I have some old timbers, should I turn them into flooring or just buy it instead?
There is something to be said for taking old timbers and having them milled down for flooring, it is unique and creates a wonderful talking point for you when you are having company at your new home. There are some downsides to doing it as well;
• The process of having your timbers turned into flooring can be more expensive than buying the product from a company that has it in stock. Having your own timbers made into flooring is a limited run and will be done at a premium.
• The time it takes to have the timbers milled and kiln dried can take longer than your construction schedule will allow. You could end up having to wait for the flooring to finish your home.
• Depending how much weather the timbers have been exposed to over the years you might not be able to get enough material to make all the flooring you require.
If you sell your timbers to a company that recycles barn material then you will get paid for it, then you can turn around and buy the flooring material from a company that sells antique flooring. The cost difference will be close to a wash. Doing this is also being “green”, you are recycling the material from your old barn by selling it to someone that will reuse it and the buying of antique flooring that was created from old timbers is the exact same thing that you would have gotten by having your old timbers turned into it.
The antique flooring should be ordered so that it is tongue and grooved and not square edged. The t&g will help hold the flooring together especially if the flooring has wide and long pieces.
You need to understand that antiqued flooring comes milled as flooring but is not ready to be finished immediately. You have to sand the floor until it is smooth with a floor sander, then you can apply the finishing coats, you will need at least 3 coats to finish the floor so that it will stand up to wear and tear of everyday life. Make sure that you have several different stain samples applied on different parts of the floor, they can be sanded off so don’t worry about damaging your floor. Antique flooring never looks uniform that's why you need to have several different stain matches, make sure that you pick a stain that will allow the true character to show through.
Remember that you will need to order more than normal waste or overage for the flooring, with antique flooring you don’t want to end running short.
Village Builders Inc.