Why Heartwood Flooring is So Treasured
What is Heartwood?
Heartwood is the inner center of a hardwood tree, regardless of its species.
It’s the beating heart within the inner tree that grows and enlarges and is eventually surrounded by the outer swells of the ever-expanding wood bark.
Heartwood starts out as sapwood, but as trees grow older and trunks wider, the sapwood cells closest to the center of the tree die and become the heartwood. Heartwood becomes the innermost layer of a tree but no longer a component of the living tree.
An old tree has much more heartwood than a young tree and heartwood is decay-resistant and typically darker in color. The deep coloration and denser disposition is what makes any species of heartwood flooring appreciated and prized.
Why Choose Heartwood Flooring?
Reclaimed wood just naturally has more heartwood content – which is great for flooring of many wood species.
Customers fall in love with the natural, rustic look of heartwood flooring, with its deeper browns, reds, greys and amber, which can lean to reddish brown or deep gold also. Once customers experience the true hardness and strength that's inherent in heartwood flooring, it's appreciated for that as well.
But the extent of hardness is actually contingent on the species of the tree. Antique heart pine is known to equal or rival the hardness of Red Oak. And based on its resistance to decay from insect damage and underwater conditions, some customers invest in heartwood heart pine flooring for these extra attributes to its history and value. Some suggest it might even improve interior air quality.
Not All Heartwood is Created Equal
Not all heartwood flooring is the same. Sellers of wood or wood flooring may use the pine names they feel will help sell their products. For example, a seller might use Antique Yellow Pine, or simply Heart Pine, to market its flooring. What you don’t know is that the heart pine may be “new.”
All of our heartwood flooring is at least 200 years old and comes from reclaimed wood that’s rescued from old structures. True heartwood is truly antique, with strength and character that lasts for generations.
Antique Heart Pine is the Poster Child for Heartwood Flooring
Antique Heart Pine that’s so popular today comes from the Longleaf Pine which largely grew all over the Southeast and was a very slow growing tree. It’s the wood that all look to when talking about heartwood flooring.
By about 1910, Longleaf Pines were all but entirely gone due to over-harvesting. But the beauty and character of first-generation Longleaf Pines from the virgin American forest lives on and its heartwood celebrated by way of our Heart Pine Carolina Classic heartwood flooring.
Since heartwood was located at the center of the tree when it was harvested, the quantity of it depends on the overall size of the tree and the percentage of heartwood within. Additionally, the way that it is sawn creates different effects in the grain pattern and, consequently, the amount of heartwood available.
Whole Log Reclaimed offers a choice of heartwood contents in our Heart Pine Carolina Classic flooring that’s available in varying amounts in 3 distinct grains.