HARDWOOD - Melrose Strip 761 CappuccinoReclaimed wood is one of the hottest trends in décor, and it can be quite easy to achieve a lovely mix of authentic rustic charm that goes nicely with modern and contemporary furniture and homes. However, although reclaimed hard wood – otherwise known as barn wood – is in some ways superior to the new hardwood that is milled for flooring, it also has some serious downsides and doesn’t always make the best type of flooring either.

Some disadvantages of reclaimed wood are pretty serious. Most barn wood, however “rough” looking you want the finish, has a problem with bugs, rot and even mold. When these planks are removed from barns, the wood has been exposed to the elements for years and often the integrity of the wood is seriously compromised. While there are still old-growth hardwood planks – such as walnut and oak – that can withstand sitting around for years, most cannot and you end up with soft and tunneled wood planks that do not have much life in them.

New flooring planks do not have these issues, and when you choose this type of flooring over reclaimed, you get instant gratification. You do not have to sand, clean, brush, treat or otherwise fuss with new hardwood planks – they are ready to go as is, and you can have a new floor in a day, not a month.

Another problem with reclaimed planks is that, due to the scarcity of old-growth wood, reclaimed wood is extremely expensive and hard to find. Not only will this cost you more for initial installation, but should you ever need to replace any of these planks, you will probably have a very hard time finding a matching piece.

New flooring can be repaired and replaced very easily in comparison. You can also choose new planks that appear to be aged, yet still have the sturdiness and stability of new wood. The newer wooden planks are also made to be used as flooring, made to be cleaned and lived on, and thus, offer a much lighter maintenance load than old barn wood.

Barn wood as flooring is a lovely trend in home design these days, no doubt, but may be much more suited to mantle pieces and decorative beams than a floor that you will use and abuse for years.