“Need-to-know” Knowledge about Antique Hardwood Flooring …
That you get to consider to make a wise purchasing choice.
You likely know antique hardwood floors top the reclaimed floor pyramid.
They’re natural, earth-friendly, and stunning. Since they’ve continued to age for 100 years+ (since first cut),
their gorgeous surface patinas have deepened.
What may have once been considered flaws have likely evolved into character marks with depth and color unlike younger reclaimed wood products.
Be Aware and Know Your Wood
There can be a difference between “reclaimed” and “antique” hardwood flooring.
If best quality is in your sites and your pretty certain that choosing reclaimed or antique wood is a wise investment,
be certain that if you’re paying for “antique” you feel secure it’s been sourced from a knowledgeable, reliable supplier.
Reclaimed flooring may come from an older structure but that doesn’t mean it’s antique.
To be truly antique, wood must be deconstructed from old homes, barns, and buildings built before or shortly after 1900. This means it was harvested from old species trees then cut into large beams and timbers for the barns or buildings mentioned previously. And what are now being resawn into boards or beams of ever smaller dimensions.
Reclaimed wood can of course be” antique,” but reclaimed might also be considered any wood that’s been in a previous structure that could’ve been built between 1930-1970. If that the case, the wood might not be 1st growth or old growth (antique), but from 2nd or 3rd growth trees that starting growing & taking off when the original virgin forest had being cut down. There’s still some of these widest boards around but they’re becoming more dear. Whole Log Lumber does not specialize in what’s widely referred to as wide plank floors.
Find out the provenance of the wood you’re looking at if you can, to ensure that wise investment, and know that not all old wood is created equal and values are definitely relative.
Work with a reclaimed wood team that has experience and a reputation for great customer service.
A supplier that provides clear, transparent communication and documentation.
That would be us!
Why Heart Pine put Antique Hardwood Flooring on the Map
Is Heart Pine a Hardwood? You bet.
It’s also the wood species that got all the attention when old textile mills started coming down in the 1970’s, just before antique and reclaimed wood started gaining popularity.
Antique hardwood flooring made with heart pine is a very popular reclaimed wood to work with because of
the range of its visual grain appearances, the sheer quantity of it once available, and it’s place in America’s history.
And it’s unquestionably as strong and durable as Red Oak, which is accepted to be the strongest of the strongest species of Oak.
What’s the most important difference between “antique heart pine” and simply “heart pine” you may ask?
The answer has to do with its many years of slowly aging when it grew both wide and tall before harvest and the “DNA” of the species.
True antique hardwood flooring made of heart pine is identified as Pinus Palustris, one of three long leaf, southern yellow pines. But of these (3) long leaf yellow pines, only (1) Pinus Palustris, is authentic Heart Pine.
Younger versions of this pinus variety grow today, but the heartwood is scant and immature. It took many slow years of growth for Heart Pine heartwood to attain the quality its reputation rests on today. The like of which will not be seen again.
That legendary Heart Pine was a tree that was part of the 300 to 500 year old virgin growth forest.
Most had been clear-cut by 1900 by turn-of-the-century builders.
Heartwood from Heart Pine is found extensively in historically preserved locations.
The heartwood that resided in those giant old timbers is dense, impervious to bugs & rot and a deep red amber color.
Antique Oak Flooring – A Favorite then, A Favorite Now
When heart pine was being used to build factories and large buildings, Oak was the choice for the early homes built in America. White Oak, Red Oak, Chestnut Oak, and more. There are actually about 90 oak varieties that grow in the U.S. out of 900 varieties world wide. And while the Oak was one of the mighty trees in the virgin american forest, they didn’t grow as large and tall as heart pine, but were abundant and durable for barn beams and home floors.
While Oak floors were THE top choice in the past because of their availability, they’re still THE top choice as reclaimed & antique floors today, because of their beauty and durability.
Hardwoods and their Many Cousins
Besides Heart Pine and Oak, there are many other wood species that make beautiful antique hardwood flooring.
Ash, Chestnut, Hickory and Maple are some of the most familiar. Often a variety of trees of similar size were processed indiscriminately together while being transformed into beams and timbers for new construction. Unless there was specific reason to separate them otherwise.
Today it is not unusual to find a variety of wood species of similar size coming out of the same barn or building, having stood side by side for decades, if not a century.
In keeping with those accidental assemblies, Whole Log Lumber unites some fantastic hardwood cousins blends to create truly one-of-a-kind flooring creations in our Mixed Hardwoods collections.
Of course if your preference inclines to one of these single species other than heart pine or oak, we’ll be happy to accommodate your tastes as is possible and available.
Great Customer Service Is Part of our Price
Purchasing reclaimed and antique hardwood flooring is not something you generally undertake lightly, and you’ve likely more questions than you would with a new floor, so we strive to make it fun and easy for you.
There may be an extra step or two necessary than if buying brand new, and an difference in cost can likely be expected. But your satisfaction is important and providing top quality too, and we’re committed to on-time deliveries.
Whether an architect, builder, designer or home owner, our goal every day is to make sure our customers get the very best products and customer service from start to finish.
When you’ve got questions, we love to provide answers! Great customer service is part of our price!
How Much does Reclaimed Wood Cost?