Posts Tagged ‘reclaimed flooring’

The Timeless Material Company Saves Architectural Artifacts From Demolition

November 1st, 2010

Timeless Materials

When I first stepped into The Timeless Material Company’s main showroom, I felt that little thrill I get whenever I’ve stumbled on to a place where my imagination can run wild. In this case, the barn that houses some of the many salvaged historical artifacts, holds enough material that I started mentally constructing my new “historical” dream house. “I’ll use this as my front door….here are some stunning lead-paned, diamond shaped windows….I’ll take the claw foot bathtub, and of course, the beautiful, Crane kitchen sink in mint condition.”….my heart sings.

Diamond Shaped Lead Paned Windows

When you look around Timeless Materials’ substantial property you’ll see acres of building material that’s been saved from buildings slated for demolition. In fact, as Ken Kieswetter puts it, “The salvage business was a natural outcome from the demolition business.” You see, Timeless Materials, a salvage business, exists because Ken and his family also own a demolition company, Kieswetter Demolition. Ken saw the potential of all the beautiful old building structures, and now salvages what he can before he takes the building down. They also own a construction company, Timeless Timber Structures, that uses salvaged beams to build timber frame homes.

Restored claw foot bathtubs

Original Crane Enamel Kitchen Sink

In Ken’s mind, new products just don’t hold a candle to the materials of old. “These materials will outlast the new “green” products because there are no glues used and the materials are denser so the products don’t deteriorate at the same rate.” For example, he points out that the wood he salvages is from buildings one hundred years old or more, and therefore from first growth forests. What this means is that wood planks are wider, denser and stronger than wood used for products today. Another thing to keep in mind is that the wood has been “seasoned” — for more than one hundred years in some cases — meaning that it will be little affected by changes in humidity throughout the year.

Timeless Materials has meters and meters of reclaimed wood flooring. They take it from barns, factories, school houses, and whatever other buildings that are destined for demolition. They have maple, clear fir, pine, etc., there are plenty of different flooring options available. All wood flooring is solid, no engineered wood flooring is available — nothing with glues.

Fireplace Mantel Room

As Ken and I toured through the converted barn that holds all these beautiful treasures, he told me about the history of the barn itself. In fact, in the “mantel” room (housing one of their most popular products), Ken tells me that it’s the place where JM Schneider’s grown son was gored by a bull. It’s part of the barn’s history. On the second floor he shows me a winding, narrow staircase and I ask where it’s from, thinking of a “Tara-like” residence on a miniature scale, but it turns out it’s from an old church in Quebec, and the nuns used it. They’d have to be pretty thin because it can’t be more than two feet wide.

Staircase from an 18th Century church in Quebec

When you’re looking at all these products, including windows, doors, stairways, etc., it is the craftsmanship that takes your breath away. The intricate carving and detail that went into these products still stands out today. It’s quite something to see, and even better to incorporate into a new home.

“So,” I asked Ken, “How do people use these pieces?”  Ken nodded and said that the most popular item they have are their fireplace mantels, in part because they can be added after a renovation has been done. Of course the best way to incorporate things like the doors, windows, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, is to design around the pieces. That means, pick out the pieces you like first, so visit Timeless Materials with your designer/contractor/architect. Because every piece was made by hand in the old days, sizes aren’t standard. Measurements need to be taken as the design is developed.

Old doors, restored

A variety of flooring including clear fir

Ken has great plans for his property: The building next to the barn is currently being renovated to house a new interior design studio and he’s looking for a registered interior designer to take up residence and run their business out of the space. If you’re a designer, and you have an interest in immersing yourself in the old, while gazing, past the open pasture, at the brand new RIM buildings (filled with plenty of potential customers!), contact Ken Kieswetter at

Timeless Materials -- Acres of Building Materials

For more information on the Timeless Material Company, visit their website. For directions and hours, see below:

The Timeless Material Company

305 Northfield Dr. E.
Waterloo, Ontario
N2V 2N4


Phone: 519-883-8683
Toll Free: 1-800-609-9633
Fax: 519-883-4016

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

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Visit their second location in Southampton:

Timeless Materials North

194 North Rankin Street
Southampton, Ontario
N0H 2L0

Phone: 519-797-9994

Hours of Operation
Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Reclaimed Wood Flooring Companies in Ontario

June 17th, 2010

My dining room table is made from reclaimed wood flooring from a 100 year old factory that was located just outside Tilsonburg, ON — until the factory was torn down, that is. Fortunately, there are salvagers all over the province who go in and see the beauty and potential of these types of architectural building materials. They will strip down an old building, buying anything they think they can resell. Our table has to be the most beautiful piece of furniture in our house. There are plenty of nicks, and gouges in the table top, and the top of it is bumpy and uneven and full of character. Best of all though, is that if my kids bang it up, the marks will just blend in with all the other nicks, gouges and scratches.

