If you look carefully at your antique reclaimed hardwood floor from Aged Woods you will notice several things but the most prominent is probably the woodgrain. The grain of the wood is probably the most important part of the wood as it determines the strength and texture of the wood. Not all woodgrain with wood is created equally and that is what helps to make your hardwood floor unique and beautiful.
The grain is the arrangement of wood-cell fibers. The fibers are placed in a longitudinal direction and any piece of wood is easier to cut with the grain and the cut will be cleaner with fewer splinters. A piece of wood is a natural polymer. It is made up of strings of cellulose fibers held together by a lingin binder that forms a natural glue. Cutting against the grain, or cutting through the lingin, can be done and has become synonymous with doing something the hard way. The grain produces a pattern or figure on the wood which can be quite exquisite in its own right making your reclaimed hardwood floorboards a natural work of art.
A tree’s grain comes from the growth of the tree. Every tree has a layer called the cambium that stretches from ground to crown. These cells grow and divide with some remaining in the cambium and others becoming wood or bark. As these cells die they leave a cell wall and cellulose fibers behind which forms the grain of the wood and as the tree ages this wood turns to the heartwood that is used for your floorboards.
The woodgrain also determines the texture of the wood. The texture is determined by the size of the cells, how they are distributed and the size of the pores in the wood. Oak and ash are coarse grained wood since that wood has large cells and with red oak trees they are placed so far apart that one can blow air through a board. White oak trees have cells placed much closer together which make the wood much stronger and more suitable for use around water. Finer grained wood like maple has smaller cells. Some trees like walnut trees and softwood trees fall more in the middle. This can be determined by looking at the end of a board and the size of the pores.
There are six types of woodgrain. The straight grain features straight lines running parallel to the vertical axis. An irregular grain features varying and irregular lines parallel to the axis that can avoid things like knots. A diagonal grain happens when a straight grained log is not sawed along the vertical axis. Spiral grains occur when a tree did not grow straight up and the grain follows a spiral course. Interlocked grains happen with trees in which each growth layer align in opposite direction. Last a wavy grain has lines that constantly change direction.
Like your fingerprints the grain of each tree and piece of wood is unique. That makes the wood that is has been used to make each and every piece of antique reclaimed wood floorboards something different. You have something that is one-of-a-kind in your floorboards and cannot be duplicated elsewhere or found anywhere else.