Reclaimed wood floors are so popular as they are environmentally friendly and add a unique character to any home and any room. Choosing the right flooring among all the options on the market is a serious task, as the variety of options is quite big – hardwood floors, bamboo floors, laminate, linoleum, tiles, carpeting, etc,. What is reclaimed wood and where it comes from? Why choose this type of flooring? What are the pros and cons of reclaimed wood floors and how to maintain them? We shall give you a detailed look at the specific characteristics of reclaimed wood, its advantages and disadvantages. If you have decided to renew your home flooring, read on as we believe that the information is going to be useful for you.
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What is the origin of reclaimed wood floors?
The timber may come from different places – antique homes, barns, public buildings, community centers, wooden bridges, schools, industrial buildings, railways, even storm damaged trees. Depending on the source, wood can be from 50 to 150 or more years old which makes it the perfect material for restoration projects in antique or historic homes. In addition, reclaimed wood floors will give a beautiful and unique look in a new home and people who are attracted to the history behind every floor plank would love to incorporate material with history into their interiors. A specific feature is that the antique batches vary in size, nature, character, grain and the special charm of the wood that stood the test of time is almost impossible to be replicated.
What are the pros and cons of reclaimed wood floors?
Why choose reclaimed wood floors? What are the advantages compared to other types of flooring? Is it safe to use reclaimed wood flooring? The growing trend for using reclaimed wood is due to many reasons. Some of them are that but it brings a history, texture, interest, and warmth to an interior space. There is no doubt that it is worth to put some effort and try to save and restore a solid wood floor, as the character and special visual appeal, the aged and weathered look of the timber which can hardly be found in new materials give the room and the home a unique atmosphere. The most popular species are heart pine, oak, chestnut, hickory which age beautifully with time.
A major advantage of reclaimed wood is its versatility. It can be uses in many different projects – wall paneling, tables, countertops, cabinets, shelves, patio decks and of course hardwood flooring.
The flooring has another great advantage – they are environmentally friendly. It is much better to use reclaimed wood for your flooring than petroleum-based carpeting or linoleum, isn’t it? In addition, it offers a greater quality and strength. Remember that it was used for many years and if treated with care and attention it can serve you for a lifetime.
The floors are really very special as they convey their history to your living room, kitchen or bedroom. The exquisite beauty and the natural appeal are a true complement to the interiors and the exquisite beauty can be used in many design styles – to begin with rustic, traditional, modern, Mediterranean, industrial, etc.
Disadvantages and what to avoid
When choosing reclaimed wood floors it is recommended that you avoid timber with a heavy varnishing, and one which has been treated with chemicals or paint containing adhesives, preservatives, insecticides or lead. Try to inform yourself for the origin as this will give you information for any possible treatments in the past.
Buy your timber from reliable dealers as there are some dealers who claim the wood they offer is reclaimed which is not true. Check the certificates of the dealers.
A disadvantage is the possibility of infestation and it is necessary to check for pests before purchasing. Holes in the timber, crumbling wood, visible bugs are clear signs for a pest invasion. Although not always visible, the timber may have nails so it is advisable to work with protective gloves and inspect for any hidden dangers prior installation.
The price tag is usually higher as dealers sort and process the timber before selling it to customers. However, the extra costs for nail pulling and treating the wood are a necessity as the customer gets a safe material to work with.
Reclaimed floors are beautiful to look at and exude elegance and charm. The rich colors and aged look make the home look warm and cozy. These floors are easy to clean but you need to choose products suitable for an antique wood floor. The right polish will protect the floor for decades and prevent dirt, stains, grease and water from penetrating the wood. Depending on the type of finish, your flooring may require a regular wax coating.
Otherwise, the regular maintenance of the flooring includes a vacuum cleaning at least once a week, and sweeping with a soft broom. Using a damp mop is suitable only for surface sealed floors. Waxed flooring should not be wet mopped as the water may cause a lot of damage. Food or drink spills should be wiped as soon as possible to avoid staining.