What does it mean to be “authentic”? Here’s one answer: the word “authentic” comes from the Greek authentikos, meaning “original.” Maybe it’s that sense of originality – a link to something old and long gone – that makes reclaimed wood so fascinating.
Part of a design trend that has dominated coffee shops and hip downtown offices for years, reclaimed hardwood is finding its way into St. Petersburg homes because of its rugged beauty and connection to history. But what exactly is reclaimed wood, and how do you know if it’s right for your floors?
At Floor Coverings International of St. Petersburg, we want you to feel like an expert before you make big decisions for your home and your family. That’s why our design experts have assembled this rundown on reclaimed hardwood, just for you.
What Is Reclaimed Wood?
No, the pallet your friend found on the street and upcycled into a hanging shelf doesn’t technically count as reclaimed wood, though the idea of recycling and reuse are common to both. Reclaimed lumber typically originates in old American barns, warehouses, and factories. In fact, an entire wood-salvaging industry has emerged in order to save these historic resources and put them back to good use.
At this point, perhaps you’re wondering, “Why would someone want old wood when they could get something new?” Read on to find out.
Why Is Reclaimed Wood So Popular?
Get this: more than 3 trillion feet of wood have been harvested and produced since the early 20th century. That means there’s plenty to go around, and using reclaimed lumber reduces the need to disturb forest ecosystems with continuous logging.
Additionally, reclaimed lumber is often considered stronger because of the less polluted growing conditions for older trees. On top of that, reclaimed wood has had many years of exposure and acclimation to the sun and humidity, so it’s prized for its stability in any climate.
And of course, one of the biggest appeals of reclaimed wood is its connection to the past. Rather than being simply a material, reclaimed hardwood is tied to a specific history: the place, the building, and perhaps even the life of a specific family are preserved and renewed.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
We’re glad you asked! Yes, there are some other important things to keep in mind. First, you should be aware that if you want to do more research into reclaimed wood, people also call it “antique,” “upcycled,” and “recovered” lumber – but all of these refer to the same process of reusing wood that was originally part of another structure.
We also don’t recommend approaching reclaimed hardwood floors from a DIY perspective for one big reason: the spike in popularity of reclaimed materials has led to a limited supply, so some dishonest suppliers will claim that wood is much older than it is. But don’t worry: Floor Coverings International of St. Petersburg takes pride in working with reliable suppliers and outstanding materials in the greater St. Petersburg FL area. See the quality of our work for yourself by scheduling a free, in-home visit from our mobile showroom. Get started on your next hardwood flooring project today!
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- Then and Now: The Past 50 Years of Flooring
- Why We Love Hardwood Flooring
- 4 Tips for Maintaining Your Hardwood