Having removed the tatty 30 year old wall to wall carpets (that were so popular in the 80’s) we wanted to put down wooden flooring. There are many commercial wooden flooring options out there, mostly the engineered options which are layers of pine with a bamboo & oak layer on the top. These require industrial process to create them and are often a mix of nasty glues, meaning they can’t be easily biodegraded or recycled at the end of their lifespan. Many of them are also imported from China, Denmark and Finland.

In South Africa there is a lot of reclaimed Oregon pine flooring but the price for this is way too high as it is rare and sought after. (R600p/sqm). 

We chose to use stone pine upstairs and reclaimed gum downstairs. The stone pine was harvested from local alien stone pine trees (within 50km) that needed to be felled/removed anyway. We also asked the timber yard Forest Creations to use the heartwood so that it was less prone to beetle – this is why you see so much grain in the wood. We wanted to avoid using CCA treatment as it is highly toxic and renders the timber as un-recyclable at the end of it’s lifespan (unless it is reused of course). The stone pine floor was then oiled using Pronature wood oil. Which is a linseed oil-based product here in South Africa. So far, after 4 years, we haven’t had to re-oil the floors. Though it probably wouldn’t hurt!

The wood was also treated with borax. Borax is toxic to insects but not to mammals and is painted on the the underside of the boards. It can’t be used outside though as water would simply wash it away.