both gluing and nailing (if possible). The most important aspect to working with reclaimed wood flooring is the pre-installation process of letting the ready to install floor acclimate in the climate controlled environment in which it will be installed for 1-2 weeks. As well as the most important step which is a full perspective layout plan. Since no two planks of reclaimed wood are the same, each having their own unique character; a well thought out plan of coordinating the planks across the span so the color palette is appealing in the final installation. Installers inexperienced with reclaimed wood floors often miss this step with the final result having clusters of similar planks rather than even distribution.
- Integration into Construction Systems
Reclaimed wood flooring can be integrated into various construction systems, such as subflooring underlayment. All of our custom wood floors, both in newly harvested wood like our European White Oak or our Reclaimed Timeworn Oak floors can be used with heated floors. Proper planning and coordination are essential to ensure that reclaimed wood flooring is seamlessly integrated into the overall construction process. Consideration should be given to the thickness and stability of the reclaimed wood, as well as any additional preparation or modification required for integration into the construction systems. Engineered wood flooring is considered the most stable due to its plywood support substrate which helps the floor resist warping. Solid wood floors are the most temperamental and far more susceptible to environmental moisture absorption resulting in climatic expansion and contraction.
- Impact on Timeline and Schedule
Reclaimed wood flooring may impact the overall timeline and schedule of a construction project. Sourcing and preparing reclaimed wood materials may require additional lead times compared to other types of flooring; often 10-14 weeks lead time to ship. All quality wood floors—reclaimed or new—should undergo acclimation in the environment. This is important to prevent issues such as warping or buckling after installation. It is important to factor in these time considerations when planning the construction timeline and advise your client to avoid delays and ensure a smooth installation process.
- Cost Considerations
Cost considerations are an important factor when incorporating reclaimed wood flooring into a construction budget. Reclaimed wood may be more expensive than other types of flooring due to its limited availability and the higher cost due to the labor intensive process required to reclaim and produce a reclaimed wood floor. It is important to thoroughly assess and budget for these costs to ensure that the use of reclaimed wood flooring is financially feasible for the construction project so there are no misconceptions revealed later on. Planned right and communicated clearly with the client, a reclaimed wood floor will surely delight any client given its one of a kind nature.
In conclusion, selecting reclaimed wood flooring for your client’s custom home or building project requires careful consideration of various factors, unlike any other project. Understanding the differences in installation steps, integration into construction systems, impact on timeline and schedule, cost considerations, acclimation and preparation requirements, recommended best practices, are crucial for a successful installation. By taking these factors into account, custom home builders can make informed decisions and recommendations to their clients considering incorporating reclaimed wood flooring into their projects. The result should be a unique, sustainable, one of a kind and visually appealing end result that adds character and warmth to the home.