October 18, 2009

Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring - A Green Piece of History

Perhaps no other antique adds the graceful patina of age to a new construction residence more impactfully than reclaimed wood flooring, all while sparing our forests.

All photos courtesy of Longleaf Lumber

Your home can showcase a piece of history, with flooring made of beams, siding and other building materials salvaged from nearby old barns, factories and public buildings. Or you could choose centuries-old birch, recovered from the chilly depths of Maine waterways used to transport logs to the sawmill.

Antique wood was typically harvested after the trees had matured over a span of hundreds of years. Old growth wood is highly desirable due to its strength, and the tightness, density and clarity of its grain.

Antique Pumpkin Pine Flooring runs throughout a private residence.

  • All the attributes of "old growth" wood without harming the few remaining old growth forests
  • Recycling salvageable materials prevents them from heading to the landfill
  • More dimensionally stable than new growth, which minimizes expansion and contraction as temperatures and humidity levels change... a real plus when installing over radiant heat.
  • Access to otherwise extinct or exotic species, such as American Chestnut - used commonly up until the population was all but killed off by blight in the first half of the 20th century - or Teak - a species now well protected by environmental stewardship.
Antique Heart Pine Floor in a Rustic grade runs
throughout a private residence in Nantucket, MA.

I am pleased to announce the addition of Longleaf Lumber, a local Cambridge company that specializes in antique lumber, to our sponsorship roster for THE CONCORD GREEN HOME. Their beautiful reclaimed flooring will grace the main living spaces of the residence's open space plan.

A BEST OF BOSTON HOME 2009 pick, Longleaf Lumber has a showroom in Cambridge, MA and a mill in Berwick, ME. Their primary business is the milling of antique flooring derived from salvaged Heart Pine beams and decking. They also carry antique Chestnut, Oak, White Pine, Maple, and other woods and products associated with antique buildings.

Reading through their list of antique wood sources is a fascinating walk through local history. Below is just a sampling.

Fore River Bridge

Bakers Chocolate Factory
Baker's Chocolate Factory

Tobacco Building, Hatfield MA

Danvers State Hospital. Photo by John Gray
Danvers State Hospital

Do you have a reclaimed, recycled or salvage story that you would like to share? We'd love to hear it. Just click on Comments below.

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