As an interior designer, you are constantly seeking innovative yet environmentally friendly design options that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space but also contribute to sustainable design practices. One such option that has gained popularity in recent years—and shows no signs of waning—is reclaimed wood flooring.
In this blog post, we will explore the various design options, sustainability benefits, sourcing process, durability and maintenance, cost considerations, installation requirements, aesthetic enhancements, finishes and treatments, integration with other design elements, as well as potential challenges and limitations of using reclaimed wood flooring in design projects. So, let's dive in!
1. What Are the Available Design Options for Reclaimed Wood Flooring?
Reclaimed wood flooring offers a plethora of design options that can add a unique and rustic charm to any interior space. From wide-plank boards to herringbone patterns, chevron designs to parquet styles, the versatility of reclaimed wood allows for endless creative possibilities. The natural imperfections, knots, and patina of aged wood imbue character and warmth to the flooring, creating a timeless and inviting ambiance. Whether you prefer a classic, traditional look or a contemporary, modern vibe, reclaimed wood flooring can be customized to suit your design vision, making it a popular choice among Interior Designers. Just because it is reclaimed does not mean it has to be rustic. Several of the floors we make here at The Vintage Wood Floor Company have a smooth, custom finished face for an elegant look but retain the old growth grain and character, but without the rustic original face appearance.
2. How can reclaimed wood flooring contribute to sustainable design practices?
Sustainability is a key consideration in modern interior design, and reclaimed wood flooring offers an excellent opportunity to incorporate eco-friendly practices into design projects. By using reclaimed wood, Interior Designers can contribute to the conservation of natural resources and reduce the demand for new lumber, which helps in reducing deforestation and the associated carbon footprint. Additionally, reclaimed wood comes from historic buildings, barns, or other structures, adding a touch of history and nostalgia to the space. This makes for great story-telling for Homeowners to their guests. Choosing reclaimed wood creates a clear sense of designed sustainability and conscious design, aligning with the growing prevalence of eco-conscious consumers.
3. What is the process for sourcing and selecting reclaimed wood for flooring?
The process of sourcing and selecting reclaimed wood for flooring requires careful consideration and mindfulness. Reclaimed wood can be obtained from a variety of sources, such as old barns, warehouses, and factories. However, it is important to ensure that the wood is sourced from reputable and dependable suppliers with a long history and strong reputation in the reclaimed wood industry. It is important to note as well that you should look for domestically sourced and processed material. The rebadging of unknown sourced materials and ubiquity of online resellers puts you—the Designer—and your reputation on the line should the material fail to meet your expectations upon arrival. It is better to develop a long term working partnership with a reputable manufacturer. Beginning your partnership with The Vintage Wood Floor Company is as easy as an email, call, or text. You can schedule a visit to discuss your project elements and we will amaze you with your options which will always be unique to you.
4. How does reclaimed wood flooring compare to other types of flooring in terms of durability and maintenance?
Reclaimed wood flooring is known for its durability and longevity due in large part to the old growth timber the original beams and planks were made from, making it an excellent investment for interior design projects. The aged wood has already gone through decades or even centuries of natural seasoning, which makes it more stable and resistant to warping, shrinking, or cupping compared to newly harvested wood. However, as with any quality floor, regular care is still essential to ensure the continued performance and appearance of a reclaimed wood floor. Regular vacuuming, cleaning (like with Bona), repairs of the top coat finish should it become damaged, all will help protect the wood from moisture, stains, and wear, ensuring that it maintains its beauty and integrity for years—even generations—to come.
5. What are the cost considerations for incorporating reclaimed wood flooring into a design project?
As with any design element, cost is an important consideration for Interior Designers. Reclaimed wood flooring can vary significantly in price depending on factors such as the species of wood, the source, the quality, and the design options chosen. In general, reclaimed wood flooring will be more expensive than other types of newly harvested wood flooring due to the added labor-intensive processes involved in sourcing, reclaiming, fumigating, drying, defecting and sorting required to prepare the wood, before it is even made into a wood floor. However, ask anyone who has a reclaimed wood floor from The Vintage Wood Floor Company, and they’ll tell you that the investment in reclaimed wood flooring is justified by its unique character, sustainability benefits, and durability. Our Homeowner clients LOVE their floors and their Designers who steered them towards reclaimed. It is important for Interior Designers to carefully budget and plan for the cost of reclaimed wood flooring in their design projects and convey to their clients the long-term investment being made in both sustainability and aesthetics. With that knowledge and confidence, make sure your client is equally equipped to make an informed decision as it may involve trimming the budget for other design elements in your plan. Having the client onboard early on is always the best approach and ensures the best outcome.
6. Are there any specific installation requirements or considerations for reclaimed wood flooring?
Installing reclaimed wood flooring requires careful planning and preparation. It is important to work with experienced installers who have knowledge and expertise in working with reclaimed wood, as it can be—but isn’t always—more challenging to install compared to new wood flooring. The usual proper subfloor preparation, acclimatization (let the units of flooring acclimate in the climate controlled environment it will be installed in for 7-10 days) go without saying but the installation plan is crucial to ensure that the reclaimed wood flooring is installed beautifully. The most beautiful reclaimed wood floors involved a pre-installation layout step. An experienced installer will inspect the unit of flooring planks to get a sense of the color and character variation across the mix of flooring planks and plan the layout accordingly. They won’t just start pulling planks from the top of the unit and start installing them sequentially. Add to this that the best looking reclaimed wood floors are made in mixed widths and random lengths. A custom reclaimed wood floor from The Vintage Wood Floor Company will give you options such as mixed width ranges (3” through 5”, 4” through 7”, and 5” through 9”) and random lengths. Our random lengths (easily up to about 14 feet long) demonstrate clearly you didn’t get this floor from a box. Since we make everything to order and to the Designer’s specification, you can of course specify the width or widths you wish. No matter what you choose, you’ll know you gave your client a truly custom and one of a kind floor which will be enjoyed for generations to come.
