Wood floors are one of the most iconic and popular materials for use in both residential and commercial spaces. Wood has a depth and warmth that is unique to the material; it can’t be replicated with laminate, vinyl, or tile flooring meant to look like wood.
One of the best things about wood flooring is its longevity. When properly cared for, a wood floor can last for decades, and only grow more beautiful with age and time. Old wood floors have a luster and patina that comes with age. This patina is part of what gives the wood is depth and charm, and is one of the reasons that many people will get excited upon discovering that a home has old wood flooring.
New cut wood floors are also beautiful, but they take time to develop the wear patterns, color, and beauty of an older floor. That’s one of the many reasons that homeowners wanting to install wood and get that charm and style immediately often turn to reclaimed wood flooring.
What Is Reclaimed Wood Flooring?
Reclaimed wood flooring is made up of wood taken from old, abandoned, and condemned buildings dating back to before the 1930s. The buildings may be barns, outbuildings, or rural structures, many of which were made of old growth wood - some species of which are no longer available today.
The wood taken from these buildings may have been beams, siding, flooring, or structural. It’s cleaned, denailed, milled, and formed into wood planks for flooring. The wood often has a patina, nail holes, saw marks, and other signs of age and wear, which adds to the floors’ charms.
Reclaimed wood floors have decades of use left in them, and perform similarly to new cut wood floors. The biggest difference is in the style and appearance of the wood. Old wood floors often have a more rustic appearance as well as an aged finish that new cut floors take years to develop.
Using Old Wood Flooring
Old wood floors work in many of the same styles and architectural designs as new cut wood floors. They simply have added depth, character, and history that can bring additional interest and style to a room. They may be rustic or more transitional in style, and can be found in different widths, finishes, and wood species. You may use a single origin wood or a blend of different woods for even more interest.
Old wood floors work well in many different areas. Check out these 7 design ideas to be inspired as to how you can use them in your next project.
This rustic home makes great use of a reclaimed wood floor. The original saw marks still present in the planks help it blend in better with the rest of the space. At the same time, the floor helps set the tone and the overall style of the room; the furnishings and other design elements complement the floor, while the wood is the main focus of the room.
The visible knot holes and other character marks in this wood floor are the perfect backdrop to the store’s style. The finish of this old wood floor is left clear to let the grain and character of the wood show through and take center stage. The wear marks and knot holes therefore show up brightly, becoming part of the floor’s design.
Reclaimed and old wood floor don’t have to be rustic or informal in style. This rich wood floor is elegant and the perfect complement to this room’s design. The dark color complements the wood’s patina and lets the grain show up, while at the same time, the finish contrasts the light colored stone in the room, creating a deeper, more dramatic design.
Some of the benefits of using an old wood floor include not only getting to use old woods like elm, which are no longer available, but also being able to use a wider plank. Many newer floors have a narrow plank, but old wood floors are best shown off with plenty of room for their grain and character to show through. Therefore, using a wider plank floor can help you gain even more character and dimension for a room.
Another way to get some additional character and appeal in your floor is to mix the differently sized planks together. By piecing together different widths, it gives the floor more interest and movement. This in turn shows off the character of the wood, including its color, patina, and wear marks to perfection.
Old wood floors are given the same treatment and care as new cut wood floors. This means they’re available in a range of finishes, as well as widths and wood species. This richly colored antique wood floor shows many of its wear marks, but has a subtle finish that lets those marks and the grain blend in.
If you love color and character in your floors, it’s possible to purchase antique wood floors that feature a blend of wood tones and colors. This adds exceptional depth to the floor and interest to the room. It also allows the floor to complement a wider range of decor, from rustic to formal.
Invest in an Old Wood Floor
Old wood floors offer far more character and interest than new cut wood, but have all the beauty, warmth, and durability as well. If you love the look of old wood flooring, consider investing in a reclaimed or antique wood floor to capture these looks and benefits for yourself.