Simply put, reclaimed flooring is recycled wood. So where does it come from, and why would anyone opt for a reclaimed floor over one that is freshly milled?
Where do reclaimed wide plank floors come from?
Reclaimed wide planks come from a variety of sources, including old industrial buildings, houses, and barns. Wide Plank Floor Supply’s reclaimed supply mostly comes from barns and industrial buildings that have been torn down.
This might raise concerns in your mind about the quality of the wood. Because it is repurposed from old structures, reclaimed wood sometimes contains old nails or staples. However, our mills carefully inspect each plank for defects and contaminants that would impact the installation or look of the flooring. It is then prepared for milling as any hardwood harvested from the forest.
Why choose reclaimed flooring?
Now that you know what reclaimed flooring actually is, you might be wondering why it’s so popular right now. Here are just a few reasons:
Reclaimed wide plank floors are one of the most environmentally friendly flooring choices on the market.
Reclaimed wood floors are an important aspect of green building. They can contribute LEED credits to your project — certain reclaimed wood floors meet the “materials and resources” requirement and / or “certified wood” requirements for LEED credits.
Instead of creating demand for more trees to be cut down, reclaimed flooring puts old lumber to use. By choosing repurposed wood over freshly milled planks, you’re helping to combat deforestation.
If you choose reclaimed wood from domestic sources, you’re also eliminating some of the carbon footprint involved in shipping wood overseas.
But even if you’d prefer to purchase an exotic species for your flooring, you can still be eco-friendly. By selecting a reclaimed exotic species, you’re repurposing wood instead of creating more demand for a possibly endangered species.
Engineered reclaimed flooring is even more eco-friendly than solid reclaimed wood. One beam can be turned into ten planks when making engineered flooring, which leads to a reduced need for lumber.
Trees that grew before the 20th century weren’t subject to nearly as much air pollution and negative human involvement as the trees growing now. This means that wood coming from older growth (i.e., reclaimed wood) is stronger than wood harvested from new growth.
Reclaimed wood is typically stronger (by up to 40 Janka hardness points) and more durable than wood milled from new growth.
Another benefit of reclaimed floors is that they’re in style. The “distressed” look is all the rage right now, and this applies to flooring preferences as well.
Reclaimed wood fits right into the rustic, distressed category — it’s authentically worn down by Mother Nature and years of wear and tear. Reclaimed floors have a lot of history, with original stains, nail holes, and insect damage that amplifies the distressed look of the flooring.
Since they’re vintage floors, reclaimed wood flooring is excellent for people who want to create a worn, down-home look.
What species of reclaimed flooring are available?
Once you’ve decided that reclaimed flooring is the right choice for you, the next step is to pick the right species.
There are a lot of different species available in reclaimed varieties — domestics and exotics alike. Whatever species you’re looking for, you can probably find reclaimed varieties of it. Check out our blog post about selecting the right wide plank species for your project.
Click here to browse our selection of reclaimed wide plank hardwood floors.