There are plenty of reclaimed wood flooring companies in Ontario. One of the reasons is the availability of old wood — not just from old factories, but also from barns that need to be torn down (old barns present not only a fire hazard, but also a safety hazard), and in some cases, underwater logs.  Reclaimed wood makes beautiful new wood floors and pieces of furniture. Old wood sourced locally supports local industry, crafsmanship and gives the wood a second life instead of it ending up in landfill or as firewood. There are several reclaimed wood companies in Ontario, here is a list of a few:

Antiquity Flooring: Offers reclaimed wood flooring in 3/4″ thickness (unless specified otherwise) which comes in random widths ranging 3-8″ from both hard and soft woods that is excellent for “new” wood floors. Antiquity Flooring will also supply reclaimed wood planks for other applications such as cabinetry, mantels, trim, etc.

Antiquity Flooring
71 Wilkes Street
Brantford, Ontario

AquaTimber: Harvests wood from Georgian Bay, the Great Lakes, and lakes and rivers across North America. These logs are then turned into hard and soft wood flooring. The company also has timber and beams for sale as well. Salvaged wood from the depths of cold lakes helps preserve it. Further, these logs are likely from trees that were between 500 and 1000 years old when they were harvested. AquaTimber verifies the age of its logs through the use of dendochronology (tree ring dating). In the old growth forests, trees grew more slowly because of the thick canopy, creating a denser tree.

Floor planks are available in random 3-8″ widths, and is available in engineered or solid flooring.


8520 Highway 93
Midland, Ontario
Canada L4R 4K4

The Barnboard Store: Located in Toronto in the Danforth area, this store sources reclaimed boards from Ontario barns that need to come down. The website has great photos and idea for barnboard including shelving, benches, headboards and accent walls. Custom headboards are also available. Lengths vary from 2-14 feet, widths: 6-12 inches, thickness 3/4-1″.

Contact information:

Phone: 416-471-9452


Century Wood: Founded in 1997 near Fergus, ON, Century Wood began by supplying reclaimed wood to the Netherlands. It has since expanded and now supplies wood for projects close to home. Century Wood makes both hard and soft wood floors, as well as architectural details such as panels, timber and beams and unfinished barnboard.

Century Wood Products Inc.
Marsville, R.R. #3
Orton, Ontario
L0N 1N0

Phone: 519-855-955

Countrywood: Uses new, salvaged, and reclaimed wood to manufacture wood plank flooring, doors and trim. Wood has been sourced from many different locations. Plank widths come in random sizes from 3-8″ and are milled as either solid or engineered flooring. Countrywood now also carries

Reclaimed wood comes from old factories, barns, and other facilities that are bein torn down.

Salvaged wood comes from the depths of  waters near Huntsville, ON where it has lain undisturbed for many years (no oxygen so it does not decay). A few years ago, many logs were discovered at the Queen Warf in Toronto when a development company was excavating for a new condo project. These logs have been buried since the early 1800s and have been preserved due to a lack of oxygen and light.

935689 Airport Road
SE Corner of Airport Road & Hwy 89
(North of Orangeville)


Logs End: A company based just outside of Ottawa, LogsEnd harvests logs from waterways that were used for shipping felled logs to the mills for processing before the railway was developed. Some of those logs sunk to the bottom of the river before they made it to the mills. They’ve been sitting on the riverbed floor for over 100 years, protected from light and oxygen by the cold, deep waters. They’re well-preserved, very dense and make excellent wood for flooring. Like the wood out of Georgian Bay area, these logs will be old growth (first generation), and can be up to 500 years old or more.

LogsEnd notes on its website that all wood is harvested from the riverbed in the most ecologically responsible manner possible.  Studies have been done and show no ill effects to the river ecosystem after harvesting.

A variety of widths are available ranging from 3 to 9 inches in lengths from 2 to 8 feet (custom orders are also available). Planks are available in engineered and solid versions, in woods ranging from pine, birch, oak, Douglas Fir and Walnut.

Location: 1520 Triole Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1B 3S9

Nadurra has a wide selection of reclaimed wood from local Ontario barns and factories. While reclaimed wood offers the “greenest” choice of wood floors, not to mention wide plank sizes because the wood was originally from first growth forests, it is more expensive, and obviously, one day this wood will also be used up. Varieties of wood are Elm, Hemlock, Noble Oak, Pine, Loyalist Maple and Birch. Available in solid or engineered. Price: $6.50-11/square foot.

Nadurra Wood Corp.
157 Bentworth Avenue Unit A
Toronto, Ontario
M6A 1P6

T: 647.345.8414  F 647.342.0818

Nostalgic Wood: Located in Mt Forest, ON, this company remills wood collected from barnboard around the province. Varieties include hemlock, oak, pine, elm, etc. Available as solid “antique” wood in 3/4″ thickness, or “engineered antique wood flooring (3/8″ wood on 3/8” birch plywood).

