Reduce, Reuse, RECLAIM!
BY Hunter Ross June 20, 2017
Late one night, I was browsing my local online buy/sell/trade site and found the most unusual post I’d seen yet, a basketball court. The maintenance manager for a small school outside of Frisco, TX, had recently replaced the hardwood courts and was looking to unload a bounty of maple tongue and groove boards. All that wood was for sale and at midnight, it sounded like a fantastic idea. Who hasn’t wanted a private basketball court?
Go to the grocery store and you will see shoppers using reusable bags, buying juice and cereal packaged in recycled bags instead of plastic cartons and paper boxes. Most everyone is doing their part to cut down on excess waste. Thinking to myself, why not reuse reclaimed wood planks that were once a perfectly sound floor? I pictured a mod conversation starter in my elegant, perfectly staged dream home. I would be saving the environment and getting a fun funky floor in the process.
Photo courtesy of Houzz – check out the Upper Main Line House here.
Getting Schooled on Hardwood
Before you break out your airline rewards credit card, keep these tips in mind.
- No matter what Pinterest says, don’t use pallets. Most pallets are southern yellow pine treated with hazardous chemicals that have become warped and in need of some serious sanding.
- So you got an A in Shop: Keep in mind that hardwoods are susceptible to moisture and humidity. They should only be used in ground floors or above.
- Measure twice: Unlike a new product, reclaimed hardwood floor (or basketball court) may have been sanded and refinished multiple times before making it to your home. Check the depth of the wood from the finished surface to the top of the tongue to make sure there is at least 4mm worth of hardwood, otherwise you will have spent time and money on a single use floor. When it’s worn and in need of refinishing there won’t be enough meat on the bone.
- Don’t forget your calculator: As with any hardwood floor installation, planning and preparing your new floor’s foundation is the foundation for everything (see what I did there). Layout planks to see which direction the floor will run in your room and how to use the most of the product you have. Finding wood to match may eat up too much of your time not to mention your budget.
- Do your homework: Pick a wood flooring professional with experience in matching, lacing in and refinishing hardwood. They should also ensure that your subfloor is level and that the correct underlayment is used for the application. Your installer will give you a timeline for the project, but don’t forget to allot for the time and space for planks to acclimate in your home. Added features like hand scraping, custom staining and multiple layers of polyurethane finish will also take time.
With the proper planning, your late-night insomnia induced purchase will no longer scream high school gym. The beauty of your reclaimed hardwood floors will last as long as any new freshman product.
Enjoy your beautiful renewed floors!
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