Want an Old,Worn Look in Your Hardwood Flooring? You Can Get the Real Thing.

Rod Lorenz

With its timeworn, antique look, distressed-looking hardwood flooring has a nostalgic character some homeowners find irresistible.

Some “distressed” hardwood is artificially made to look that way. It’s freshly cut and sawn, then put back outside to weather, or beaten with hammers, chains, or other such implements. There’s even “distressing machinery” the new wood can be run through to make it look aged and weathered.

But the hardwood used for this type of flooring doesn’t have to be artificially distressed. An increasingly popular option is using reclaimed wood salvaged from old barns (or other old buildings).

If renovation is too expensive, the owners of the barn must decide whether to demolish or dismantle it. Demolition can be costly, so dismantling (i.e., recycling) the barn is often the preferable option.

Dismantling preserves the materials the building was made of, and these materials can be sold to reclaimed-hardwood manufacturers, helping offset the costs. This dismantling process can be complicated, but more old-barn owners are opting for it, leading to a better selection of recycled hardwood for anyone looking for that rustic look.

Girl sitting at table on reclaimed floorReclaiming old hardwood consists of removing any metal (e.g., nails, screws) and drying the wood in a kiln to ensure stability and remove any pests. Then the wood is skimmed and cleaned up, with the addition of the tongue and groove.

Hickory, white oak, red oak, and maple are some of the species often reclaimed. If you want, you can mix species from room to room or match the distressed wood with kitchen cabinets and other furniture.

Using recycled hardwood is an excellent option if you want an aged, distressed look and have a design in mind that would make it shine. For the process to go smoothly, pick your hardwood company well. Visit our showroom to see what we can offer!

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