Reclaimed Structural Hardwoods

Reclaimed structural hardwoods are pieces of timber that were used for the structure of a building and not for flooring. As a result reclaimed structural hardwood has a number of features or ‘attrition’ features that are the results of their former uses. These attrition features remain when the structural hardwood is recycled and made into reclaimed hardwood flooring. The marking is often referred to as ‘rustic’. For many people these rustic features add personality and interest to flooring. For other people who are looking for simple, clean lines and a minimal look, the rustic effect may not be desirable.

Below is a brief guide to the attrition features that you can expect to find on different types of reclaimed structural hardwood.

First it should be noted that structural hardwoods are usually backsawn rather than quartersawn. This results in crown features, irregular colors and sometimes gum lines. Quartersawn timber is used for new hardwood flooring because it is low featured and has more uniformity of color than backsawn hardwood. This is the great advantage of antique flooring – it is quartersawn and more regular therefore in appearance.


Purlins are horizontal parts of a roof structure. Purlins are often used under rafters to add extra support, especially when the span needed to be covered by a rafter is great.

Typically, reclaimed hardwood that was formerly used as a purlin will have nail, screw or bolt holes where the purlin was attached to the roof structure.

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Tags: reclaimed structural hardwood, backsawn, quartersawn, antique flooring, rustic, attrition features

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