Reclaimed flooring: your questions answered

Reclaimed flooring is bursting with authenticity – from salvaged wood floorboards to retro parquet, there's so many options. Make the right choice for your home with our fool-proof guide...

Is reclaimed stone suitable for a country kitchen?
Reclaimed
stone will complement a country kitchen beautifully and its
heat-retaining properties make it the perfect partner for underfloor
heating,’ says Charles Margetts, Manager, Martin Moore Stone.
‘Modern antiquing treatments can’t match the attractive wear and patina
created by hundreds of years of use. Also, fitting reclaimed stone
allows you to source local materials that would have been used
originally when your house was built, rather than new aged stones from
across the world.’

I want an aged wood floor with a coastal feel. Any ideas?
‘You’ll need pale, natural grey tones that give a bleached, grainy, almost dried-out look,’ says Steve Payne, General Manager, Victorian Woodworks. ‘Reclaimed woods are able to deliver that aged look perfectly as they are naturally worn.’

Any tips on using retro parquet?
‘Always buy from a reputable
dealer who can confirm the provenance, and preferably one who adheres
to the Salvo code,’ says Nick Newman, Director, Lassco Ropewalk.
‘Avoid damp or water-damaged timber. Fitting costs extra and make sure
the service includes cleaning and finishing. If it’s a big job, ask the
fitter to measure for you, but always allow 20% extra for wastage.’

Would a vintage brick floor suit a country kitchen?
‘Reclaimed bricks are a durable flooring material and make a rustic statement in country kitchens,’ says Gavin Locke, Director, Windsor Reclamation. ‘The colour ranges from earthy red to yellow and the huge number of designs they can be laid in lets you create a floor full of character, texture and warmth. However, brick is porous, so you’ll need to apply a sealant, which should be re-applied periodically.’

I’m looking for ceramic tiles to use in a bedroom. Any ideas?
‘Many of our reclaimed tiles originate from the Spanish countryside. The combination of rich earthy reds and subtle shades of blue and grey creates a calm feel for a bedroom,’ says Lee Thornley, founder, Bert & May. ‘The tiles have a matt finish and pleasing natural feel and come in simple floral or geometric patterns. We offer handmade replicas of certain designs so a whole floor can be covered in a pattern otherwise unavailable.’

I’ve been thinking of laying secondhand boards throughout my house. What are my options?
‘Sourcing reclaimed boards entails more work than buying new ones, but will match the period of the house and blend in with other original features,’ says Patrick Newman, owner, Original Oak. ‘We supply untreated boards, which have been de-nailed and cleaned up, but are otherwise untouched, for you to fit and finish yourself. Or we have a whole-floor service, which includes restoration and fitting.’

How can I find wide boards for our main bedroom to match the other bedrooms?
‘The other bedroom floors are likely to be pine, as even the grandest homes only had oak flooring in main reception rooms,’ says David Cox, Manager, Drummonds Flooring. ‘Good reclaimed pine is getting hard to find and wide boards are a rarity. We supply hand-sanded, kiln-dried floorboards in reclaimed oak and occasionally pine, but the lack of original pine has led to many suppliers offering pine cut from beams, which isn’t comparable to original boards’.

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