Green Products Trends

Four Things to Know About Using Reclaimed Wood for Flooring

by Jason Brubaker

Reclaimed wood is making waves in the flooring industry. What do we mean by reclaimed wood? Lumber that has been previously used for other building projects is considered reclaimed. For instance you often see reclaimed wood taken from the sides of century old barns or the floors from 150-year-old homes. Reclaiming wood allows you to give the lumber new purpose, while benefiting from the patina of old age growth.

More and more consumers want to use reclaimed lumber as an alternative to newly sourced wood. There is a romantic idea that surrounds the ability to reuse lumber taken from a place in history. Some prefer the character of reclaimed wood, while other home and business owners want to take a green approach by reusing natural materials. Reclaimed wood offers a bit of both along with several other perks. Learn more about what you can expect when using reclaimed lumber for your next flooring project.

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1. Go Green with Reclaimed Lumber

By choosing to use reclaimed lumber for flooring you are making an eco-conscious choice. For the wood you reclaim for your floors, that is one less new growth tree that has to be harvested and milled for lumber. You are cutting back on the amount of trees that are being cut down and processed for lumber, while keeping old lumber out of landfills. It's a win-win for anyone hoping to do their part in helping to save the environment. More importantly since old growth woods take far longer to grow, choosing your old growth lumber from a reclaimed source helps to reduce the impact of using this natural resource.

Businesses that have an eco-friendly brand image this is the ideal choice for flooring. After all, you want your customers to recognize your commitment to protecting the environment and reducing natural resources. Homeowners who follow this ethos in their life are equally as impressed by the ability to reuse and recycle old lumber in their homes.

Speaking of reusing and recycling, if your goal is to reduce your carbon footprint then reclaimed lumber is a must for flooring materials. By using reclaimed wood you are giving this material a new lease on life. It will not be burned or thrown in a landfill, which decreases the amount of pollution being added to the world. Furthermore, when you choose reclaimed wood you are not getting particle board or some other cheap imitation wood. Reclaimed lumber is from old growth trees from decades or even centuries prior.

Old growth trees are more commonly those great Redwoods or sprawling White Oaks harvested from nature. Rather than choosing lumber harvested from tree farms, you are getting wood that has a history, that has character. It also is far more durable than virgin wood taken from tree farms. If you want a hard wood flooring that is seasoned to the elements, while keeping with a green vibe, then reclaimed wood is a perfect solution for flooring in your home or business.

2. Adds Charm and Character to a Space

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Speaking of the history of your wood flooring, when you opt for reclaimed wood you garner planks with a past. Imagine being able to say that the wood flooring in your home was taken from a century-old chapel or the old town bar. Just the history of the wood adds a new level of intrigue to your space. Reclaimed wood is unmatchable when it comes to being one of a kind, and if you are seeking that sort of character in their space, it’s a perfect solution.

However, you are far from alone. Wood flooring from reclaimed lumber is in a revival period. Everyone wants to add the charm of reclaimed wood in their homes, offices, retail stores and restaurants. The hardwood grooves and knotholes along with the already worn finish creates personality in flooring that you would be hard pressed to find in a newly honed piece of lumber. Plus the age of old lumber brings with it a warm and authentic look that really amps up a space. You cannot recreate an old school look in lumber; it simply cannot be mimicked.

Reclaimed lumber comes from old wood that was sourced from trees grown naturally where they had to fight for resources like water and sunlight. As a result, this wood is naturally stronger and more durable than the lumber that new growth trees can provide. Furthermore the aging process over the decades or centuries enhances the natural hues of the wood, while bringing out the character of rings and knots.

Interested in remodeling a space to be sold? Replace the flooring with reclaimed lumber and watch the interest of potential buyers peak. Increasing the value of a building is always at the forefront of any owner’s mind, and reclaimed wood offers this opportunity.

