Roll Out the Barrels

For its latest offering of reclaimed wood flooring, Mountain Lumber Co. in Ruckersville, Va., is turning 100-year-old oak casks that once held 60,000 gallons of Guinness stout in Dublin, Ireland, into unique flooring for bedrooms, kitchens and living r...

July 01, 2003

 

One requirement of the reclaimed wood that Mountain Lumber sells is that there be an interesting history behind it. Customers receive an illustrated history of the property from which their flooring came. Hence the company's tagline: "Where every floor has a story to tell."

For its latest offering of reclaimed wood flooring, Mountain Lumber Co. in Ruckersville, Va., is turning 100-year-old oak casks that once held 60,000 gallons of Guinness stout in Dublin, Ireland, into unique flooring for bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms. Called European Cooper's Oak, the flooring ranges from golden brown to dark brown and has accents from the iron bands that were wrapped around the ale vats for decades.

Other wood reclaimed for Mountain Lumber's flooring has come from John Deere and Studebaker factories, Union Station in Charlottesville, Va., Russian railroad cars and a Colonial-era wharf. Mountain Lumber owner Willie Drake goes to each site to evaluate the wood, says marketing director Patricia Boden. "What we look for is something that has natural character - patina - already there," she says.

Mountain Lumber opened in 1974 in an old sawmill in Free Union, Va., after Drake worked with a contractor who was building a house using a dismantled barn in Virginia. "Drake saw that and saw the potential for other types of wood," Boden says. "In the 1800s trees grew in a different environment - they grew tall, very dense and in tight grains. Now they are farmed to grow fast, with looser grains."

For more information, call 800/445-2671 or look on the Web at www.mountainlumber.com.

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