What is hardwood flooring?
In fact, some hardwoods are softer than some softwoods, and the reverse is also true. Strangely enough, balsa is a hardwood. Nevertheless, the hardwoods we use for flooring do live up to their name, and that’s what makes them so enduring.
What does reclaimed mean?
Reclaimed hardwood flooring is made from wood that’s been used before. Usually, but not always, it’s flooring that’s been lifted from another building. Often, reclaimed hardwood flooring is collected as part of a renovation project. Typically, it comes from large public buildings, such as libraries and gymnasiums. The hardwood has been well-used, but protected by layers of lacquer. The newly lifted boards look old, but after they’re laid and sanded, they look new again. Properly looked after, they can last a lifetime.
What are the attractions of reclaimed hardwood flooring?
There are a number of excellent reasons for choosing reclaimed hardwood flooring. If you’re already sold on the idea of hardwood, reclaimed materials are much less expensive. In the long-term, they’re better value for money than new wood. Hardwood is expensive, and that’s because it’s in short supply. Over the years, mankind has depleted the stock. That makes the reclaimed variety an ethical choice. You could reduce your carbon footprint, and help preserve the world’s forests.
If you compare reclaimed flooring with carpet, there’s also a health consideration. Carpet can accumulate house-dust, and house-dust mites. These little creatures have been linked to allergies, asthma and eczema. Reclaimed hardwood flooring could improve the environment within your home, and your family’s well being. The same can be said for other types of flooring, such as laminates or tiles. But, properly laid hardwood flooring can have better thermo-insulating properties, and they’re usually longer-lasting. Once again, reclaimed hardwood flooring might reduce your carbon footprint, and save you money.
Depending on your outlook, the biggest attraction of this type of flooring is its beauty. To appreciate this, you really need to see it for yourself. When you do, you’ll know how much it can enhance the character and beauty of your home. If it’s character you’re looking for, reclaimed materials are often from historic buildings, sometimes even castles. Knowing this should fire anybody’s imagination. For a different sort of character, flooring is now reclaimed from oak whiskey barrels, complete with the original branding.
Given all the practical, ethical and aesthetic considerations, it’s hard to see if there are any disadvantages. There might be one. The whiskey barrel flooring retains a little o dour of whiskey, and a hint of the bonded warehouse. But, if you’re a connoisseur of whiskey, that’s unlikely to put you off too much.