When you build a house, you are faced with so many decisions. From exterior design choices to interior finishes, there are really an infinite number of choices. That's what makes a house unique. We knew that by building our own home, we had complete control over all the aspects of design. And one thing we knew for sure we wanted was hardwood flooring.
There are so many options for hardwood floors. Just go take a walk through your local Home Depot or Lowes and you could easily spend an hour browsing and comparing just what they stock in store! We knew we wanted something different, something unique. We were drawn to the aesthetic of reclaimed hardwood flooring. And we were drawn to the green aspect of it. And we were able to find it locally!
Local reclaimed hardwood flooring? We found it through our local Craigslist. A local craftsman and his crew have a passion for taking down old barns and houses and preserving as much of the wood and other relics that they can. We got in touch and we loved what we saw!
At first, we thought it might be out of our budget. We allowed a little bit more wiggle room for our flooring budget because we knew this was not something we wanted to change down the road. Kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities were things we knew could be easily changed out, but flooring isn't quite as easy.
Since we were looking at putting the flooring down throughout our whole house except for bathrooms and the laundry room, we presented the craftsman with a workable budget. And he agreed! We then got to peruse the internet for the species, width, and finish we were looking for. We knew he had a lot of oak ready to be sent to the woodworker's shop and made into flooring. We decided to use a mixture of red and white oak in the bedrooms
We got to have a little more fun with our great room. Maple is pretty dear to me, as I grew up in a rural county in Pennsylvania known as the “land of milk and maple.” As a young girl, I got to help gather sugar water and see the transformation into syrup. The thought of having maple flooring in our home excited me. When our craftsman suggested we use boards of mixed widths, we became even more excited. Our great room, which encompasses the dining room and kitchen, is a mixture of maple, beech, and cherry wood with widths of 5 inches, 6 inches, and 7 inches.
We had intended to lay the flooring down ourselves, but our craftsman wanted to take the job on with the help of a friend. It was thrilling to see the subfloor slowly disappearing underneath the new hardwood. We also got to observe Mother Nature. A turkey hen had a nest in the woods behind our house. We would watch her leave the woods and get her exercise during the day and return back to the same spot. A few weeks later, we watched as she emerged with her babies. And we were able to observe the same thing last spring.
We were thrilled about the green factor of our flooring and we wanted to be sure that what we used to finish it was just as environmentally friendly. We found a product, popular in Europe, that was zero VOC. We went with a natural finish as we hoped to showcase the beauty of the wood and not cover it up with any color. And we are thrilled with the results!
With two cats, a dog, and two kids, the floor can take a beating, But, it has held up wonderfully. And best of all, we love the character it adds to our home.