RECYCLING CAN GIVE YOUR FLOOR UNIQUE VISUAL PATTERNS
Recycled hardwood floors come from many different sources. Many hardwood flooring manufacturers use wood planks from old barns, churches, other demolished buildings, dilapidated docks, wine barrels, and even shipwrecks. If the manufacturer is reputable, the planks will be inspected, processed, and kiln-dried to make the finished product safe, pest-free, and suitable for consumer use. No one wants to install a beautiful reclaimed wood floor only to end up having to get a tetanus booster due to an undetected rusty nail, so don’t automatically go with the lowest price. As we’ve said many times before, if something appears too good to be true, then it probably is.
Sometimes determining where to buy reclaimed wood can be tricky; not all retailers carry these products, and many manufacturers of reused wood flooring only sell directly to the consumer. The reason for this difficulty is that while reclaimed wood is rising in popularity, it is still a niche market. This seems to be changing, however, as eco-friendly wood flooring materials are more widely available than they were in the past. While hardwood is not normally seen as a Green product, the emergence of recycled wood flooring is changing preconceived notions about floors made from timber and the perceived notorious deforestation that goes along with it. Deforestation remains an endemic problem, but the rate of disappearing forests has been reduced significantly thanks to vertically integrated production, harvesting from managed forests, and replanting.
Another benefit to recycled hardwood floors is their inherent durability, as these woods were originally harvested from massive old-growth forests; this is evident by their performance on the Janka hardness test, in many cases surpassing hardness of modern-day virgin woods. USF Contract offers some of the most unique reclaimed hardwood flooring on the market. As the Penobscot River used to be a major route for hauling timber in New England, much of that wood never made it to its final destination, instead sinking to the bottom of the riverbed. The company has decided to extract this timber and turn it in to a usable flooring product with stunning visuals and grains that are impossible to get anywhere else.
Hand-scraped appearances and timeworn aesthetics have gained popularity within the realm of shabby-chic design, and reclaimed hardwood is catching on to bring even more design ideas to homeowners. With so much wood available for reuse as a natural resource, it will be interesting to see a steady increase in manufacturers that offer reclaimed wood as a high-end product. Hopefully this trend will dispel common myths that hardwood flooring is anything but eco-friendly.