Antique Vintage Wood Flooring has many advantages over freshly cut flooring. Most notably, antique vintage wood flooring was most likely cut for its original purpose from “virgin” old growth trees that were likely several hundred years old. Old growth trees contained significantly more heartwood (link to Heart wood page) which is much more durable and resistant to decay than younger “sapwood”.
Most species of wood that are reclaimed and used to produce antique vintage flooring are grown in temperate climates that produce visible annual growth rings showing the difference in density and color between wood formed early and that formed late in the growth season. The inner part of the growth ring, formed first, is called “spring wood”: the outer part, formed later in the season, is called “summer wood.”
Spring wood is characterized by cells having relatively large cavities and thin walls. Summer wood cells have smaller cavities and thicker walls, and consequently are more dense than those in the spring wood. The growth rings, when exposed by conventional sawing methods, provide the grain or characteristic pattern of the wood. The distinguishing feature of antique reclaimed wood is that it has significantly more growth rings per inch and much higher density than freshly cut wood; therefore, it is more stable. Within Species, natural variations in growth ensure the beauty and unique character of reclaimed vintage wood.