7. How can reclaimed wood flooring enhance the overall aesthetic of a space?
One of the unique aspects of a reclaimed wood floor is its distinct aesthetic appeal. The natural patina, knots, and imperfections in the wood create a sense of character and history, adding a warm and inviting ambiance to any space. Reclaimed wood flooring can be further enhanced with different (coloring) finishes and treatments to suit the design style and preferences of the project. From matte to glossy finishes, wire brushing to hand scraping, staining to whitewashing, hit skip sanded to custom beveled edges, the options are literally endless and all of them possible with The Vintage Wood Floor Company’s inhouse Finish Room. The ability to customize the look and feel of reclaimed wood flooring makes it a versatile choice for Interior Designers to achieve their desired aesthetic for their clients.
8. What finishes and treatments are recommended for reclaimed wood flooring?
Reclaimed wood flooring can be finished and treated in different ways to enhance its appearance. Finishes such as water based polyurethane and oil-based or water-based tints can be applied to protect the wood from moisture, stains, and wear. We also do UV cured finishes. Our go-to clear finish is a water based poly which protects the patina and character of the floor. These finishes also help to bring out the natural beauty and character of the wood, enhancing its beautiful appeal. Interior Designers can work with wood finishers and craftsmen to explore various finishes and treatments to achieve the desired design outcome, or they can make one call to us and have it all in one place. We offer an incredibly unique opportunity to our Designer partners; where else can you visit the mill and actually see your project being made? We had an exquisite gallery showroom in Costa Mesa but moved it into our Anaheim mill because clients always wanted to visit the mill. Our Designer partners can visit and bring their clients to explore woods, textures, finishes and applications in the context of the mill that will produce the products for your project.
9. How can reclaimed wood flooring be integrated with other design elements in a space, such as furniture and lighting?
Beyond the mechanics of the actual finish, the finish helps to seamlessly integrate with other design elements to create a cohesive and harmonious interior space. It pairs well with a wide range of design styles, from rustic and farmhouse to modern and industrial. The intrinsic benefit to the variability of color range found in the naturally occurring patina is that it helps tie in almost any color palette of a space. Choosing your lighting will play a part of the final scene; we recommend warm light as opposed to bright white lighting. The softer glow will play off the character in the wood well catching your eye.
Reclaimed wood floors are unmatched when it comes to coordination in the color space. Reclaimed wood flooring can also be paired with reclaimed wood in accent walls, ceiling planking, mantel beams, ceiling box beams, adding visual interest and texture to the space. Its versatility and compatibility with other design elements make it a popular choice among Interior Designers, Architects, Builders and most importantly Homeowners. Working with The Vintage Wood Floor Company as your exclusive reclaimed wood partner you’ll quickly see how we can expand your design options and influence through more than just flooring. Floor to ceiling, if it’s made from reclaimed or newly harvested wood, we can probably do it for you.
10. What are the potential challenges or limitations of using reclaimed wood flooring in a design project?
While reclaimed wood flooring offers many benefits, there may be some potential challenges that Interior Designers should at least be aware of. One challenge that may arise is the availability and consistency of reclaimed wood supply, as it depends on the availability of reclaimed wood from old structures and the demand for it in the market. This can sometimes result in limited availability of certain wood species or inconsistent sizes and dimensions, which can affect the design and installation schedule, so plan ahead. Additionally, know that reclaimed wood will have nature-made defects, such as insect holes, knots, or cracks, which should be understood to be a part of the uniqueness and allure to this precious material. Finally, the cost of reclaimed wood flooring will be higher compared to other types of newly harvested wood flooring, which will affect the overall budget of a design project. Careful consideration of these challenges and limitations is necessary when incorporating reclaimed wood flooring into interior design projects. Communicated appropriately, rest assured your client will love the final result of reclaimed wood flooring.
Reclaimed wood flooring offers Interior Designers a unique and sustainable choice for creating beautiful and environmentally friendly spaces. It brings a sense of history, character, and warmth to any interior, and can be customized to suit various design styles and preferences.
When using reclaimed wood flooring, it is important to partner with experienced professionals who have expertise in handling reclaimed wood and can ensure proper installation and treatment. Additionally, proper budgeting and planning for the cost of reclaimed wood flooring is needed. Despite these challenges, the aesthetic enhancements, sustainability benefits, and versatility of reclaimed wood flooring make it a popular choice among Interior Designers who are looking for unique and environmentally conscious design solutions they and their clients can feel good about.
Reclaimed wood flooring is a valuable and the most eco-friendly choice for Interior Designers who are looking to create visually appealing and sustainable spaces. Partnering with a reputable manufacturer like The Vintage Wood Floor Company who can accommodate all aspects of your reclaimed wood projects, from small projects to large, will help you scale your offering without fear of hitting the limits of your smaller local supplier.
The Vintage Wood Floor Company is the manufacturer of choice for the most influential Designers in Orange County. Architects, Builders, and Homeowners from across the country have come to rely upon us because of our size, material inventory, and scalability to accommodate any size project. We deal in relationships and reputations, and we guard our Designer’s reputations with the best looking and performing reclaimed wood floors and products.