Christopher Saraceno

Gary Horvath began installing floors in the 1980s. About five years ago, he and his wife, Lisa, started Real Antique Wood ( in an industrial property in Irvington, N.J., once owned by a flooring mill he used to purchase from. Real Antique Wood sells vintage lumber and building parts from structures he’s taken down as far away as Ohio.

When Hurricane Irene felled a massive black walnut tree in 2011, Horvath milled it into planks and stickered them for air drying. For several years, the lumber lay stacked behind the couch in the Horvaths’ living room. “We knew the wood was knock-out beautiful, but we didn’t know what to do with it,” Horvath says, “until a friend of ours saw it...

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