Al Havner & Sons

Reclaimed Hardwood

Reclaimed lumber can come from numerous different places such as old barns, factories, homesteads, whiskey and wine barrels. I've also heard of wood being used from rail road box cars, snow fencing, sunken logsā€¦the list goes on.

Much of the wood from old barns and buildings came from virgin forests. Those forests being the same ones that were here when my old friend Chris Columbus arrived. When buying reclaimed old growth flooring that may have come from a barn built 200 years ago, it's not uncommon most of it came from trees that lived for two and three hundred years.

What Types? Oak, Maple, and...

Some of the more common woods being reclaimed and put back into use for flooring are your oaks; white and red. Followed by yellow and white pines, not to mention a gazillion long leaf heart pine products, or so they say it is. Others on the list but not as prevalent are maple and hickory and my all time favorite Chestnut, especially wormy Chestnut.

With reclaimed flooring, wider boards can be used without the expansion contraction problems associated with new cut material because the older wood has been exposed to humidity changes for a much longer period of time. You won't get those common complaints in the winter months that new floor owners often complain about.

Cannot Be Compared With New

The beauty of reclaimed floors cannot be matched close with the new woods of today. The warmth, character, and unique figure can't be found anymore. I can say without a doubt we have more experience with reclaimed products than anyone in the metro Detroit area, stemming from the years we spent working in the Smokey Mountain areas of East Tennessee.

One of the finest looking barn wood jobs we handled was actually here in Northville, Michigan. The customer found the barn wood herself, bought it and had it shipped to a drying kiln to kill off any insects that may have been living in the wood. It was then machined into tongue and groove flooring, shipped to her home where we installed and finished with a 100% V.O.C. free finish called Pallman's Magic Oil. A recent conversation with the customer six months after the job was finished claims it looks as good as it was new. A testimonial to how natural oil finishes can work.

It Makes For A Great Story! American Chestnut

When you know the history of your flooring and there's a great story to go along with it, floors become all that more special. Take for instance, my all time favorite reclaimed flooring; American Chestnut. It has a built in story no matter where or when it may have come from. The story has been taught in schools too.

In 1904 a fungus was found on chestnut trees in the Bronx Zoo in New York. As it spread, and 20 or 30 years later, the fungus had killed over 4 billion trees in the eastern part of the United States. The Chestnut was the giant of the forest. The wood was used for everything from fences to the building of massive factories. The tannins from the tree were used for leather manufacturing, and dying of silk. The blossoms from the tree were a favorite of bees and made for some very sweet honey. The nuts from the tree were highly nutritious and many of the animals in the forest relied on them as a food source. If you have a reclaimed Chestnut floor you have something with a great story and one heck of an awesome wood. Unfortunately it is now extinct and quantities are very limited.

Give us a call if the great Chestnut story fascinates you. At Al Havner & Sons we can supply you with long length reclaimed Chestnut hardwood where's it's guaranteed none of your neighbors will have it. The added plus is you'll probably get that wow factor I talk about often.

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Reclaimed Hardwood Floors

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Reclaimed Chestnut Hardwood

Reclaimed American Chestnut

Wormy Chestnut Long Planks

Wormy Chestnut Long Boards - Before milling into flooring