Reclaimed barn wood flooring is a rising wave in the flooring industry. Not only does it offer an authentic, rustic touch to your space, but it also drives the green initiative to recycle and repurpose.
Before massive deforestation began, forests were overgrown with healthy, hundreds-of-years-old trees— most of which are extinct today. These old barn wood types tell stories. They’re rich in character from ages of patina that you can now uncover and retell in your own space.
The most obvious here is saving the trees. Instead of cutting more trees, there are plenty of old structures with perfectly good wood ready to be reclaimed and refinished for your home. Reclaimed wood also reduces landfill waste and the pollution that comes along with burning it. Reduction in energy used to cut virgin trees.
Authentic vs. Mass-produced
- Older reclaimed barn wood flooring is often made up of wide planks that allow for versatility. Believe it or not, due to its long time curing process, reclaimed barn wood can be more stable and resistant.
- No two planks of reclaimed wood flooring are alike. Each is original and holds a lifetime of character.
- Everyday hardwood stores have reclaimed “styled” wood, though, they often lack character.
Reclaimed wood is most commonly found in retired mills, abandoned lodges, or of course, standing barns. These buildings typically range in age from the early 1800s to the mid-1900s. If you have the time and you’re searching for a distinct aesthetic, you can always hunt these buildings down yourself. You’ll need to do your research before you set out to locations, though. Things to find out beforehand:
- If there’s an owner
- If it’s been well maintained
- Local weather
- If the roof is intact. The roof’s condition will be an indicator of possible rot. If you do find barn wood you’d like to reclaim, the next step is finding a professional crew to dismantle the structure. Otherwise, visit salvage and lumberyards for some great finds.
Now, there is more to reclaiming wood than just declaring it as your own. Whether you’ve found barn wood on your own or bought it, you’ll want to make sure it’s inspected and cleaned. After it’s been cleaned, you’ll want to get it prepped for installation. This is where you’ll look for cracks, metal pieces, rotten wood, and infestation. The point of this is to ensure stability in your flooring. Once you’re clear of that, it’s off to the machine to be measured and cut for installation.