Reclaimed wood flooring has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique characteristics, environmental sustainability, and aesthetic appeal. If you're considering installing new flooring in your home, here are some compelling reasons why you should consider using reclaimed wood.
As homeowners become more environmentally conscious and seek sustainable alternatives for home improvement projects and new home construction, reclaimed wood flooring has continued to rise as a popular choice. This type of flooring offers a range of benefits that make it a viable option for those who are looking for an eco-friendly and visually appealing flooring solution.
Definition of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood flooring refers to wood that has been reclaimed (not salvaged) from old buildings, barns, warehouses, or other structures that are no longer in use and repurposed, in this case for flooring. This wood is carefully deconstructed from its original structure and processed to create flooring planks that retain their original character, including knots, nail holes, and patina, all of which add to their unique charm and appeal.
History of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
The use of reclaimed wood dates back to ancient times when wood was a valuable and limited resource. In recent years, the practice of reclaiming wood has gained popularity as a sustainable way to repurpose old wood and reduce the demand for harvesting new lumber, thereby conserving natural resources and reducing waste. Our reclaimed wood originates primarily from historic century old barns from the Mid-West.
Environmental Benefits of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood flooring offers a myriad of advantages, including its profound positive impact on the environment. By repurposing aged timber, this type of flooring serves as a commendable solution to deforestation, curtailing the need for new logging and its consequential ecological repercussions. Moreover, opting for reclaimed wood flooring effectively diverts old timber from ending up in landfills, mitigating waste and fostering sustainability. An additional environmental benefit of reclaimed wood is its reduced carbon impact, as contemporary harvesting and processing operations are notoriously carbon intensive. In contrast, reclaimed wood is sourced from bygone eras, when harvesting and milling were often done manually or with minimal machinery and little if any engine powered transportation (barn were built onsite with the trees directly surrounding them), resulting in negligible original carbon impact compared to modern logging practices.
Aesthetic Benefits of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Probably the most significant advantage of reclaimed wood flooring is its unique and timeless aesthetic appeal. Each plank of reclaimed wood tells a story through its weathered appearance, knots, and nail holes, and naturally aged patina which adds character and warmth to any space. The century old patina of reclaimed wood cannot be replicated in new wood in quite the same way, making it a distinctive and visually appealing option for flooring.
Durability of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed wood flooring is known for its durability and strength. The old-growth wood used in reclaimed wood flooring is typically denser and more stable than new wood making it less prone to warping, cupping, and other common issues associated with flooring. Reclaimed wood has already withstood the test of time, and its ability to withstand wear and tear makes it a long-lasting choice for flooring.
Health Benefits of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
With an eco-friendly finish, using reclaimed wood flooring can also contribute to a healthier living environment. Unlike new wood flooring, which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful chemicals into the air, reclaimed wood is typically free from toxic chemicals and contaminants. This makes reclaimed wood flooring an ideal choice for those with allergies, sensitivities, or concerns about indoor air quality.
While reclaimed wood flooring offers many benefits, it's important to consider the cost. Reclaimed wood flooring can be more expensive than other types of flooring due to the labor-intensive process of reclamation (deconstructing the historic structure) and processing old wood (de-nailing, sorting, defecting). However, the investment in reclaimed wood flooring can be worthwhile in the long run due to its durability, unique aesthetic, environmental benefits and high perceived value which could pay dividends on any home resale.
DIY vs. Professional Installation
As with any wood floor, when it comes to installing reclaimed wood flooring, homeowners often face the decision of whether to tackle the project themselves or hire professionals. While DIY installation can save costs, it requires a certain level of expertise and experience in working with reclaimed wood. Since no two planks of reclaimed wood look alike, the pre-installation layout is important; planning the color variations across the entire floor is what will look the best. Add to this that the best looking reclaimed wood floor is one with mixed widths and random lengths, the layout planning is critical. Professional installation by someone experienced with installing reclaimed wood floors ensures proper handling, layout, and installation which can result in a more seamless and better looking outcome.
Maintenance and Care of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Like all quality flooring, proper maintenance and care are crucial for maintaining the beauty and longevity of reclaimed wood flooring. Regular cleaning, avoiding excessive moisture, are some of the essential steps in maintaining reclaimed wood flooring. Often, keeping the floor swept (vacuumed is best) and dry are essential routines while cleaning with products like Bona to keep the surface clean and clear.
Common Misconceptions about Reclaimed Wood Flooring
There are some misconceptions associated with reclaimed wood flooring that need to be clarified. One common misconception is that reclaimed wood flooring is inferior in quality compared to new wood flooring in large part due to the name. However, reclaimed wood flooring can be of high quality and even more durable due to its aged and dense nature. Another misconception is that reclaimed wood flooring is difficult to find, but with the growing demand for sustainable materials, reclaimed wood is becoming more accessible and readily available. The Vintage Wood Floor Company is the largest vertically integrated manufacturer of reclaimed wood flooring anywhere.
