01 Aug. 1994|
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Our reclaimed barn wood floors are one of my favorite things about our house, they are the feature of our house that get the most compliments (people honestly think we’ve refinished the original wood floors), and they are surprisingly the aspect of our home I get the MOST questions on from blog readers and random internet browsers. I first had the idea of using old reclaimed barn wood floors in our farmhouse about 3 years ago — and it should be no surprise to many of you that I found our floors on Craigslist of all places!
I started emailing back and forth with the owner’s wife, and decided to make the 2-hour drive to their home and workshop to take a look at the wood.
Their wood mill is about 20 feet from their house and EVERYTHING they do is right there on their own property — it’s pretty amazing!
Even if the wood comes from the same barn, there will almost certainly be significant variations in color, grain, etc.
And for those of you wondering, pine flooring IS softer than oak, elm, or maple, but yellow pine is significantly stronger than white pine, and I really REALLY love the look of pine (not necessarily knotty pine, just regular pine). Creation Woodworks delivered all the flooring and helped us bring it inside (it needs to acclimate to your home’s condition for at least 2-3 weeks before you can install it). My dad was the one who installed it all — and he just used a regular flooring gun to nail the boards down. After the flooring was fully installed, we did a rough sanding over the entire floor with a pole sander. I honestly thought we would go with something A LOT darker, but when we tested out different stains on various pieces of our flooring, the Special Walnut is the one we both liked the most.
We basically covered our entire main floor with the reclaimed wood (minus the living room). We currently have a pile of extra wood sitting in our outbuilding waiting for whenever we’re ready to do the front entryway and the future mudroom (hopefully this spring or summer).
Also, depending on what type of wood you want, you might be able to get a really great deal. Since there are so many flaws, imperfections, and color variations in the flooring, it’s really hard to tell when the floors are dirty (another bonus!) I actually spend WAY WAY WAY less time cleaning these floors than I did with our super shiny laminate wood floors in our other house. There are lots and lots of imperfections, nail holes, worm holes, gouges, knots, and other markings ALL over the wood (see photo below). Also, since we chose yellow pine (instead of a harder wood) our floors do scratch and dent easier. We love our reclaimed barn wood floors and would totally recommend them to anyone who is interested. Also, even if I did find that information, it was 4 years ago when we first purchased so I’m assuming their prices have gone up since then due to the popularity of the product and general inflation. Your best bet would just be to contact them directly for the price on the type of wood you want for your project. You ought to additionally consider whether you need to introduce multi-layered or single-layered hardwood flooring.
And even if you aren’t interested in wood floors, the story of how we found our flooring is pretty neat (and the pictures are breath-taking) so it’s probably worth the read! I have nothing against laminate wood (we put it in our first house) but there was just no place for laminate in our 120 year old house. I had never really heard of that concept before, but it sounded really neat, and I loved the idea of putting 120 year old flooring in our 120 year old house. It is kiln dried and planed to show the great character of the wood — along with the worm trails, nail holes and weathering cracks that add to the beauty (at least in my opinion).
We actually paid an extra $0.25 per square foot to have Creation Woodworks do the majority of the sanding (totally worth it by the way) but we still needed to do a bit more finish sanding.
The first time I visited Creation Woodworks, told them I would like yellow pine, and told them how much we needed, they looked at me like I was a ghost. In fact, we’ve found that buying this wood and then installing and finishing it ourself was cheaper than buying quality carpeting and paying for installation.
I know it was a hugely labor-intensive process to get the barnwood ready to lay as flooring. If you already have the appropriate subfloor, you will need less thickness for the wood floor. In addition to it, unfinished and pre-finished wood floor require different steps on installation. We have felt pads on the bottom of ALL our furniture and they have really helped to protect our flooring. If you do not have any sub floor, you need to install it and buy different thickness for the wood floor as well. Prefinished deck has a polyurethane covering and you should do nothing more than to purchase and introduce it in your home and the undertaking will be finished.