Replacing The Wood Floor In Your Home? Consider Secondhand Timber And Save A Tree Or Two

Whether you're installing your own floor or contracting the work out, using secondhand wood makes sense. Not only does it help the environment, you end up with a floor that is delightfully pleasing to the eye. Here are some of the basics about secondhand timber floors and a few of the wood types you may be lucky enough to find.

Where Does Secondhand Timber Come From?

Most of the secondhand timber used for flooring comes from existing homes, churches, schools and commercial structures. Secondhand wood recyclers pull up the old floors, take out all the nails, inspect the wood and then prepare it for sale. The wood can be sold as is or, in some cases, you can request sanding and/or staining. Many firms offer installation, or they can refer you to a contractor if need be.

Types Of Floors Made From Secondhand Wood

Two types of floors are typically made of second hand wood.

Strip Flooring

Recycled strip flooring, or plank flooring, is the most common. Wood used in older properties, such as Victorians and Queenslanders, tends to age well. It actually develops a patina that shows off the grains. When it is installed in your home as strip flooring, it adds a vintage warmth and style to your décor.

Parquet Flooring

Parquet flooring is made up of patterned wooden tiles. With secondhand wood you can sometimes use individual wood blocks to create your patterns. You may also find the more typical tiles made of hardwood veneers over plywood or another substrate. Either way, parquet floors allow recyclers to salvage secondhand wood that isn't large enough to use as strip flooring. One advantage is that parquet floors can usually be installed over your exiting flooring. They are secured using a special adhesive.

Three Types Of Recycled Native Australian Hardwoods You Might Find

Some of Australia's most popular hardwoods are found in secondhand floor shops.

Jarrah (Eucalyptus Marginate)

This rich, reddish-hued wood is a native of Western Australia. Jarrah darkens as it ages, so secondhand floor wood is often the colour of mahogany. The grain has a distinctive wavy grain pattern. In the wild, these trees reach 40 metres and can have trunks that are 2 metres wide.

Spotted Gum (Corymbia Citriodora)

Spotted gum is such a popular wood in Australia that the country has started creating plantations in any area that gets more than 600 millimetres of rain per year. Found along the east coast, ranging from Victoria up to Queensland, spotted gums can grow to be 45 metres tall and have a trunk measuring up to 1.3 metres. The name refers to the bark, not the wood itself. The bark is dark and tends to fall off in strips, leaving the tan sapwood exposed. The result is a "spotted" tree. The hardwood used for floors is a light to medium brown, sometimes with a hint of red. The grain is fine and even.

Blackbutt (Eucalyptus Pilularis)

Blackbutt is another east coast tree, found from New South Wales up to Maryborough in Queensland. Growing up to 60 metres tall, they have trunks that measure up to 2 metres wide. Fresh cut wood is a light tan, sometimes with pinkish tones. Exposure to sun causes the wood to darken, which emphasises the intricate, almost lacy grain pattern. Second hand wood is almost always of the darker variety. This is another tree that is so popular that plantations are being established wherever rainfall amounts average at least 800 millimetres per year.

For more information, contact a company that specialises in secondhand wood like Just Old Flooring.