tubbsBarnWood-3 creative commons by-nc-nd 2011 bruce john stracke.

walls to floors

We love finding old materials we can re-purpose in our projects. Not only does recycling help the environment, we really get excited about the creative opportunities reusing materials offer our designs. tubbsBarnWood-2According to the EPA an average new construction project yields 3.9 pounds of waste per square foot of building area. Even for a small 2,000 square foot home that’s nearly 4 tons of waste. A not too uncommon 6,000 square foot home produces 4 times that much or 12 tons.

One material we have enjoyed re-using is barn wood. The textures, colors and beauty of the old clean grain adds a depth freshly milled woods just can’t replicate. Even looking at these uncleaned boards, in the photos to the right, you can see the potential peeking out. These came to us through tubbsBarnWood-1Bill Livezey of central Iowa’s 2 Rivers Trading Co. Bill helped us find shiplap for a living space, bath and bedroom floors; 12″ wide planks for stair treads, winders and risers; more shiplap for a main floor wall and old grooved and splined planks our client used to build an outdoor table.

Old barns often had walls of long shiplapped boards to keep the weather out. These old wall boards were re-purposed as flooring for this project. Instead of planing the boards smooth, the goal was to reuse the boards leaving the nail holes and small tubbsBarnWood-3inconsistencies for character. Walking across the floor in your bare feet you can feel the connection with the past. After rough sanding, installing and sanding again in place, tung oil with citrus extract was used to bring the colors out and achieve a natural finish. Watch for a future post with photos of the finished floor.