Urban Salvage

The Drum


      MARCH 2012

  • An Avalanche of Reclaimed Floorboards
  • Remilled Recycled Floorboards

An Avalanche of Reclaimed Floorboards

It has been a busy start to 2012 for the demolition industry, and accordingly the best recyclers (us) are becoming well stocked in all sizes of old board salvaged from 20th century houses and schools. Demolition of a classroom wing at West Dandenong Primary School delivered 300m2 of 83 x 19mm and 108 x 19mm hardwood boards in an unpolished scuffed surface.




About 100m2 of grey weathered and age-patinated Tasmanian Oak was salvaged from a community hall in Kingsville and would suit retail or hospitality venues trading on a time-worn look.

Aged Tasmanian Oak salvaged from Kingsville Community Hall

For the nostalgic among you who remember swimming laps of the outdoor pool with present and past state pollies at Hawthorn Leisure Centre, we have salvaged 100m2 of 60 x 25mm Victorian Ash floorboards featuring a limed finish and faded quadrangle lines salvaged from the squash courts. The 60s-era leisure centre is being demolished and a new one built on the same site.


From Wandin Primary School in the Dandenong hills we rescued a 75 x 19mm Blackbutt from annihilation by excavator - a full 120m2 - it's in beautiful condition but there's only one of these.

School v excavator

One of the more unusual reclaimed floors is a 150 x 22mm Celerytop Pine floor from a between-wars house in Bentleigh. Celerytop Pine hails from Tasmania - not always a large tree - though large 1.0m diameter trees have been found in the far southwest. It is a dense, more durable timber than other softwoods in a similar board size and has a glossy plum-caramel hue to the freshly-exposed grain. It was a brittle lift - and there is only 30m2 of it - but much more interesting in colour and texture than your average reclaimed pine floorboard.

150mm recycled board

Celerytop Pine sawlogs


An adult pine in Tasmanian woodlands

Still in stock from 2011 is a modest-sized houselot (68m2) of Tasmanian Blackwood - and it surprises me that it remains unsold. We normally have to keep it on the quiet when limited stocks of a rare and beautiful timber are available, as some of our regulars will feel they missed out.

Here's your chance - a dark rich timber with chocolate tones and bright white-gold sapwood flares.



Other stocks to hand


Tasmanian Oak 133mm, 108mm, 89mm and more ...

Houselots of 40-50m2 only - but many in stock.


NZ Kauri Pine
150 x 28mm   150m2 in stock

Is anything as golden as Kiwi Kauri? Oh yeah - Huon Pine. Even more rare.

Protected stand of Kauri Pine, Northland NZ

Spotted Gum
85 x 25mm

Gymnasium floor with coloured stripes.
Re-use with the court marks re-configured in the style of a Rosalie Gascoigne opus.
Or resand to clean and finish with a waterbased matt for a dark deep Spotted Gum hue.


Southern Beech Myrtle
83 x 19mm

Small pack of 36m2 - salmon red with some golden sapwood edges.



Retro Tasmanian Oak
60 x 19mm  &  55 x 19mm

Fabulous narrow boards that suit 50s fitouts. If you once thought a cream brick veneer dwelling was unfashionable, think again.
Narrow reclaimed Tasmanian Oak will make your floors the envy of the neighbourhood.
Start buying your secondhand Parker furniture now.


Squash court 60mm boards being professionally docked, denailed and packed

Remilled Recycled Floorboards

Recycled Blackbutt
T & G
   100 x 19mm   Rate $117.00/m2

Ancient Blackbutt - no, that's me just having fun with the hyperbole our media thrives upon.
What we have is recycled Blackbutt with a dark furrowed face.

Blackbutt with fine surface checking - a popular feature of air-dried recycled hardwoods where a residual effect
of the furrowed case is retained post-planing

 It's a beautiful board - but I don't know that the mid-20th century really qualifies as ancient - even if the tree was 100 years old at the time.
If it looks this good, it hardly matters how far back in time we need to reach in order to tug on heartstrings. 
Milled from roof timbers salvaged from old industrial farm sheds.
Chooks or tomatoes no doubt played an important part of their history - but, sadly, no King Arthur.



A farm shed with Blackbutt roof timbers that we prepared earlier

Recycled Messmate
70 x 12mm   Rate $55.00/m2

I see this as a serious contender in retro refits along with narrow reclaimed oak.
There's a compelling rhythm in the tonal stripes and the flickers of natural features.
Regular split floor joists reveal a staccato of closely-spaced joist nail shadows - like the fragments of a deranged piano keyboard.
The swirl of backsawn grain is a fluid background to this ballet of textures.
We installed this board in our main sales office over the New Year and we are all mightily impressed with it.
To view a 25m2 display of this jazzy retro-feel floorboard, call in at the Spotswood showroom one day and inspect.
We'll give you a little sample to take home.