Recycled Wood Flooring - How To

Using recycled wood flooring is a great way to save some money and help the environment.

You can purchase the material from other home owners that are doing renovations. Or sometimes get them for free, you just have to go and remove it yourself.

Either way you'll be able to save yourself money and get the wood flooring you want.

The trade off - tons of work involved.

There's a reason why reclaimed and antique flooring is so expensive, it's not just because there old and hard to get.

But all the work involved to turn them into usable wood flooring.

If, recycled wood flooring is your thing.

Here are some process on how to recycle wood flooring

  • Clean up your wood flooring boards. Remove any gunk that's on the edges. This is important because we want our recycled flooring to fit tight to each other, to minimize on gapping.


  • Remove all nails and staples, especially along our cut edges. We don't want to plunge a saw blade into our recylced flooring and get hit by a hot piece of metal.


  • Sort out your recycled hardwood l kflooring boards. Seperate them by length and width(random width). Put aside any partial boards or boards that have been cut from previous installation. You can use these for ends or filler strips on the final row.


  • Remill your recycled flooring. Skim cut your tongue and groove to remove any dirt, glue or wood floor finish. If, your recycling pine flooring or any flooring with square ends, remill the sides, so you have a clean edge to work with.

    Old pine flooring boards are sometimes not square or the sides are not parallel. You'll need to recut them, so your recycled flooring installation is easier and that you will get higher quality end result.

    You'll be able to make your recycled wood flooring tighter to each other and reduce on gapping.


  • Plane your recycled flooring material. Rent a thickness planer and plane your recycled wood flooring to the same thickness. This will make it, less work and easier to sand, especially with soft recycled hardwood flooring like pine flooring and spruce wood flooring, where the floor boards may have uneven thickness.

    Sort out any boards that are to thin in thickness. Save them for closet spaces
  • Gaps - Your recycled wood flooring's moisture content is acclimated to the previous home. It may lose more additional moisture after it is installed into your home. Keeping the joints tight will help reduce gapping.

    perform all these task first and you'll end up with beautiful looking recycled wood flooring.

    Here are some images from our most recent recycled wood flooring, random width pine flooring

    The home owners purchased 600 s.f. of random width white pine flooring. We started the recycling process by cleaning them up, denailing and removing any staples.

    The recycled flooring boards were then ran through a thickness planer. They were planed down to 11/16, and any usable boards with a smaller dimension was sorted out for later use.

    We then milled the sides to our desired width. Since, the owner chose random widths, we ripped our boards varying from 3 inch to 6 1/2" width. Then, they were sorted by width, to make it much more easier, to pick and choose the recycled flooring board we wanted to use.

    Note: There is no special rule or order you need to follow for installing random widths wood flooring, other than completing a row with a single width.

    Do a dry layout of your recycled hardwood flooring, step back and look at it. If, it looks good continue, if not, rearrange the width. Avoid cluttering a section with too many of the same size wood width.


    Our reclaimed recycled wood flooring was installed with 3" 2d cut nails, that were nailed into the flooring joist.

    If you will be using this face nail method, make sure you install these flooring over a plywood sheathing surface and not a plank board subfloor.

    A plywood surface will give you a nice even finished surface compared to a plank board. You can end up with waves or an irregular surface, if you don not install over a plywood surface.

    Add a layer of 1/2 plywood sheathing over your plank board subfloor, before you start, with your face nailing floor installation.

    When installing random widths, make sure the wood flooring width you are using can make a complete row, before cutting or nailing the wood floor boards in place. For more details see our reclaimed hardwood flooring page.

    All your cuts(end) should land on a floor joist, as shown in the image above, plan out each and every cut. For help on planning out or setting up the layout, see our white pine flooring page.


    Purchase some old flooring, recycle them,
    use are website as a guide, save money and enjoy them.

    G and S woodfloors Lynn,Ma.
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