Reclaimed hardwood flooring has been gaining in popularity over the years.  Whether used to create a specific ambience in a newer home or being sourced to match the feel of a period property, reclaimed flooring provides a look and durability that’s difficult to find in newly harvested wood.  If you’re wondering how to choose the best reclaimed flooring, we’ve put together a guide to help you out.

Ensure It’s Been Properly Dried

Any wood that has traces of damp and moisture will lead to problems when used as a flooring material.  Damp wood can eventually lead to cracking, warping and shrinking as it dries.  It can also lead to insect infestation in certain environments.  Most reclaimed flooring sellers will ensure any wood is properly dried before it’s sold, but if you’re sourcing your own, this is something to keep in mind.

Ensure It’s Stable

Reclaimed wood is often sought after because of its stability.  Old growth trees typically have much tighter growth rings and have been through a wide variety of temperature changes which leads to greater strength, hardness and stability.  However, you should still ensure that the reclaimed flooring you’re considering is stable and doesn’t exhibit soft spots, mold growth or signs of insect infestation.  

Know Its Provenance

Just because a flooring material has been reclaimed doesn’t mean that it will be ideal for use.   Knowing where the wood came from can play an important role in where, how and if you choose to use it.  Reclaimed flooring that’s been sourced from a chemically contaminated site would hardly be considered ideal for a bedroom or child’s playroom.  Similarly, reclaimed flooring from certain regions may introduce insects that aren’t native to your area.  Knowing the provenance of any potential reclaimed flooring can prevent unwanted surprises.

Match The Material With Its Use

Not all reclaimed flooring is suited for every type of household use.  Installing well-worn reclaimed flooring in an area with heavy foot traffic might lead to problems in the near future.  You should also have an idea of the qualities of the flooring compared with where it’s being used.  A flooring material that looks great, but is difficult to keep clean may not be ideal in certain areas of your house.  Make sure to choose reclaimed flooring based upon its end use.