Reclaimed wood is HOT right now. Whether it’s an old factory floor, wood from a crumbling barn, or ancient floorboards rescued from homes slated for demolition, people can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. And I think that is GREAT! Not only does it save precious resources to re-use these materials, it also gives interior spaces more character than they could possibly get from some glossy, mass produced product straight off the shelves of the local mega-building store.
But what if even barn wood doesn’t have enough quirkiness for you? What if you want to have something nobody you know has yet? Well, maybe you should look into one of these unusual reclaimed wood floors:
1. Wine Barrels – Created out of salvaged wine barrels, this flooring still bears all the stamps and other markings from its previous life. Now you can eat off the floor and read off it too!
2. Train Trestle – There was once a gigantic train trestle (bridge) that spanned across Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Rendered obsolete by the construction of a solid fill causeway in the 1960’s, the wood sat dormant for years. Recently, a salvage operation began rescuing the tens of millions of board feet of Douglas Fir, much of it given a unique look due to “pickling” for almost 100 years in the briny water. I love the gray streaks in the flooring above. Here’s a little video that will give you a good idea of how enormous the trestle was:
3. Packing Crates – All over the world, goods are moved from place to place packed in wooden crates. Often these crates are enormous, and constructed especially for the particular item contained within. Therefore, they have a limited lifespan as crates, but they can be reclaimed into beautiful wood floors like the one above!
4. Pallets – Wooden pallets are another product of the global economy and its love for transporting goods from there to here. For an experimental space in Brussels, the Rotor design group used shipping pallets from a neighboring business to create a temporary wood floor. Wonder if it’s still there?
5. Snow Fence – In the wide open spaces of Wyoming, snow is a big problem. As soon as you clear a highway, the snow just blows right back onto it from the adjacent fields and meadows. The only way to keep the snow at bay is to literally fence it in. Hence the term “snow fence”. After several years of taming snow, the fences start to come apart, and the boards are reclaimed into wonderfully weathered flooring and other products.
Have you seen an unusual source for reclaimed wooden floors? We’d love to hear about it, so feel free to add it to the list in the comments below!