Tips for Choosing the Best Recycled Wood for Your Floors

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Tips for Choosing the Best Recycled Wood for Your Floors

recycled wood floor

Wood floors have charm, style and beauty. Depending on the species of wood, the room can be fanciful or warm and charming. Using recycled wood can save thousands of dollars for a new floor; individual rooms or the entire house can be done. While there are no set rules for using recycled wood, there are things you should keep in mind. By following these tips, you can have inexpensive flooring that rivals expensive ones.

Only Choose Untreated Wood

Make certain that the wood you choose is untreated; chemicals used to treat wood that is used outside can pose a health threat to you and your family. Older wood that was treated with arsenic is a good example.

Strip Each Board Carefully

If the wood has been stained or painted, it must be stripped before it can be used. Be certain to use eco-friendly wood strippers and follow the directions carefully. You will not be able to accurately evaluate or use the wood until this is completed. Do not worry about nail holes or knotholes at this time.

Choose The Same Species

Different species of woods have different reactions to humidity and wear. Many have different colors; using the same species of wood in each room or throughout the house will give your project a uniform look.

Choose only hardwoods for use as flooring. Their dense cellular structure holds up to wear and tear better than soft wood. For example, pine is a very soft wood. Walking packs down the cells, which will eventually leave a groove in the floor. This will not happen with hardwoods.

Choose Your Flooring Pattern

There are a wide variety of flooring patterns available when installing wood flooring. Examine your wood and measure each board’s length and width. Before you begin cutting, planing or routing each piece, ask yourself questions about the room(s) you will be working on.

  • What is the length and width of the room(s)?
  • Will narrow or wide boards enhance the room?
  • What flooring pattern will work best?

Once you have answered these questions, you can begin to prepare the wood. Keep in mind that staples, nails, screws and other pieces of metal can be present in recycled wood. This debris can be found with the use of a metal detector and removed using the proper tools.

Follow All Safety Rules

When using recycled wood, chemicals and hand or power tools, always follow safety rules. Gather and keep gloves, hearing, eye and breathing protection on hand. Breathing the dust from certain woods can be harmful. By working safely, you can create flooring that complements your décor and style.


Mac Donald Hardwood of Denver specializes in hardwood floor installation and hardwood cleaning products to suit all wood flooring types. Image source

Greener Ideal is an independent environmental news and lifestyle publication that has been curating content since 2008 to further the green movement. The views expressed by contributing authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.

  • Sam Cobb

    These are some good tips. One thing I might point out though is that both hardwoods and softwoods will dent with use as flooring although the hardwoods are more resistant to it. I have a reclaimed pine floor in my home made from civil war era pine beams that we recycled out of an old textile mill. They are soft and do dent a bit, but the resulting dings and dents just add to the reclaimed aesthetic. We love how it looks.