Reclaimed Wood Flooring: Reusing Older Wood to Create Unique Flooring Designs

March 25, 2019


Hardwood flooring is one of the most iconic and popular flooring options 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 hardwood floors. And with a range of wood flooring types to choose from, any homeowner can find a flooring type to match their interior. 

One of the best things about wood flooring is its longevity. When properly cared for, a high quality wood floor can last for decades, and only grow more beautiful with age and time. Old barn wood floors have a luster and patina that comes with age. This patina is part of what gives the wood its depth and charm, and is one of the reasons that many people will get excited upon discovering that a home has old barn wood flooring.

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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 hardwood flooring 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 barn wood taken from these old barns and old buildings may have been beams, siding, flooring, or structural. It’s denaile, cleaned, kiln-dried, milled and resawn into plank wood 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 Reclaimed Wood Flooring

Old barn 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 barn 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.

rustic reclaimed wood flooring

1. Rustic Design

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.

reclaimed wood floor

2. Added Character

The visible knot holes and other character marks in this plank wood flooring are the perfect backdrop to the store’s style. The finish of this old hardwood floor is left clear to let the grain patterns 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.

elegant reclaimed wood design

3. Elegant Design

Reclaimed and old hardwood flooring doesn’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 patterns show up, while at the same time, the finish contrasts the light colored stone in the room, creating a deeper, more dramatic design.

wide plain reclaimed wood floors

4. Wide Plank Flooring

Some of the benefits of using an old hardwood 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 reclaimed wood floors are best shown off with plenty of room for their grain patterns and character to show through. Therefore, using a wide plank floor can help you gain even more character and dimension for a room.

reclaimed wood multi-size floor planks

5. Multi-Size Planks

Another way to get some additional character and appeal in your reclaimed wood 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 one-of-a-kind character of the wood, including its color, patina, and wear marks to perfection.

rich color reclaimed wood flooring

6. Rich Color

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 patterns blend in.

multi-color wood floor planks

7. Color Blend

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 Reclaimed Wood Flooring

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. At Elmwood Reclaimed Timber, we have a variety of reclaimed wood flooring selections to choose from, including heart pine, hickory, douglas fir, white oak, and more. If you have any questions about our product customizations or pricing options, contact our team of experts! We’re happy to help you plan for your next diy project or professional remodel. 

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