565 Perth Street North, Mount Forest, Ontario  N0G 2L0

Phone: 519-323-0175

Timeless Materials: A store that has a large supply of reclaimed wood flooring, including maple, douglas fir, yellow pine, barnboard and more. All wood is from reclaimed sources such as old factories, barns, and other buildings slated for demolition. It also contains other architectural salvage pieces from beautiful antique windows, to mouldings, trim, antique bathtubs, sinks, lamps, etc. All items comes from buildings about to be renovated or torn down.

305 Northfield Dr. E.
Waterloo, Ontario
N2V 2N4


Phone: 519-883-8683
Toll Free: 1-800-609-9633
Fax: 519-883-4016

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EcoInhabit — Earth Inspired Living in Meaford, Ontario

April 6th, 2010

During March Break our family was skiing in Collingwood, ON in the most spectacular weather I’ve ever skied in in my life, even if it was a bit weird and scary being in Collingwood in March in almost 20 degree weather — the same as it was in Florida, according to the weather map.


In any event, one day instead of skiing I decided to visit Ecoinhabit, a green products supplier, which lies just off Highway 26 between Meaford and Thornbury — a fun field trip for me, apparently an excruciatingly boring one for my 14 year old son — go figure.


Ecoinhabit is occupied in an old barn with exposed rafters as well as the metal roof peeking through the wood. It’s a beautiful environment and the store itself is worth a visit. EcoInhabit can help you with many of your green building and lifestyle needs. In addition to building materials, it also carries organic sheets, towels, mattresses, futons, etc. If you’re in the Georgian Triangle area, drop in to take a look. Kara, the store manager, is very knowledgeable and passionate about the products the carry, and like me, cares about whether or not a product is really as green as the manufacturer wants you to believe it is.

Ecoinhabit Store Entrance

Below is a list of some of the products Ecoinhabit carries.

Sealants, Adhesives, and Caulking.

AFM Safecoat products. This is a California-based company that specializes producing low and zero-VOC paints, sealants and adhesives that are considered the safest and least toxic on the market today. Many of its products have received the Scientific Certification Systems’ Indoor Advantage Gold Certification, meaning that they are excellent for indoor air quality.

Ecoinhabit carries the following products:

  • Transitional Primer, $54.99 per gallon,
  • Zero VOC wallpaint. Available in flat (no sheen, $57.99/gallon), eggshell (low-gloss, easy to clean, $59.99/gallon), semi-gloss ($59.99/gallon) and exterior ($59.99/gallon).
  • Carpet Cleaners and Sealers: SafeChoice Shampoo ($30.99/gallon, $11.99/quart), SafeChoice Carpet Seal ($39.99/gallon, $14.99/quart), SafeChoice Lock Out ($32.99/gallon, $13.99/quart).
  • Caulking: $14.50/ten ounce tube.
  • SafeCoat Almighty Adhesive $14.50/10 ounce tube.
  • Safe Seal, $61.99/gallon, $19.99/quart
  • Hard Seal,$57.99/gallon.
  • MexeSeal,$62.99/gallon.
  • Grout Sealer, $23.99/quart. Coverage: 100 linear feet.

For a more detailed description of the benefits of these products, read the post on AFM Safecoat products.


Interface Flooring’s Flor carpet tiles: The residential line of Interface’s carpet selection is called Flor. It offers the ability to mix and match carpet tiles to create unique and interesting patterns similar to linoleum tiles, only with carpet. Carpet tiles made from recycled carpet: $8.99/19″x19″ tile. 100% wool carpet tile: $19.99/19″x19″ tile. Note: prices are approximate only. Please call Ecoinhabit for up-to-date pricing.

Eco-Timber: Engineered and reclaimed hardwood flooring products manufactured by Eco-Timber are made exclusively from Forest Stewardship Council Certified US managed forests. Milling and processing is done in Denver, CO. $10.25/ft sq. Bamboo flooring comes from FSC-certified forests in Asia. $5/ft. sq.

Ontario Reclaimed Flooring: Local reclaimed flooring made out of barnboard from barns that need to come down from around Ontario. $7 – 10/ft sq. Unfinished.


American Clay: An all natural clay product with natural pigments. Applied as plaster, zero VOC, it actually works to purify the air. For more information on American Clay, see my post on its benefits. 50lb bag of: Loma, $80; Meritimo,$120; Porcelina: $145.

Countertop Surfaces:

IceStone: A surface material made of recycled glass and concrete. Available in many different colours and thicknesses. $46-102/ft. sq. For more information on IceStone, see my post on its benefits.

PaperStone: A surface material made of compressed recycled paper and eco-resins. Looks a bit like laminate, the darker ones have a stone-like appearance to them. $42.75-48.50/ft sq. For more information on PaperStone, see my post on its benefits.

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