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For Eco-Friendly Flooring, Try Reclaimed Hardwood

For Eco-Friendly Flooring, Try Reclaimed Hardwood

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October 30, 2009

There are many options on the market for eco-friendly flooring, but reclaimed hardwood flooring arguably holds the most historical value. Salvaged wood can impart a unique look and feel to your floors while lessening the environmental impact of your construction.

What is Reclaimed Flooring?

Reclaimed flooring is lumber taken from old barns, warehouses, and homes during the demolition process. The wood might also come from ancient lumber found on river bottoms, deserted military installations, or other buildings that have a great deal of reusable wood.

The wood is removed from the building and the nails are pulled out by hand. The wood is then carefully milled for smoothness and appearance. The final product is a unique flooring material with a great deal of density, stability, and character.

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The Most Popular Reclaimed Hardwoods

Reclaimed hardwood flooring often includes woods that are no longer abundant in nature. Here are the most popular:

  • Antique Heart Pine. Cut from the heart of the longleaf pine tree, this wood offers unmatched strength and a beautiful amber color. The trees took hundreds of years to grow up to 150 feet in length--all of which was perfect for building material.
  • Antique Oak. Red and white oak was commonly used in barns and homesteads, and has held up very well throughout centuries. Often worn and marked with age, reclaimed oak is one of the most unique hardwoods.
  • "Wormy" Chestnut. Thanks to an Asian bark fungus introduced in the early 1900s, the American Chestnut has virtually disappeared. Reclaimed chestnut is often called "wormy chesnut" due to the tiny pinholes formed by the worms that chewed through the dying trees.

The Advantages of Eco-Friendly Reclaimed Flooring

By choosing reclaimed hardwood flooring, you are saving modern trees from being cut. Repurposing, or finding a new use for old objects, is why many people choose to use reclaimed wood in their building projects.

The unique look of reclaimed wood is also a benefit--you can rest assured that no two boards are alike, and the final product will be just as unique as the history of the wood itself.

Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring Brings History to Life

When you use reclaimed wood in your home, you are preserving history. If you know where your reclaimed wood comes from, you can tell its story over and over. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is eco-friendly and definitely unique, but it also carries forth a heritage that deserves to be remembered.

About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

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