If you use carpets it can be a long time between the times when you check the condition of the hardwood floor boards underneath. In this time great damage can be done by such things as moisture and mold. It can be that you will need to replace one of your hardwood flooring boards.
It is possible at this point to choose new hardwood flooring as a replacement. The look will be different from the rest of the flooring but if you re-lay the carpet nobody will notice. If, however, you want the replacement board to look the same as the other boards you will have to buy antique hardwood flooring.
There are now companies that perform this service. They ascertain the age and type of flooring that you have. They then source hardwood flooring that is from the same period and has the same characteristics. They will even find a finish that is the same as the existing finish so that the replaced board looks just like the rest of the flooring. This is a specialized service and probably means that you will have to pay fairly dearly for a small amount of antique hardwood flooring.
This is fair enough. However, if you want to buy antique flooring for your house you can be surprised to discover that it costs in some cases more than new hardwood flooring. This seems strange to say the least. The idea of reclaimed hardwood flooring and antique flooring is that it is meant to be a green alternative to using new hardwood flooring. Why should you pay more for second-hand flooring?
Frankly many small and medium size suppliers of antique flooring simply over-charge. They pick up flooring at a discount price get it kiln dried and then offer it for sale at grossly inflated prices. This is taking advantage of people who want to be earth friendly.
Before you buy antique flooring, it is worth checking how rare the hardwood is. Some hardwoods cannot be bought new and so the antique version has a premium value. If that is not the case and you feel that the antique flooring is too much then approach other suppliers.
Finally, if you feel there is a monopoly of bad value going on then look to another type of sustainable flooring such as cork, bamboo or coconut. By over-paying for antique hardwood flooring people are damaging the environment as it means it will remain a flooring type that is for only for the rich. The truth is that new hardwood flooring should cost the most. The rich should be penalized for chopping down the forests. The rest who want to help should be encouraged to buy reclaimed and antique hardwood by attractive prices.