Reclaimed wood is lumber that has been recovered from its previous use and repurposed as part of a new building project, as new furniture, or as wooden décor.
Reclaimed wood has become increasingly popular in recent years, and is highly sought after by builders, carpenters, and DIY woodworking enthusiasts.
Let’s take a closer look at the sources of reclaimed wood, some of its benefits, and its most common uses.
Sources Of Reclaimed Wood Are Everywhere
While there is not a singular type of reclaimed wood, lumber that was used in buildings, particularly older structures, is the most common type of wood that is reclaimed.
Sources of reclaimed wood are plentiful; wood was once the most common building material for everything from houses to early manufacturing facilities.
Common examples of reclaimed wood include:
- Old barn floor boards, rafters, and joists
- Structural beams and poles from old mills and warehouses
- Large snow fences, particularly throughout the Rocky Mountains
Lumber can be reclaimed from many other types of structures too, like churches and shipping pallets.
The larger size of the timber from these structures can easily be cut down and shaped to fit whatever purpose the woodworker needs. Also, wood used as structural support, particularly in older buildings, is most often “old growth” wood. This type of wood was harvested from America’s early forests and has its own benefits.
Why Is Reclaimed Wood Used?
Reclaimed wood has many benefits that make it ideal for carpenters and builders.
Environmentally Friendly Resource
Reclaimed wood is a sustainable, environmentally friendly resource. Many eco-minded builders and homeowners use it as a way to reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint. Another key benefit is its durability.
Durability And Resilience
Because older lumber was sourced from old growth forests, the wood was usually high quality and durable. Timber was sourced from older, larger trees across America, such as redwood and American Chestnut trees.
Builders used the heartwood, or the wood closer to the core, of these old, large trees to manufacture timbers for barns and other structures. In many ways, this wood is more resilient than what’s available from modern new growth forests. Another reason people like reclaimed wood is simply for its aesthetic appeal.
Timber sourced from older structures has a distinct character. It has often been weathered by the elements. Generations of activity and use have given it a particular look and feel that truly cannot be mimicked. There is also a rich history that comes with reclaimed wood – each piece tells part of the story of the barn, church, or other building from where it came.
How Is Reclaimed Wood Used
Reclaimed wood can be used in many different ways. From residential and commercial construction to small hobbyist projects, the uses of reclaimed wood are virtually countless. However, some of its most common uses include:
- Hardwood flooring. Reclaimed wood can be used as-is or cut to length to be used as flooring. Reclaimed wood floors offer a one-of-a-kind look to a home or office space.
- Exterior wall siding. Similarly to flooring, reclaimed wood can be as exterior wall cladding to give a building a unique look.
- Indoor wall paneling. Reclaimed wood can be used as wall planks for indoor paneling. Most often, a single wall in a room will be paneled with reclaimed wood to create an accent against neutral or light-colored walls.
- Wooden stair treads. Some people have used reclaimed wood as stair risers and treads to create beautiful staircases.
- Framing and accents. Smaller pieces of reclaimed wood are used as decorative framing and accents around homes and offices. This can include around recessed bookcases or shelves.
- Furniture. Reclaimed wood is often used as furniture, from end tables to benches, bookcases, and headboards. There are many ways it can be used to create a unique household piece.
- Shelves. Another common use of reclaimed wood is to create shelves. Because it’s strong, reclaimed wood is a perfect material for unique bracketed and floating shelves.
Creative builders and woodworkers have found ways to incorporate reclaimed wood into projects both large and small. Part of the beauty of reclaimed wood is how versatile it is!
Shop For Reclaimed Wood Shelves & Home Décor
At Urban Legacy, we appreciate the unique look and history of reclaimed wood. Our one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood shelves are handcrafted right here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania from regionally sourced, authentic barn wood.
Whether you’re shopping for a quality accent piece for your own home or the perfect gift for a loved one, our reclaimed wood shelves are sure to make a statement!