Reclaimed wood has become a very popular trend for flooring, cabinetry, and much more. In the world of reclaimed wood, barn wood is something of a holy grail. Barnwood is the gold standard. That’s because barns were typically made of old-growth hardwood and exposed to the elements for years. That exposure to the elements led to incredible amounts of weathering. Since they’re made from old-growth wood, and oftentimes heartwood, they are dense and durable. The weathering makes barn wood unique. Furthermore, the exposure to the elements led to the wood drying out and maturing.
There are two basic kinds of barn wood flooring. The flooring can be the actual floor of the barn, or it can be the siding from the barn repurposed into flooring. Some barns had partial or complete floors made of hardwood. Most of them have dirt floors, though. The reclaimed barn wood comes from the siding and the roof. Typically, this wood is too thick for flooring use. It will be sawn in half by thickness to make great planks. Typically, barn wood that’s retrieved in this manner is used for wide plank flooring.
Wide Plank Flooring
Wide planks are generally categorized as any wood planks that are six inches or wider. They’re very common in old homes, barns, and cabins. That’s because the wood needed to be milled by hand. Therefore, the millers would do as little work as possible. They would cut the wood as wide as the tree trunk from which it was sourced. If you’ve been in an antique home, you’ve likely seen the wide plank flooring without even realizing that’s what you were looking at. It’s a subtle difference that makes for a very distinct flooring style.
The wide planks used in old homes are often varied in width and length planks. As the name suggests, these are planks that are made in different widths and differing lengths. They’re very authentic to antique homes because woo was limited. The old crafters could not always choose wood for its uniformity. That led to planks of different lengths and widths; they might have even been planks of differing thicknesses.
Barns were built in the same manner. If you’re looking for reclaimed wood for your hardwood flooring, I should seriously consider barn wood. If you see a floor made from barn wood, you should consider it to be a higher quality floor.