Very little enhances a home or office more than the installation of timber flooring. Though technically, timber flooring is wood flooring, it differs from ordinary wood flooring in one important way: a true timber floor is constructed using recycled or reclaimed wood boards. In many cases, this reclaimed wood was originally cut and milled to side a barn, a house, a shed, or other utilitarian structure.
Sometimes known as barn board flooring, or plank flooring, among other descriptive terms, timber flooring is desirable for the weathered appearance that is the singular aspect of its appeal. Darkened nail holes, saw kerfs, worm holes, a stained patina, slight cracks, and even occasional ancient graffiti all contribute to the aesthetic appeal of a genuine antique wood floor. The old barn wood used in timber flooring may even, at one time, have had a part in true history. Antique wood, timber over 100 years old, is readily available for flooring.
Timber flooring is very often described as planking simply because one of its more distinctive features is the width of the boards used. Many times old barn boards will be 10, 12, or even up to 28 inches (29.4 cm, 30.48 cm, up to 71.12 cm) in width. This is especially true of reclaimed timber that was originally used as flooring in its first incarnation.
Many genuine timber floors are immediately distinctive by the width of the planking, the weathered patina, and the distinguishing grain. Reclaimed pine flooring will usually be knotty, and lightly cracked, with a particularly attractive slightly raised grain and, often different board widths. Reclaimed chestnut is prized as flooring for its rarity, and run of color, from light coffee to rich chocolate. Additionally, chestnut is a very hard, durable wood, able to withstand the punishment a typical wood floor must often endure.
Red and white oak are the woods most commonly found in timber flooring. Plank flooring made from recycled oak imparts a rich hue, with a subtle grain and superb durability. Recycled oak floors are also popular because of the availability of this particular wood. Affordability, always a consideration when looking to install timber flooring, is another attribute of reclaimed oak.
Usually, timber flooring is available at specialty lumber yards, or through independent flooring contractors. However, there are a respectable number of small distributors who will “harvest” reclaimed wood, and re-sell it, un-milled, for a reasonable cost directly to the homeowner. Many homeowners enjoy re-finishing their own recycled wood, and are able to fashion and finish it to suite their exact expectations.