Raw material for Antique Wood is not sustainable
Authentic antique wood as we know it, is not sustainable and quietly becoming less available.
We identify wood as antique if it was used in construction built 100 or more years ago. That includes factories that fueled the Industrial Revolution of the early 1900’s, as well as buildings and barns and homes from that time.
The trees themselves were usually 300-600 years old and massive when cut, to supply posts and beams that supported the roof and structure overall, before wide use of steel and cement.
Recycled and re-manufactured from old barns, buildings and factories set for deconstruction, this antique wood becomes flooring and satisfies the highest standards for wood floor beauty and quality.
But authentic antique flooring cannot long be widely manufactured, for it’s a diminishing natural resource that cannot be harvested again.
Antique Wood Flooring is now known as Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Looking ahead, antique & reclaimed wood suppliers have noted material availability and made subtle switches in product descriptions of antique flooring and antique lumber and beams, to the more generalized terms – reclaimed flooring and reclaimed lumber and beams.
And why is that? Raw material availability.
What’s was generally called Antique Flooring or Antique Lumber until recently, was from trees harvested no later than 1915, which we call Virgin Growth.
Original virgin growth trees had grown very large and for centuries very slowly. The dense integrity that those original timbers still maintain, continues to radiate through their cellulose structure today, and their presence creates a subtle but notable ambiance throughout a room.
Once the virgin growth in the original American forest canopy was gone, large 2nd and 3rd growth trees have more space then to grow and flourish, as part of the cycle of change. All totally predictable.
These 2nd and 3rd growth trees, which are sturdy but overall younger on the scene in producing growth rings
and smaller in producing wider board widths, were often harvested and cut in the 1930’s and later, and not qualified as antique wood or virgin growth.
The lumber from these trees was used in construction of many mid-century barns, buildings and additions to original factories that are part of what’s being deconstructed today.
That’s a good thing, but it isn’t antique wood – it’s reclaimed.
So why do you want Antique Flooring NOW?
Because the most dazzling of grain patterns and densest of heartwood (not sapwood), will ultimately be harder to find and more expensive to purchase in the future, especially if you’re a purest and grain-nazi.
These features are highlighted in our Carolina Classic smooth surface Style.
If it’s rustic with a rich patina you seek, in flooring or mantels or walls or beams, Carolina Character is the reclaimed style for you. A wise buyer understands the subtle difference.