When considering how to add character to a space, the thought of wine barrels doesn’t often cross one’s mind. While wine barrels can make interesting tables or be fashioned into other furniture, this rustic look doesn’t blend well with all designs. But now discerning connoisseurs have the ability to add the rich history and aged beauty of wine into their home or business by choosing reclaimed wine barrel flooring.
Reclaimed wine barrel flooring is made from all parts of the barrel. Styles include cooperage, wine-infused and stave.
Cooperage flooring is the most distinctive of the three options. Each plank is crafted from the tops of wine barrels. The unique cooperage stamps, used by wineries to identify the contents of the barrel, are scattered throughout the planks.
Wine-infused flooring is made from the inside of the barrels. Planks are stained by the colour of the wine contained within. This gives it a rich finish and makes it an ideal choice if looking for something darker underfoot.
Stave flooring is created from the outside of wine barrels, specifically individual staves or strips of wood that make up the body of the barrel. Markings from where the metal hoops have been removed achieve an overall weathered look. It makes this flooring a great option if wanting to add both pattern and texture to a space.
When this flooring type was first developed, only solid planks were available. Over time, however, the product has been engineered to become more dimensionally stable and suitable for installation in more humid environments.
Nowadays, a thin veneer of the barrel wood is taken and applied to a Baltic birch backing. All Baltic birch backing is Forest Stewardship Council certified, meaning it is sustainably harvested. The wine barrel veneers are adhered to the backing using non-formaldehyde adhesive. The veneers are then finished with an ultra-low VOC (volatile organic compound), water-based urethane. This, together with the fact less than 10 per cent of the barrels used end up in landfills, relieves demand for other flooring materials and makes it an excellent choice for the environmentally conscious. What is not used for flooring finds its way to becoming stable bedding, mulch or smoker pellets. Even the galvanized metal hoops and nails are recycled.
The process of engineering this flooring is quite labour intensive. No two planks are alike since the selection of barrels always varies. Each plank is also hand-crafted. To make just three square feet of cooperage or wine-infused style flooring, a whole barrel is required. More of the stave style flooring comes out of a barrel as the surface area used is much greater.