Where do some of the most beautiful floors in the finest homes come from? Remarkably, they’re salvaged hardwood flooring. This antique flooring comes from reclaimed wood rescued from any number of places – condemned houses, old buildings about to be torn down, warehouses that have seen better days, even old railroad trestles.
Antique flooring comes in all species of wood: hemlock, Douglas fir, Southern yellow pine, and spruce. You can also purchase reclaimed wood in hardwoods such as oak, cherry, mahogany, chestnut, and walnut.
And many people in the know claim antique flooring from reclaimed wood to be even better than new wood flooring products. This is because as wood ages, the grain becomes tighter due to moisture loss. The old wood not only becomes lighter, it becomes stronger and harder, as well.
Most salvaged hardwood flooring originates from first-generation growth wherein the trees it was harvested from had larger diameters than trees used for wood flooring today. Purchasers can find planks from this type of reclaimed wood in widths of up to twenty-four inches, if they’re lucky, and if they’re willing to pay a premium price. With planning widths averaging between four and ten inches, this can give a width variety that’s beautifully suited to antique flooring projects.
Reclaimed wood for antique flooring generally runs about half to the same price as new wood. Or, you can find it even cheaper by keeping an eye out for any building about to be demolished and salvaging the wood planks yourself. One day with a good helper can reap several hundred dollars worth of savings.
Salvaged hardwood flooring requires the same type of maintenance as new wood floors. The most important thing to remember is to avoid wetness. Never use water to clean wood flooring other than to damp mop it occasionally and even then, you should allow it to dry as quickly as possible using fans and opening all doors and windows to speed up the process.
Antique flooring makes a glorious architectural statement in your home – plus it recycles valuable, beautiful wood that might otherwise be taken to a landfill. So take the time to check out reclaimed wood as an alternative to new wood for your floors. You and the Earth will be happy you did!