This Indian Red Oak from our Reclamation Plank collection by Heritage Woodcraft is a perfect example of how old hardwoods can be given new life through the reclamation process.

Have you ever wondered what happens to things such as old wood buildings, crates, and old wood gym bleachers that are no longer used for their original purpose? As it turns out, the answer is that the wood is salvaged and then manufactured into what is known as reclaimed wood. As you continue reading, you’ll be informed on all of the facts on exactly what reclaimed wood is and how it is manufactured.

Beginning with its history, the reclaimed lumber industry gained momentum in the early 1980s on the West Coast when the large-scale reuse of softwoods began. Reclaimed wood is defined as wood that is no longer used for its original purpose and can be taken and recycled for new use. The salvaging process begins with reclaiming wood from a variety of sources, including shipping and crate materials, deconstructed buildings, old gym bleachers, and even wine casks. These sources of wood are typically made from more exotic wood species, such as Maple and Acacia because of their superior durability. Having this property makes these woods ideal to re-manufacture into hardwood flooring. To begin the salvaging process, these highest-quality timbers are dried and then stabilized through the use of a kiln. Once the lumber is dried, it is then milled to remove its old, rugged exterior. This is when the lumber’s true beauty starts to appear, as you can start to see the different hues and characteristics of the original wood.

The industry for reclaimed wood grew due to a growing concern for environmental impact of over-harvesting hardwoods in addition to the declining quality in new lumber. The salvaging process is considered Eco-conscious, being that whenever you purchase and/or use reclaimed wood, you’re giving old wood new life and are helping to preserve forests by bypassing virgin woods. The fact of the matter is that producing reclaimed wood flooring uses 13 times less cumulative energy than harvesting organic woods do. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that demolished buildings provide about 1 billion feet of usable lumber per year. So, if you were unsure about purchasing a hardwood floor because of the negative effects it has on the environment, fear not. Reclaimed wood floors are a renewable source of hardwoods that possess a vintage look and luster that has been molded over time.

Stop by your nearest simpleFLOORS location in order browse through our collections of reclaimed/salvaged hardwood floors. These floors are found in our Reclamation Plank collection by Artisan Floors and feature premium grade wide-plank flooring in a variety of colors and exotic hardwoods. If you do not live near a simpleFLOORS location, then give one our personal flooring consultants a call at 880-220-7112 and ask for free samples.