reclaimed oak flooring (17747)

This post will look at maple, Brazilian cherry and oak hardwoods that are available for reclaimed hardwood flooring and look at their relative merits in terms of appearance, price, hardness and availability.

Before the brief over view of hardwood flooring it is necessary to explain the phrase 'reclaimed hardwood flooring.' Reclaimed hardwood flooring is hardwood that has been abandoned, thrown out or lost and is re-used as flooring. Often reclaimed hardwood comes from old schools and hospitals that are due for demolition or renovation. If the hardwood in question came from an old floor it is often called 'antique hardwood flooring'.

Regardless of whether the hardwood came from a landfill site or an old building it is kiln dried and re-milled into flooring planks. This is reclaimed hardwood flooring.

Maple has a Janka Hardness Rating of 1,450 pounds force. It is a pale to light brown colour with a beautiful subtle grain. It is an ideal hardwood for high traffic and extreme pressure. That is why it is traditionally used for bowling alleys and basketball floors. It is easy to source reclaimed maple flooring. In the UK one dealer is selling planks for £8 /m2. In the States it is as little as $1.30/sq foot.

Brazilian Cherry is not in the same genus as cherry trees. It does, however, have a similar gorgeous red heartwood that makes it very popular for flooring. Brazilian Cherry is one of the hardest hardwoods with an extraordinary Janka Hardness Rating of 2,350 pounds force. This makes it a first choice for hardwood flooring. As a result a lot of illegal logging in the Amazon forest is caused by the search for Jatoba or Brazilian Cherry lumber. Needless to say if you want Brazilian Cherry flooring you should be environmentally friendly and only consider reclaimed Brazilian cherry flooring. It is available but obviously more expensive and less common than maple and oak.

Oak is a classic flooring material and has for centuries been valued because of its attractive grain and high strength. White oak has a Janka Hardness Rating of 1,360. It is a hardwood with a high tannin level which gives it natural protection against fungal infection. The cost of reclaimed oak flooring is somewhere in the region of $6 to $11/sq foot. Oak is indigenous to the States and Europe and it is comparatively easy to find reclaimed oak suitable for flooring. Oak has a rich light brown colour and develops a wonderful patina with time.

So to compare the three hardwoods described. Brazilian Cherry or Jatoba is the hardest and most expensive. The next hardest is maple which has a slightly higher Janka Hardness Rating than oak. Cherry has a distinctive red colour and oak has the finest patina. Maple is the cheapest and easiest to source and ideal for high traffic situations. All three hardwoods make fine reclaimed hardwood flooring planks that will add value to a house and character to a room. Buy these hardwoods as reclaimed wood to preserve the fragile health of the world's environment.