We’re installing reclaimed flooring.  There is reclaimed lumber that is re-milled into flooring, and then there is reclaimed flooring.  In this case, we’re dealing with reclaimed flooring.  The benefit of reclaimed flooring is that back in the day they were willing to waste more wood, so the flooring was often “quarter-sawn” which yields a more consistent grain pattern.  The grain pattern is an aesthetic preference sometimes, but it also helps to keep the grain perpendicular to the load (your load), which makes it dent and wear less easily. In the case of reclaimed lumber remilled, they usually do a flatsawn cut.  This was the case for the attic flooring, which looks nice, but much more patterned.  Its also usually yellower (in the case of pine), because the wood hasn’t been as oxidized all the way through.

The ground floor was about 900 sf of flooring and was salvaged from a house uptown in New Orleans.  A local word worker with a warehouse on the west bank agreed to put new “tongues + grooves” on it.  This insured a better fit of the boards, and ultimately yielded a narrower board.   All said and done it was $3.75 a square foot, plus about $150 in delivery.  Buying new wood of this quality, or similar reclaimed stuff through a larger company easliy could’ve been $8-10/sf.  He only had enough for the ground floor, so I sourced the upstairs floor from a guy in Alabama.

The upstairs floor was closer to $2.75 a square foot.  This was also old flooring, similar quality, but it wasn’t cleaned or re-milled.  The boards are very rough, with lots of old paint on them.  Here are photos of the process so far.  The Alabama guy did not send me as much flooring as I paid for (its still a bit scary), but he says he will send another 300 sf on Monday at no charge.  Hopefully that all works out.  Next week we will finish installing, and then we will sand the floors, and refinish.  Im debating between a

polyurethane finish

waterproofish hard coating over then top of the floor

standard / cheap


a bit too shiny

or tung-oil finish (from the Tung tree in China)

penetrates the wood to saturate and preserve it


a bit more expensive

less durable but easier to touch up and repair, very pretty and rich in appearance

Neither should change the color of the wood, which will be lighter and less-brown than shown in the photos, and less covered with paint (!) in the case of the upstairs.



In other aspects, the appliances get delivered on Friday, and the cabinets shouldn’t be too far behind that!


(Elephant in the Room) The windows are leaking. The weatherstripping isn’t on yet, but a number of things are problematic, I can only hope that the window guy will live up to his responsibilities (and soon!). Ill give a detailed rant about that if it doesn’t work out, for now I can’t stir myself to think on it – However, I did include two photos

below that reveal the issue.  The windows swing in.  This means there can be no stool (sill) that acts as a back-stop to prevent water from being blown in under the window sash, and in the house.  The silicone sweeper seal is meant to prevent this front happening, but it bends the wrong way as it swings closed.  In other words, I close the window, and the seal is bent backwards, and doesn’t prevent water from trickling over the sill inside.  I included a diagram below (which is of a door, but very similar circumstance) in case you’re interested.  ImageImage