Reclaimed Wood Floor
So what exactly is a reclaimed wood floor?
You might find it under many names, such as recycled wood flooring, reclaimed wood flooring, or even reclaimed salvage lumber.
Whatever the name, the product is re-used, recycled or, as often titled, "reclaimed" flooring made from wood that is generally re-milled to be usable in a new application.
Reclaimed Wood Floor:
Pros and Cons
If you're considering reclaimed wood for your floor, you'll want to know what to look for. It is obviously a "green choice" to choose to re-use wood that would otherwise become landfill waste. Recycled wood floors also save precious forest growth.
Here are some more reclaimed wood benefits:
- Warm look and feel
- Prevents waste
- Easy to clean
- Naturally insulating
- Depending on thickness, may be refinished years later
- May increase the value of your home
To be fair, you'll want to know what some possible cons of reclaimed flooring may be. Many of these answers will be:
"It depends" - on the source of the wood and the cost of labor and materials. But this list will give you a starting point.
- Water Damage
Some reclaimed wood has been harvested from rivers or streams for re-use. It may still be usable, but you must check for moisture content before installing. You'll want to be assured that there is not potential for mold growth or severe shrinking or swelling due to a high moisture content.
- Surface will scratch
A protective coating will be needed.
- Refinishing may result in a high cost of labor
- VOC content (Volatile Organic Compounds)
What was used on the wood prior to now? If you choose to use reclaimed wood floors, be sure to use a low or no VOC product to refinish it. AFM manufacturing formulates such finishes for wood.
Reclaimed Wood Suppliers
You may be able to harvest some reclaimed wood on your own - at a discount. If you know of a building about to be torn down, it wouldn't hurt to ask if you can buy (or remove) some wood from the premises.
You might be surprised to learn that there are local companies that supply reclaimed wood. If so, you could save shipping costs and conserve fuel that would be spent if the product was shipped a long distance. This would be an ideal
alternative to new wood harvesting for your project.
Some suppliers also carry the FSC label (Forest Stewardship Council). According to their website, they promote responsible management of the world's forests, and require certain standards to be met. They also provide FSC certification. You can even find FSC certified wood at some local home improvement stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot.
A few suppliers of reclaimed wood include:
Mountain Lumber Company
Go from Reclaimed Wood Floor to Bamboo
Go to Hardwood Flooring
Go to Flooring Guide
Go to Building Your Green Home Page
The time is NOW. The future is HERE. The color is GREEN.