Trent Hubbard works to preserve a dwindling resource.
Reclaimed wood began showing up in Augusta homes and businesses roughly twenty years ago as a design trend, around the same time Clay Boardman took on the renovation of Enterprise Mill. The former textile mill dating back to the mid-1800’s was an example for the community to see what beauty waited to be unlocked in these old factories.
Over the ensuing years it has become much more than a fad. At first, reclaimed wood was common for local businesses like coffee shops and restaurants wanting something different to evoke an artisanal atmosphere. It has now crossed over to commercial buildings and office spaces.
More than likely you’ve seen reclaimed wood at one of Augusta’s many restaurants and bars such as Diablo’s Southwest Grill, Becks Oyster Bar, Southbound BBQ, Frog & the Hen or the Arsenal Tap Room to name a few. Local Augusta College grad Trent Hubbard’s sawmill on Sand Bar Ferry Road supplied the lumber for the aforementioned projects, while producing reclaimed flooring for homes and businesses all over the southeast.
Hubbard’s primary focus is reclaimed wood flooring, typically pine or oak.
The Process at Highland Mills on Sand Bar Ferry Road
In his first career, Hubbard found himself traveling the country working in the IT industry. Longing for something more tangible, he pursued his interest in reclaimed wood at a local mill. He opened up Highland Mills on Sand Bar Ferry Road and hasn’t looked back since.
In his childhood, his father would pull a car into the garage, close the door and father and son would strip the vehicle down the the last bolt, then reassemble. Hubbard developed the ability to figure out complex systems and machinery, ultimately building his sawmill from scratch. He purchased machinery from defunct mills, figuring out how to transport, assemble, install and operate a host of highly technical machines required to do the work of turning antique wood into precise flooring.
Now he is evolving with the times.
Hubbard’s sawmill has recently converted to go green, investing in equipment and people to begin producing engineered flooring using reclaimed lumber, something not many small, non-corporate mills are capable of doing. Reclaimed wood has become so popular the need to conserve the limited resource has become urgent.
”We’re conserving a resource that we’re never going to see again,” Hubbard says.
“We’re able to get two to three times the amount of output using the same amount of reclaimed by creating engineered flooring.
Engineered flooring, as opposed to solid reclaimed flooring. is much more dimensionally stable with less seasonal movement. “Actually, this goes down easier, it lays better. It’s laser straight.” Hubbard says.
Sand Bar Ferry Road Augusta GA