For those who know a little about wood flooring the term ‘old growth’ continues to cause controversy. The aim of supplying this information is to educate potential wood flooring customers so that they can make informed purchases.
The term old growth relates to well established forests where the trees have little interference until the time they are cut. There are two main opinions regarding the cutting of old growth trees, some believe that pruning selected trees is good for the forest while others disagree and think that the old growth forest is capable of maintaining itself through its natural processes.
The actual age that determines whether a tree is old growth varies according to the species but coincides with when the tree reaches maturity. For many of the hardwood species this age is 80 years, for a eastern white pine you would be looking at around 130 – 150 years.
Virgin growth is a term that refers to old growth that has never been cut, many of these virgin growth forests are currently protected but there are still large amounts of virgin forest being harvested for mass wood flooring production. Old growth flooring is beautiful but using reclaimed wood for your floor is much more environmentally responsible.
The terms used to describe wood can often be misleading reclaimed wood is often referred to as antique wood and before parting with any cash make sure you fully understand what you are buying. Some companies specialise in obtaining timber when a building is deconstructed and utilize beams, posts and floor joists. This process is unfortunately more expensive than a typical demolition where a wrecking ball or implosions are the methods implemented. This is obviously reflected in the price of reclaimed wood flooring as deconstruction which involves the painstaking dismantling of buildings components.
Using typical demolition techniques results in vast quantities of waste materials that cannot be reused and disposal of the waste bumps up costs, using this method is however much quicker and as in any industry time is money.
Once you have recovered from the initial shock of the cost involved there are some great positives to be enjoyed when purchasing reclaimed wood flooring. Once the reclaimed timber has undergone floor sanding a truly magnificent finish can be achieved. It is satisfying to know that your wooden floor was originally cut to build structures which have shaped our history. There are many sources from which to reclaim timber buildings, churches and barns amongst others.
A beautiful wooden floor constructed from reclaimed timber creates a fantastic feature to your home and will definitely give a new talking point to friends and family. In modern times we are becoming more and more aware of the limits of our resources and our responsibility to further generation to preserve our planet wherever possible.
Purchasing an expensive wood floor should not be decided lightly, there are many cheaper alternatives. If you do decide to purchase a quality reclaimed wood floor you will not be disappointed, the floor will last for many, many years and often become more beautiful with time.