There are a number of benefits to buying hardwood flooring: it is hard, strong, long lasting and it looks beautiful in a room. One of the most popular hardwoods for flooring is ash. Sadly, however, the ash tree in Northern America is under threat from the emerald ash borer. For the sake of protecting the ash tree from extinction in Northern America it is a good idea to buy reclaimed ash flooring instead of new ash flooring.
The emerald ash borer is a wood boring beetle that was accidentally imported into the States in the late 1990s. Since then it has flourished and has killed over a million ash trees. Despite government precautions the insect continues to spread and threatens the life of the 7 billion ash trees of the continent. Green ash, indigo ash, black ash, pumpkin ash, blue ash, white ash and Carolina ash (indeed all the varieties of ash on the continent) are endangered by the emerald ash borer.
Rather than be responsible for cutting down an endangered tree it is a much better idea to buy reclaimed ash. Because of ash’s popularity there is plenty of reclaimed ash and antique ash available for purchase. Unlike other reclaimed hardwoods, reclaimed ash has less of a rustic look. That means the wood has fewer knots, cracks, nail holes and saw kerfs compared to other reclaimed hardwoods.
Reclaimed ash flooring has two main advantages over new ash flooring. Firstly, time has given the wood a beautiful golden undertone that is lacking in new ash flooring. And secondly, reclaimed ash flooring is much more stable than new ash flooring. Ash flooring can expand by as much as 7mm per square meter. This rate is greatly reduced in reclaimed ash flooring which has normally been kiln dried twice and has lost its excess moisture over many years.
One of the main reasons people buy ash flooring is that it is a hard and strong flooring type. Ash has a Janka Hardness rating of 1,320 pounds force which makes it harder than white oak and nearly as hard as red oak. Not only is ash hard it is also shock resistant. That is why ash was used for baseball bats and is still used today for sports flooring. Ash can take a hard impact and then spring back to shape. This means reclaimed ash flooring is ideal for kitchens and children’s playrooms. In the kitchen you needn’t fear dropping heavy pans on the floor and in a child’s room you don’t have to worry about the child jumping around and damaging the floor.
Reclaimed ash flooring is easy to install and maintain. It is also suitable for installation over radiant heating systems. Ash is easy to stain, polish and finish. If properly cared for reclaimed ash flooring can last you over 100 years.
Finally reclaimed ash flooring like all hardwood flooring is easy to clean and to keep free of dust mites. It is the excrement of dust mites that is one of the main triggers for allergic rhinitis and asthma attack.
Thus, if you are considering buying ash flooring then you should first look at reclaimed ash flooring as the environmentally friendly alternative. With reclaimed or antique ash flooring you gain all the benefits of ash flooring and also you get more stable flooring.