If you've ever driven along a rural highway, you've probably seen abandon barns and may have wondered what can be done with the wood. It turns out, after some treatment, the wood can be reclaimed and given new life, most often as hardwood floors.
Reclaimed hardwoods can come from almost any place hardwood is first used in construction, especially old or abandoned buildings. Wood from antique wine tanks, vintage steel mills and of course oak beams from old barns, can all be recycled and re-used [source: Case Western Reserve University]. The wood is typically kiln-dried twice. The drying hardens the wood, which often makes reclaimed wood a stronger construction material than new lumber [source: Case Western Reserve University]. And using reclaimed hardwoods means consumers are reducing the need to cut timber that is already endangered [source: National Geographic].
The price of reclaimed hardwood floors varies greatly based on the species of wood you select, but expect to pay anywhere from $4 to $30 per square foot, compared to $3 to $20 per square foot for new, uninstalled hardwood floors [source: Home Style Choices]. However, prices will vary based on your distributor's supply and the rarity of the wood. For instance, antique chestnut floors could run as much as $45 per square foot [source: AntiqueWoods.net].
But you're not limited to wood. Glass is another green flooring option we'll discuss next.