What is Reclaimed Wood Good For

8/24/2015 9:01 AM

What is Reclaimed Wood?

Reclaimed lumber is basically processed wood which is retrieved from it's original application for subsequent use. Most of it comes from decking and timber that has been rescued from warehouses, old barns and factories, though some people may use lumber from the less traditional structures like wine barrels, boxcars and coal mines. Antique lumber is used mainly for decoration, home building or remodeling, for instance, siding, cabinetry, architectural details, furniture and flooring.

Why Use Reclaimed Wood?

When you use antique lumber for any part of your remodeling or home improvement project, you are giving old lumber new life. You will also be helping preserve forests by passing on virgin wood for perfectly usable and sustainable older wood, which by the way, comes with quite a tale!  As most business and homeowners today are striving to become more earth friendly, antique wood products are increasingly becoming more and more popular.


Reclaimed lumber is normally of a quality, which you cannot find easily in stores today. A lot of recycled lumber dates back before modern construction and milling methods. Prior to World War II, most mature trees, which had grown gradually over hundreds of years, were usually used in construction. Recycled timber that originated with the ancient trees is much stronger and has much denser growth rings as compared to the younger lumber being used in mills today. The planks and beams created from these trees are much larger and much wider than the modern lumber.

Reclaimed lumber has aesthetic qualities, which are nearly impossible to get in new materials. You will find hand hewn beams which have saw marks still quite visible from craftsmen/women who cut it over 100 years ago. You will find recycled siding from the old barns, with silvery, faded paint color or aged patina created by gradual weathering over the years. You will find recycled floors of antique oaks, pulled out of the old buildings and then milled into some great new planks. In short, reclaimed lumber has a feel and look, which you just cannot replicate with something you will find at the local home improvement store.

Reclaimed Lumber Popularity

Reclaimed lumber is becoming more and more popular for various reasons, some of which include; the wood's unique appeal, its' contribution to environmental friendly building, the unique history of the lumber's origins, and the lumber's physical characteristics like strength, durability and stability. The increased strength and durability of reclaimed lumber is usually attributed to lack of pollution in the air, which existed up until the 20th century, and also the wood usually was harvested straight from the virgin growth timber that had hundreds of years to mature and grow before any human intervention. In addition, reclaimed beams may be sawn into much wider planks than the newly harvested wood. It is also more stable than the newly cut wood since it has been exposed to various changes in the humidity for long thus it's more stabel.

Posted in Reclaimed Wood By Melissa D

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