How to Recycle Wood Floors (Top 3 Ways 2023)

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how to recycle wood floors

Getting new floors is exciting, especially when it’s a purchase you’ve been thinking about and saving for over a long period. But as exciting as fixing your old wood floors can be, throwing them out seems like a waste.

So, what are you supposed to do with the hardwoods you’re tearing out?

If you’re looking for a better way to get rid of your old flooring, here’s how to recycle wood floors.

Key Takeaways

You can recycle wood flooring by:

  • Taking it to a local recycling center.
  • Reusing or ‘upcycling’ it for home DIY projects.
  • Donating it via Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Habitat for Humanity, or through a salvage company.

Can I Recycle Wood Floors?

Yes, there are many ways to recycle or reuse wood floors. Most recycling centers accept wood, and a quick Google search can help you find a facility near you. If you can’t find a recycling center, you can donate your flooring to salvagers, Habitat for Humanity, or list it for free on Craigslist. 

The Top 3 Ways to Recycle Wood Flooring

Take the Wood to a Recycling Center

Wood is a highly recyclable material. While you can’t toss wood in your recycling bins for pickup, you can usually bring it to your local recycling facility.

You can use the site Earth911 to search for a facility near you. You can filter your search to find facilities that take construction material like old hardwood flooring.

Pro Tip: As someone who frequently recycles wood floors, I can’t stress enough how valuable your local recycling center can be. Most of them accept all types of wooden floors and also provide information about the proper disposal or reuse of this material. Make sure to ask them if they have any special instructions or requirements for your type of wood floors before delivering.

Reuse the Wood for Projects

If you’re crafty, hang on to your wood floors and use them for projects. There are so many different ways to use wood planks. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Top for a bench
  • Picture frames
  • Shelving
  • Countertops
  • Signs
  • Accent walls
  • Cabinet refacing

Different types and widths of hardwood will be suitable for different kinds of projects. For example, wide plank flooring can be great for cabinet refacing, while thinner width floors are ideal for making picture frames.

For inspiration, search these ideas on Pinterest.

Pro Tip: From my experience of countless DIY projects, old hardwood floors can be a treasure! Depending on their condition, they can be upcycled into beautiful furniture pieces, wall paneling, or even creative art pieces. The charm and character that repurposed wood brings to a project often turns out to be the highlight. Remember to always safely handle and thoroughly inspect the wood before use.

Donate Your Old Hardwood Flooring

If your floors are still in good condition, consider donating them. Many families and organizations would be happy to take the flooring off your hands. Professional salvagers may even remove the flooring for you in exchange for keeping it (depending on the value of your floors.)

Here are some ideas for donating your old hardwood flooring:

Give to Habitat for Humanity – Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps homeowners build their houses. They also have a “Re-store” where they sell previously used household items and construction materials cheaply. Most of the Re-stores accept used hardwood flooring.

List for Free on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace – If you want to pass your flooring to someone local, list your wood floors on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. This is an excellent way to get rid of it quickly.

Contact a Salvage Company – If your floors are already out, contact local salvage companies. Many will be interested in picking up your old floors if they are still in good condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to recycle wood flooring

Can I burn old hardwood flooring?

If your hardwood flooring is finished or painted, you’ll want to avoid burning it since it can release toxic fumes. If the wood has no finish, it’s safe to burn. 

Pro Tip: Before you burn old wood floors, it’s crucial to know the type of finish they have. Some finishes can release toxic fumes when burned. From my experience, it’s often safer and more environmentally friendly to recycle or repurpose them. If you’re unsure about the safety of burning your old wood floors – don’t. Donate or recycle them instead – it keeps the material in use and out of the landfill.

Instead of using the flooring as firewood, consider dropping it off at a recycling center or donating it to an organization.

How much does it cost to remove old hardwood floors?

It costs anywhere from $1.25 to $4.33 per square foot to have hardwood flooring professionally removed. This means you’ll be paying anywhere from $250 to $866 for a 200 square foot room.

Prices vary depending on where you live. You should get 3-5 estimates before choosing a contractor to work with.

Can I sell my old hardwood flooring?

If you can remove your floors without damaging them, then yes, you can sell your hardwood flooring. However, you shouldn’t expect to bring in the big bucks. Since many people give away their old flooring for free, your floors probably won’t command much money.

Conclusion

Don’t take your wood to the dump! There are many ways to recycle your wood flooring that are just as easy (or easier) than throwing it out. Find a local recycling center, donate your floors, or put your craft skills to the test and reuse those floorboards.

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AUTHOR

Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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