Making appearances in newly constructed or renovated buildings everywhere from a Mississauga based organic juice bar to a modern New York City loft home, reclaimed wood flooring might accurately be called one of the hottest trends in building design and renovation except for one point: The popularity of this environmentally conscious flooring choice is clearly here to stay. While the beauty of reclaimed wood flooring speaks for itself, the fact that it is so rich in appearance is only one reason it is being seen in high quality residential and commercial interior projects alike. So why choose genuine reclaimed wood flooring over virgin wood? Below are 5 reasons to choose reclaimed wood flooring for any building project.
1. Using reclaimed wood has a reduced impact on the environment. Every floor that is made using reclaimed wood decreases the demand for virgin wood from forests, helping to preserve forests rather than deplete them. In addition, the steps involved in felling, transporting and processing new wood has a huge environmental impact that is lessened every time a builder or property owner chooses reclaimed wood for a flooring project.
As a result, using reclaimed wood can often result in the accumulation of LEED points for a project. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which was developed by the United States Green Building Council, scores buildings by awarding points in five categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Levels of certification for a building are achieved based on the total number of points accumulated.
2. Easy on the conscience. Using reclaimed woods is often the only guilt-free way to make use of some exotic woods. Including rare woods or woods nearing extinction, such as reclaimed elm, in a building or renovation project that may otherwise be frowned upon or even outright prohibited.
3. The final result is more durable. Wood that has been reclaimed from old buildings has typically been cut originally from larger and slower growing trees, expanded and contracted many times over its lifespan and has endured more exposure to the elements . The result is durable wood that resists warping and has a denser more stable grain than virgin wood has. In fact, reclaimed wood can be as many as 40 points harder than virgin wood is on the Janka hardness scale as a result of its old-growth heritage.
4. Reclaimed wood adds interest unique beauty. Reclaimed timber enjoys character and depth that come from the fact that no two pieces are identical. This means that every piece of anything made from reclaimed wood has its own history and tells its own story. After all, when using reclaimed wood for flooring, each piece of lumber may enjoy its own unique heritage from sources as varied as schools, homes, crates, barns, railroads and even ships. This adds interest and extra appeal to any finished project.
5. Rare woods add value. In the case of many woods used in reclaimed wood flooring, the only way to obtain quantities large enough to complete a project is through reclamation. This is because the lower demand for the strong inexpensive building material in the past meant that many, if not most, buildings were made from wood. Using these now rare woods in large quantities for a flooring project today adds value all its own.