As the saying goes, “nature never goes out of style.” Undoubtedly, this is why hardwoods, granite, bamboo and cork often find their ways into the home. Nature in the home is beautiful, but even more so when it is attained in an eco-friendly way. Now, more than ever before, you can gather the look of nature without guilt – even in hardwood floors. Reclaimed wood floors may be a great natural looking option for your eco-friendly remodel.
Reclaimed lumber is wood that is being “up cycled” for another use. Most of the time, the wood comes from structures such as old warehouses, bridges, factories, wine barrels, mill buildings and barns. This lumber is often reused to create new structures such as reclaimed wood floors, cabinets, furniture and even whole houses. If you’re looking to integrate some reclaimed wood floors into your kitchen remodel, here are some positives, negatives, and other words of advice to pend:
- Your floor comes with a story (try to find out that story, because it’ll make for a great conversation starter).
- You’ll have a one of a kind floor with lots of character (nail holes, dings, and rust marks surprisingly look beautiful, and no one else’s floor will look exactly like yours).
- You can feel guilt-free because you’re giving an old tree new life.
- Many companies argue that reclaimed wood is also stronger because it has already been exposed to humidity and other elements in its “former life.”
- You can dent your floor without feeling upset (it’ll just look like an antique feature).
- In some cases, it may not always be clear which chemicals were used in the original processing of the woods previous structure. Find out as much information as possible.
- Your floor may be more expensive than other wood floors because of the extra preparation needed.
- Because of high demand, some sellers may try to pass off newer wood as antique. Be on the lookout.
- Some wood may have metal pieces in it from its former structure. Many sites recommend using a metal detector before sanding your floor (for safety purposes).
Words of advice
- Try to examine your wood thoroughly before installation. Look for bug damage (as this can weaken the wood) and warped areas.
- Since reclaimed wood may vary in color and markings, try to make sure the wood is laid out in a way that appeals to your eye. Mismatched wood is still beautiful, as long as it is laid out properly.
- Make sure to find out which kinds of stains, finishes & binders the manufacturer uses, as some may not be as eco-friendly as you would hope.
Now that you’re aware of some characteristics of reclaimed wood floors, decide if they’re right for you. It’s always smart to learn as much information as possible before installing something into your home. Your home is your haven, and you should feel confident that your installation is beautiful, safe and comfortable. If you’re not sure about anything, don’t hesitate to ask an unbiased expert.