Comparison with Other Flooring Options
When choosing flooring for your home, it's important to compare different options, including reclaimed wood flooring with other flooring materials. Reclaimed wood floors offer a unique and rustic aesthetic that may not be achievable with other flooring options such as laminate, tile, or carpet. Repair and serviceability are important considerations as well should your floor get damaged (water leaks, etc.). The greatest benefit to choosing a reclaimed wood floor is since every plank is unique, replacing planks that coordinate with the rest of the floor is never an issue. A modern, "bought in a box" floor are usually made in series, runs, or lots and are often discontinued after a period of time making exact replacement impossible. If sustainability is at all a consideration for you, then the though of potentially having to replace an entire floor because the floor you chose gets discontinued and replacement planks can't be obtained takes a huge toll on the environment.
Case Studies and Testimonials
Numerous homeowners who have chosen reclaimed wood flooring for their homes have shared their positive experiences; in fact we've never had any negative response from our clients with every one of them being in love with their reclaimed wood floors. They have praised the unique and timeless beauty of reclaimed wood flooring, its durability, and its environmental benefits.
In conclusion, reclaimed wood flooring offers numerous benefits for homeowners who are looking for a sustainable, visually appealing, and durable flooring option. Its unique aesthetic, environmental sustainability, and health benefits make it a compelling choice for those who appreciate the beauty and character of reclaimed wood. While it may come with some cost considerations and maintenance requirements, the investment in reclaimed wood flooring can be worthwhile in the long run, adding warmth, charm, and value to any home.
FAQsCan I install reclaimed wood flooring myself?
- While DIY installation is possible, it requires expertise and experience in working with reclaimed wood, particularly in the pre-installation layout. Professional installation is recommended for the best outcome.
- Reclaimed wood flooring can be more expensive due to the labor-intensive process of reclaiming and processing old wood. However, the investment in its durability and unique aesthetic can be worthwhile in the long run.
- Reclaimed wood flooring should not require any more effort or expense in its upkeep than any other quality wood flooring
- With the growing demand for sustainable materials, reclaimed wood is becoming more accessible and readily available. However, it may still require some effort to find a manufacturer large enough to provide the quantity of reclaimed wood flooring your project may need. The Vintage Wood Floor Company is fortunately the largest and can handle any size project scope and produces your custom wood floor entirely onsite and inhouse.
- Reclaimed wood flooring is a more sustainable option compared to other flooring materials, as it repurposes old wood and reduces the demand for new wood harvesting. This helps in conserving natural resources and minimizing deforestation, making it an eco-friendly choice.
- Reclaimed wood flooring offers a rustic, timeless, and unique aesthetic that cannot be authentically replicated by other flooring options. The aged patina, weathered textures, and natural variations in color and grain give it a character and charm that adds warmth and personality to any space.
- Yes, reclaimed wood flooring can complement a wide range of home styles, from traditional to modern, and can be used in various spaces, including living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and even commercial spaces. Its versatility and ability to blend with different design styles make it a versatile flooring option. Reclaimed wood flooring has been successfully used in even the most modern homes
- Yes, but it depends upon the type. Original Face reclaimed wood flooring is exactly what the name describes, and this original face has not been milled off to a smooth face. Original face floors like our hallmark Timeworn Oak can be refinished but not sanded as this step would remove the original face material and character. Reclaimed wood floors are also made smooth (the original face is removed to reveal the smooth tight old growth grain) and these can be refinished, sanded and repaired, just like any other wood flooring. See our Heirloom Oak and Heirloom Mixed Hardwoods reclaimed hardwood flooring.
- Reclaimed wood flooring is considered at least equally safe and may even have additional health benefits. Unlike some new wood flooring options that may contain harmful off-gassing chemicals, reclaimed wood flooring is often free from toxic materials and finishes making it a healthier choice for indoor air quality.
- Reclaimed wood flooring may come with some potential drawbacks, such as higher costs compared to other flooring options. However, the unique aesthetic, environmental sustainability, and durability of reclaimed wood flooring always outweighs these drawbacks for our homeowners.
In conclusion, reclaimed wood flooring offers a plethora of benefits for homeowners who appreciate its unique aesthetic, environmental sustainability, and durability. Its rustic charm, character, and ability to tell a story through its weathered textures and natural variations make it a captivating choice for those seeking a distinctive flooring option. While it may come with some cost considerations, the investment in reclaimed wood flooring can add warmth, history, and value to any home. So, if you're looking for a sustainable and visually appealing flooring option that stands the test of time, consider using reclaimed wood flooring in your home.