The purpose of this post is to describe how refined classic reclaimed floors differ from more rustic character reclaimed.

If you’re considering  antique white oak or antique heart pine, you likely already know it comes with a premium.
And that  premium is all about grain.
Grain is the the hallmark of  a Classic Wood floor.

Surface Styles & Saw Cuts

“A work of enduring excellence”

That’s how Webster’s defines “Classic.”
A Classic doesn’t grow old.  It’s quality is understood.

But what does that refer to when you’re buying a classic wood floor that’s reclaimed and why is it important?

  • The quality of the wood and perhaps the species
  • The way wood’s been planed or saw cut
  • The way it’s surface looks
  • The good vibrations a classic wood floor that’s reclaimed creates in a room.

Classic Wood Quality

  • Old growth wood has a quality not found in newer wood.

    If it’s Classic, it may be virgin growth or subsequent  “2nd growth” reclaimed wood that was likely first harvested 100 years ago or more.

    Classic wood grew slowly for many generations before its first cut.
    It developed a complex grain and a deep rich color.
    That’s what makes it special and Classic today.

  •  Stability.Before it’s turned into flooring, antique or reclaimed wood has spent decades under cover  in buildings, factories, barns and homes.
    That’s  actually made it durable and strong.
    That durability makes it Classic.
  •  Origin of the Species.The quality of  a wood floor has a lot to do with it’s species.
    American Hardwoods that include Heart Pine & Oak, are prized now more than ever.  Their contribution to quality construction is irrefutable.

    In new construction as well as renovations, old wood species are easily recognized and extend their credibility which underscores the perceived value of a classic wood floor.

Classic Wood Saw Cuts, or
“You can’t sew a silk purse from a sow’s ear”

Two of the most recognizable classic wood saw cuts:

  • Quarter-Sawn Oak
     rays of quarter sawn red oak- along with powder post beetles holes

    The “rays” in this Quarter-Sawn Antique Red Oak are hallmarks of a classic wood floor, here shown with powder post beetle holes


  • Vertical Grain Heart Pine
antique heart pine vertical grain

“A Classic Wood Floor” – The tight vertical lines of Antique Vertical Grain Heart Pine

With quarter-sawn oak, there’s a way of planing old boards that sawyer’s understand that brings out “rays” only found in oak.

For vertical grain heart pine, a sawyer’s opportunity is to reveal the tight straight grains or lines that look like pin stripes.

But if those rays of oak or tight straight grains of pine aren’t in the wood to begin with, no sawyer skill can put them there.

And since the way it’s ultimately sawn will highlight the boards inner grain rather than outer patina, careful advance selection is required to assure each board has what it takes.

Fun Facts:

  • A prime grade Classic wood floor is more likely to be antique wood rather than reclaimed wood.
  • Quarter-sawn and Vertical grain saw cuts provide lower yields, so more wood is required to produce these prime grades.
  • Classic wood floors are sawn to highlight their inner grain rather than any outer natural patina.
  • An Antique Heart Pine timber can provide up to (3) unique grain patterns, depending on the quality of the timber and the skill of the sawyer.

Classic Wood Surfaces

Age and wear of old wood boards develops an outer skin or patina.
When the outside skins are sheared away,
old growth wood grains may emerge, smooth planed and distinctive. depending on the saw cuts and a desired yield.

Common surface features of a classic wood floor:

  • A smooth planed reclaimed wood grain
  •  Deep rich natural color even before finishing oils or stains are applied
  • Minimal nail holes or distress marks that may add character
  • Highest surface grades of all without that would be considered “clear”.

Vibrations make classic wood floors awesome

Good wood creates good vibes in our rooms, reclaimed wood or not.

But reclaimed wood has a resonance that’s been humming along for years.

Like live plants or nature, that improve our sense of well being, such is the same when you live with a reclaimed wood floor.
No solid science here, just experience.

And while much about classic wood floors isn’t found in newer wood,  descriptions represent a standard of quality available in reclaimed wood floors in general.

Carolina Classic wood floors by Whole Log Lumber specifically,  have been hand-selected for their timeless classic features and are guaranteed to meet or exceed grade standards described.