What is Reclaimed Lumber?
Reclaimed lumber is wood rescued from its previous life and dismantled for subsequent use. Other names for reclaimed lumber include distressed lumber, upcycled lumber, recovered lumber, vintage wood, or antique lumber. Not to be confused with salvage logging, which is the practice of logging trees in areas affected by natural disturbances (i.e. blight, wildfires, floods, and severe winds). Most reclaimed lumber comes from boards and beams found in old barns, factories, and warehouses which have fallen into despair. Less traditional origins of reclaimed wood derive from sources like wine barrels, coal mines, retired ships and even boxcars.
WHY RECLAIMED LUMBER?
Vintage wood products are very popular these days due to the unique appearance of aged wood, the durability and strength of the lumber, and the eco-friendly or “green” aspect or repurposing material combined with the sentimental value regarding the history and origin of the wood.
STRENGTH & DURABILITY OF VINTAGE WOOD
Old growth wood is stronger and able to be sawn into more durable wide planks than newly harvested lumber. The slower the growth, the denser the fibers, increasing strength and durability of the wood. Consider this, vintage wood products are often reclaimed from buildings that were built hundreds of years ago.
ECO-FRIENDLY COMPARED TO FRESH HARVESTED WOOD
Eco-friendly goals to reduce pollution alone, by repurposing wood products, can have a dramatic and positive impact on our environment.
In fact, the cumulative energy to make a comparative piece of newly harvested lumber is 11 to 13 times more than the reclaimed counterpart. Recycling one ton of wood can save 18,000,000 BTUs of energy. It is believed that choosing recycled wood will lower demand for “green timber” and help raise awareness about deforestation and eco-friendly practices among timber mills.
Timber harvested prior to the 20th-century attribute to the strength of vintage lumber products. Reclaimed wood products are often born of timber that grew hundreds of years prior to the industrial revolution and its harsh impact on the environment.
SEASONED BY THE ELEMENTS
Reclaimed vintage lumber is often exposed to various humidity levels, temperatures, and other elements for prolonged periods. This exposure is referred to as natural seasoning. Seasoned wood is far stronger and more stable than recently harvested lumber.
Seasoned lumber is an ideal material for radiant heating (a technology of heating floors, walls or ceilings versus forced air heating). Aged wood allows an even distribution of heat compared to newly sawn wood, vinyl or engineered products.
COST EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVES
Vintage wood products are more difficult to source these days due to the dramatic surge in popularity of reclaimed lumber. As a result, costs for vintage wood is skyrocketing.
For those interested in the look and feel of reclaimed lumber on a budget, we also offer resawn lumber from more recently harvested timber. Resawn lumber delivers the look and feel of aged wood for less.