Reclaimed wood flooring: a buyer's guide

Reclaimed wood flooring: what to know

Bring a sense of history and grandeur to your home with eco-friendly reclaimed wood flooring

By Andrea Manley |

Investing in a wood flooring that has been used before not only has sound eco credentials, it comes with a sense of the past that will bring unique character to your home. If you’re considering reclaimed wood flooring for your next project, read this guide to some of the options available.

Vintage timber

It’s possible to find old wood floors in black, strip or solid board formats. Aged timber comes with a patina that is difficult to replicate and is an environmentally sound choice.

‘Choosing reclaimed wood helps to preserve forests by decreasing the demand for fresh timber and reduces the environmental impact associated with producing new flooring,’ says Robert Walsh, founder of Woodworks by Ted Todd.

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Photo: Ted Todd

Parquet floors

Made up of small wooden blocks that can be arranged in any number of different intricate patterns, parquet represents a long tradition of craftsmanship and design.

The complexity of laying parquet calls for someone who is confident working with this floor type. The underside of the blocks may be covered in bitumen, which will need to be removed, and the floor will require sanding once fitted to create a smooth and completely level surface.

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Photo: Havwoods

Engineered boards

Reclaimed wood flooring can also be made with timber salvaged from beams and architectural features. This is used to form engineered boards, which have a top layer of reclaimed wood on top of a new multi-layered softwood/plywood base.

‘Bonding beautifully aged timber to an engineered backing board enhances its stability and sturdiness,’ says Roger Hemmings from Havwoods.

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Photo: Ted Todd

Rough or ready reclaimed wood

You’ll need to decide whether you’d rather pay a premium for salvaged timber that’s been cleaned and restored or would prefer to source untouched wood from a reclamation yard.

The latter will be cheaper but will require work to bring it up to scratch. ‘See a sample first and buy from a reputable dealer who can confirm provenance and adheres to the Salvo Code,’ says Nick Newman, Managing Director at Lassco Ropewalk.

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Photo: The Reclaimed Flooring Co.