For those wanting to “go green” but unwilling to compromise on style and quality, reclaimed wood flooring could be the way to go. Not only is reclaimed wood flooring as beautiful as traditional wood flooring but it often has additional historical value and character which cannot be replicated in modern flooring – for example, its sources range from antique Chinese structures to functional buildings from the Industrial Revolution.
What is Reclaimed Wood?
Reclaimed wood refers to any timber which is taken from disused, old buildings and refinished for use again in modern settings. Sources of reclaimed wood include timber and decking from old buildings, piers, barns, textile mills and factories. Other sources may be more exotic, such as oak from old beer vats in Ireland or railway coaches in Russia. All these structures were planned for destruction and their materials wasted so by reclaiming wood, the valuable timber can be rescued and recycled for use again, while also preserving some historically significant artefacts.
The Benefits of Reclaimed Wood
- Using reclaimed wood flooring, which is a recycled material, means that you are making an environmentally responsible choice and promoting an alternative to cutting down more trees. Reclaimed wood comes from building structures such as decking, floor joists and beams, which are no longer functional – so not only will you be saving the need to cut trees but you will be salvaging a valuable resource.
- Reclaimed wood gives you complete confidence of durability and stability as you know that it was used in old, original structures which have been standing for hundreds of years.
- Reclaimed wood provides the beauty and feel of wood flooring without the associated damages caused by deforestation.
- Reclaimed wood is unique – you will never find another piece to match its look, texture and unique history. It is a link to our past. Depending on its grade, the wood will have unique variations in colour tone, grain structure and character, due to the origin of the timber and the elements that the wood was exposed to during its life in the antique structure.
- Reclaimed wood has a special character which cannot be found in newly sawn timber.
- Reclaimed wood provides you with custom flooring, as the intensive process needed to make an antique floor naturally produces a custom-made product. You will never have a generic, mass-produced product in your home.
- Only through reclaimed sources can you find certain types of wood, such as American Chestnut.
Care of Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Care is similar to traditional wood flooring, with specific instructions differing depending on the type of finish used. However, in general, it is a good idea to place mats at doorways and to attach felt pads onto the bottom of furniture legs and other heavy objects. Clean regularly, including areas under rugs and furniture, as ingrained dirt will wear down the protective finish and cause it to break down over time. To clean, use a dust mop or vacuum regularly, topped up by an occasional wet mop but avoid excessive moisture on the wood. Also avoid using oil-based sprays or soaps and wax-based cleaning solutions – it is best to follow the recommendation of your manufacturer when choosing a cleaning product. However, a simple safe cleaner is a wet mop dampened with a mixture of white vinegar and water.
Reclaimed flooring is a fantastic choice for your home, office or commercial outlet. Make sure you research antique flooring manufacturers before making your final choice and only choose companies which have years of experience in finding buildings, reclaiming the timber and transforming it into a beautiful and functional recycled product.