Reclaimed Wood Flooring: Yesterday's best for a better tomorrow.

June 16, 2014
New York
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   Reclaimed wood became a popular material for flooring in the 70’s and has been on the upswing ever since. It is salvaged from the remains of old buildings, factories, warehouses, boxcars, water towers, and other pieces of our past then carefully restored by masters of the trade. It’s upcycled nature also makes it a great option for those looking to keep their project as green as possible. Reclaimed wood adds a lot of character to a space and is ideal for achieving an antique or vintage feel.

   Sourcing reclaimed wood from the ever changing architectural and technological landscape around them; these urban lumberjacks scour demolition and renovation sites, boat yards, rail yards, decommissioned factories and anywhere else they can for quality material in need of a new life. Purchasing reclaimed wood can add to your LEED credits, as the upcycling of the wood eliminates the need to harvest fresh material for the project. It takes exponentially less time and resources to produce reclaimed wood flooring than it does to produce brand new flooring. Giving these materials a second life is a great middle ground between style and ecoconciousness.

   One of the biggest trends in hardwood flooring is vintage handscraped wood. Prefinished flooring manufacturers have been milling product to mimic the rustic or antique look of reclaimed wood and charging a premium for it. While these floors look nice in their own right, they simply can’t match the character of restored wood from a retired boat or barn. Artificial distressing on prefinished flooring is a nice touch for a rustic look, but its not the same as the history embedded into reclaimed wood. Every ding and dent left after expert craftsmen refurbish the material was made in its former life.

   If you’re aiming for a modern rustic look, a floor to complement your vintage design, or an eco friendly solution for hardwood flooring, reclaimed wood is an amazing option. Everyday men and women are saving these materials from structures in disrepair and preventing them from ending up in overcrowded landfills. All in an effort to preserve and provide a little bit of history for your home or business.

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Kenneth Pepper

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