The best hardwood floors today are sustainable and have non-toxic finishes. But finding them can be tricky business.
- They aren’t the cheapest
- They’re likely not in a box, waiting to be shipped somewhere or picked up by you right away
- And they certainly don’t have common surface finishes that can poison if swallowed, or burn your skin and smell unfriendly.
The Best Hardwood Floors start with The Best Wood
Whether that best wood for floors is “old” (like antique or reclaimed wood)
or “new” (such as FSC certified wood), there are fundamentals that all conscious buyers should consider
when preparing for a hardwood floor purchases.
*The wood species”
* the milling pattern
* and the surface finish.
Healthy non toxic finishes are becoming widely available for in place finishing,
but with pre-finished floors, if this is not specified, they probably are not.
Antique or Reclaimed Hardwood Floors
Are known as a premium floor material because of
- Their strength and durability.
They’re very stable, they won’t shrink or swell easily, and they’ve matured over many years and cured slowly.
- Antique or reclaimed wood has a unique beauty & appearance not found in newer wood species, based on grain pattern and the natural color.
- There’s history or a story associated with it.
It’s generally served one lifetime of useful purpose already.
- It adds value to your home or business.
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) “certified” wood indicates that trees have been intentionally planted and ultimately harvested to become wood flooring. Grain patterns are generally not complex and natural color can be weak.
- It’s the best hardwood floor choice if price is a primary consideration.
- It insures responsible forest management.
- It’s a respected designation with established high standards.
Finding The Best Hardwood Floor Supplier
FSC wood floors aren’t generally sold by liquidators or big box retailers, but through independent floor companies.
Suppliers of Antique and Reclaimed Flooring are of a smaller supply and will guarantee the authenticity of these floors.
The general term reclaimed flooring can refer to any flooring comprised of wood that’s been used before that suppliers may sell as reclaimed flooring though it less than 10, 20 or 30 years old. And some suppliers might call wood “antique,” simply based on its look, if it includes character marks purposely etched into the wood to make it look weathered or “old.”
Choosing an experienced supplier that understands the uniqueness of antique and reclaimed wood will always be the best choice over salvage and recycled dealers.