How To Match Old Wood Flooring

This is a question that we get asked many times by customers that have had wood flooring damaged by flooding or maybe want to carry their existing wooden floor over into the new extension they have added to their home. It can be quite hard to perfectly source and then match reclaimed wood flooring with an existing floor but as long as you have an experienced craftsman working on the installation and you can find a batch of reclaimed wood flooring that is similar to your existing floor it should not be too difficult to accomplish a satisfactory finish. If you send a sample of your existing wood floor to a reclamation specialist it will help them match any reclaimed flooring that they may have in stock with you floor.

Floor board thickness
One of the first jobs will be to take a few of your existing floorboards up and measure them to find out the thickness of your boards because depending on how many times you floor has been sanded and finished they could be a lot thinner than they was when first laid. Once you know the thickness you can start hunting down some more reclaimed floorboards of either the same thickness or even slightly thicker as these can be sanded down to the same level once installed next to the existing floor. If you cannot find any boards that are the same or thicker you could possibly use some thinner boards which could be laid on battens or you could shim under them and sand them level with the existing boards.

Width of boards
Floorboards come in many widths with the more common sizes being 3.5, 6 ,7 and 9 inch but what happens if your current wood floor is just under one of those sizes? This can be an issue and we often get asked for reclaimed floorboards of a width that is say 6 and 5/8 inches which can be hard to source. This can be overcome by trimming the boards but if you ask an architectural salvage company to do this please make sure that they trim both sides of the board because if they do not you may find that your nail holes no longer run central to the floorboard.

Finer details
Tone and patina are something that an experienced wood floor layer should be able to match quite well especially if the floor is in a low traffic area which will help any finish he creates to last. Grain size and pattern can be an issue with reclaimed pine floorboards but less so with oak floorboards but with any floorboard it is worth checking grain match before you agree to purchase.

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