Step into sleek new country barn conversions or stunning city loft apartments and you may find yourself wowed by a reclaimed oak floor. Reclaimed oak is not as common as reclaimed pine but, when laid well in a large or small space, it can look absolutely breath-taking.
Style with Reclaimed Oak
Oak, which comes in many different varieties, has an intrinsic beauty. Its deep honey colour brings warmth to a room and its smooth surface and beautiful grain can add style and depth to an interior design.
Reclaimed oak can look marvellous in the most modern of spaces, its solidity and character contrasting fantastically with the clean, modern lines of contemporary architecture, furniture and style. When used beside glass or metal, for example, the different textures serve to set each other off.
Yet the centuries old beauty of reclaimed oak will also look amazing in older properties. Here the heavy, rustic qualities of the wood will serve to highlight period features and to complement other exposed timberwork in a property, as well as brick or flint.
Looking for Reclaimed Oak
Reclaimed oak flooring can come from a variety of sources. Try the many dealers and specialists in floors. They may well have stock that has been taken out of a larger, old building or perhaps re-engineered from bigger pieces.
Sometimes these will have come from interesting old buildings such as former schools, stations, warehouses or churches.
Occasionally you may find an Oak Floor that has been taken out of another private property and has been given a facelift by the dealer and is ready to be laid again.
Also try builders’ yards, reclamation centres, newspaper and online advertisements. Reclaimed oak is harder to find than Pine but not impossible.
What to Look For
Before you agree to buy reclaimed oak, remember to check how much is available, the size of the boards and the condition.
Think about how the floor is to be laid – and where – as well as the look you desire. You need to be sure you have enough from the same batch to floor an entire area of your home.
You also need to think about the thickness required to give you a solid and safe floor. Board width must also be a consideration. Don’t forget that all wooden flooring comes in boards of different widths.
Consider how you want your room to be when its finished, and whether these reclaimed oak boards can help you achieve that look.
Checking quality involves making sure the oak boards are not split or damaged in any way. They may well have knots in or distinct grain but this will just give your floor character. What you need to avoid is any damage that will simply worsen under foot over time.
Get the Best from your Reclaimed Oak
Your reclaimed oak floor may well need Sanding and finishing once laid. Although not a pleasant job, this will guarantee the results you are looking for. Try a varnish on the boards or go for a wax or oil to achieve a soft, mellow look and to bring out the best in your oak.