In this article, we are looking at how to choose reclaimed flooring.

Many of us now wish to be a little more eco-friendly when deciding upon our interiors and one of the ways in which this is easily achievable is by deciding upon a reclaimed, salvaged or recycled floor covering. Each of these methods can be desirable.


A recycled floor would be achieved by taking particles, whether shavings, dust or products that have been shredded and derived from existing materials and then amalgamated into a new product.

A salvaged floor would be one that has been removed in its entirety and then repositioned within another building.

A reclaimed floor is produced by taking materials from any source and using them to create an original reclaimed floor.

When deciding upon your floor all the above should be taken into consideration but the most important factors to most people are that of durability, aesthetic and often, maintenance.


With reclaimed wooden flooring, we are all very aware that there are different species and that they have different aesthetic qualities. 

Most of us are also aware that some woods are more durable than others but maybe not 100% certain of the scale. The most common reclaimed timbers in the UK are those of pine and oak. Though reclaimed pine is denser than its modern counterpart, it is not a hardwood, whilst oak maintains its beauty and patina through durability and strength that reclaimed oak is synonymous with. Of course, there are many other species that lie between these two on the scale of durability, such as Ash, Birch & Beech to name a few.

Reclaimed Brick & Terracotta floors are becoming more and more popular by the day, as they are relatively easy to reclaim and are therefore priced accordingly. It is very unusual that one would find recycled clay products and in fact, I have never come across a recycled clay floor. Occasionally salvaged terracotta or brick floors become available but this rare in any volume

As Reclaimed Brick and Terracotta Floors become more popular, the variety is increasing and there are a number of different options in texture, colour and dimension.

  • Textures can vary from very worn, smooth and shiny to rough and matt.
  • Colours now cover a whole spectrum but we find that there is a trend towards pales and creams. There are also many sealers on the market that can give a natural or enhanced finish.
  • Dimensions also vary a great deal but rarely exceed 12”/30cm. Many tiles are reprocessed these days and we have undertaken orders to produce a tile as mall as a credit card.

Stone is a great mainstay for the eco-friendly and it is possible to find all types. Recycled stone flooring is almost always made from crushed stone that is formed into tiles/slabs but concrete may also be used. Generally, these items are very economically priced but don’t have the aesthetics and patina that are often desired.

On the other hand, Salvaged Stone flooring is very desirable. Salvaged stone is often quite thick as it is often rescued from old farms, barns and even churches. Generally, it is laid outside and the most common type in the UK is York Stone. Reclaimed Stone is usually cut to a thickness that can be laid on to a modern screed floor and can be combined with Underfloor heating. Limestone is very popular in these times and Reclaimed Limestone Flooring or “Dalles de Bourgogne” can reach some fairly high prices.


Of course, all the products I have talked about above have their place within a

modern home and can be used in a traditional or contemporary setting. Whichever floor you choose, I am sure that it will give you satisfaction as a material and a pleasure as an item.

About author

Edward Howey

Edward Howey

Specialist Journalist
Expert in the field for the last 20 years

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