3. Choose a Type of Reclaimed Wood

It can be tedious to find reclaimed wood suitable for flooring. This is due to a finite supply of this resource, as well as thanks to its surge in popularity. Having access to reclaimed wood is one thing, but choosing a wood type that best suits your space is another entirely. Before you commit to a type of reclaimed lumber for flooring accept that not every type of wood can be reused or sourced.

Additionally, if you are interested in using newly sourced old growth wood in order to get the benefits of old wood, think again. Most old growth species are regulated against harvesting. For example, you aren’t going to be able to use newly sourced Redwood lumber for your flooring. Other wood types may not be available as reclaimed lumber, so keep this in mind when making your selections.

So which types of wood should you look for in reclaimed lumber? Reclaimed Oak is one of the best materials to use for flooring. It is a hardwood that is heavy, adding to its durability and strength under pressure. Oak also features a coarse texture and detailed grain that adds to the character of wood flooring.

Another choice is maple, which is commonly used in bowling alleys where it is appreciated for its hue and grain. Maple is very resistant to impact, another reason it works well for bowling lanes. If you want the hardest of hardwoods look out for reclaimed Mahogany lumber. Keep in mind this wood is difficult to shape and cut, making it a tedious choice for honing into flooring. However, this strength adds to its high tensile strength so it can hold up under pressure.

Walnut on the other hand is easier to work with for shaping and finishing. At the same time Walnut is both durable and strong, making it a considerable choice for flooring. Typically Walnut is used for non-load bearing beams rather than flooring. Other notable mentions for reclaimed wood choices include American Chestnut, Douglas Fir, Cedar, and Longleaf Pine. Referring back to Redwood, you can use this material if you find it as a reclaimed lumber.

4. Select a Reclaimed Wood

Now that you know why to use reclaimed wood, as well as the types of wood to look for in purchasing reclaimed lumber, it is time to address how to select the boards for flooring. The first step in getting reclaimed lumber ready to use for flooring is to find a dry, tight wood. You are going to experience cracks and splits in reclaimed wood as part of the natural aging process. It’s how you preserve this character that is important. Choose lumber with fewer cracks and smaller splits that can easily be filled with epoxy or used as-is without fear of continual degradation. Your wood must also be completely dry or you risk having a rotted floor after it is installed.

Choosing reclaimed wood for flooring requires it to be able to hold up to the wear and tear it is destined to experience. After all, you have no idea how this lumber was treated, protected or what it was exposed to over its lifetime. The last thing you want is to choose reclaimed wood that was treated with toxic chemicals like lead paint that remain on the lumber. Furthermore, you don’t want to source lumber filled with moldy patches or soft parts that are signs of decay or infestation.

For these reasons you want to source reclaimed wood from a reliable distributor. Rather than going out and gathering your old barn wood yourself it is best to leave this to flooring professionals. While there is charm and excitement in knowing that you have a story to tell about finding those old growth boards for your business’s flooring, in reality this is a romantic notion. Just as you would choose experts to handle various tasks in the office, you want to contact wood flooring experts for reclaimed wood.

Here at Nydree Flooring we specialize in wood flooring for commercial and residential spaces. Our flooring materials include reclaimed Oak that is 300 percent more resistant to denting that standard lumber. We specialize in sourcing and finishing our reclaimed wood in order to ensure its longevity for floors.

We allow our reclaimed wood flooring to be used in any indoor environment regardless of relative humidity, which is unique to Nydree because most manufacturers don't allow it. Debonding, buckling, or warping in the flooring from failure to keep installed flooring consistently below 55 percent relative humidity.

Nydree Reclaimed Oak already has inherent splits and cracks that allow its use in an environment outside the recommended 30-55 percent relative humidity range.

Our Reclaimed Oak also comes with a limited lifetime warranty to protect your flooring indefinitely. If you would like to speak to reclaimed wood experts give us a call at (800) 682-5698. You can also contact us online to inquire about choosing reclaimed lumber for your flooring project.

Nydree Flooring located in Forest, VA is your choice for the hardest hardwoods for wood flooring. Thanks to our innovative acrylic infusion we increase the strength of your reclaimed wood flooring exponentially.