There are several different ways to find sustainable lumber for your hardwood floor. Sinker logs are a great source of sustainable hardwoods that don’t harm the environment. They also have a patina that is incredibly rich and interesting. It is nearly impossible to replicate with any kind of manufacturing and staining.
What Are Sinker Logs?
For hundreds of years, one of the most efficient ways to transfer lumber has been to ship it on a river. Water’s buoyancy helps to move the lumber with minimal effort. However, that has also meant that mistakes can happen. Wood sometimes falls off the ship. For most of US history, it has not been profitable for companies to pull the fallen logs out of the water. So, they just left them at the bottom of rivers. Cool water also turns out to be an incredible preserver of wood. Water moves in and out of the different pores of the water, depositing different minerals as it passes. Oxygen and gas are removed from the wood and replaced with minerals. That results in incredible patina throughout the wood.
Modern companies pull these sinker logs out of the water and mill them for many uses. You can use them for hardwood flooring as well.
Sinker log flooring has many benefits. For one, it looks great. If you want a unique floor that no one else has, sinker logs are a great option. Also, the logs are part of a movement towards sustainable lumber. No trees have to be cut down for the wood to be used.
The main drawback of sinker logs is the price. Depending on its source, the company that pulls it from the river sometimes has to pay a fee for removing the resource. On top of that, removing the wood from the river is very difficult for the people who do the work. They have to then mill the wood into planks to expose the grain and the deep patina. That means a log’s worth of milled hardwood can cost over $10,000. That might be beyond many people’s budgets. However, if it’s in your budget, it could be a great choice.
If you can’t afford an entire floor’s worth of sinker wood or if you simply can’t find that amount of wood, you could choose smaller amounts. For example, some people like to use a strip of sinker wood from their front door to the foyer as an entrance for their homes.