The concept of re-use and recycling has only recently began to be a hot topic of discussion. Clearly, climate change, incessant flooding, melting ice caps, wild life extinction amongst other negating consequences of our eat-through mentality has given us more than enough to rummage about.
This article, however, is not a debate about conservation. It is to discuss reclaimed lumber or wood. An increasingly valuable resource, it represents the values of replenishment, reconnecting with erstwhile design styles/architecture, and practicality.
What Is Reclaimed Wood or Lumber?
Reclaimed lumber or reclaimed wood (both terms will be used interchangeably in this article) refers to wood that has been used before but extracted (or reclaimed) to re-process for another purpose. Accordingly, the sources of reclaimed wood include barns, factories, farms, salvage companies, or shipping crates. A rising number of lumber companies also sell reclaimed lumber.
Specifically though, it is the wood beams and flooring found in these locations—factories, buildings, and storehouses—that provide the acclaimed reclaimed wood.
What Are The Benefits of Reclaimed Wood or Lumber?
Conservation: Let us start with the save the environment ilk. Rather than chop, chop, chop; reusing wood actually checks the level of deforestation. This has profound effects on resident wildlife in these major lumber mining locations, which has unfathomable positive ripple effects.
Premium Quality: Without doubt, every wood aficionado worth his or her salt knows that the quality of reclaimed wood is unparalleled. The reason is multi-faceted, but in one word is “STABILITY.”
Stability is an important factor, as wood with increased stability are less liable to suffer from further twisting or checking. The acclaimed stability of reclaimed wood is a positive result of its character exemplified by tighter grain pattern, level of curing, and ferrous staining.
Top Value and Durability: Both qualities are related. First, the history of a piece of lumber is often of prime importance and so has antique value. This follows from the outstanding quality of reclaimed wood. The premium quality also influences the increased durability of reclaimed lumber over fresh sawn wood.
Sapwood or Heartwood
Aged trees have two major types of wood. The wood closer to the exterior is the sapwood, and the part of wood that makes up the interior (the ‘Heart’ of the tree) is the Heartwood. The Heartwood does not play any role in keeping the tree alive, and so is dry and harder than the sapwood that routes nutrients and water from the ground to the branches and leaves.
Consequently, the heartwood is more stable than sapwood. Even better, heartwood has better olfactory signature (fancy for sweet smell) and rich attractive color. Therefore, it is in your best interest to ensure that your reclaimed wood is heartwood for better value for your money.
Uses and Types of Reclaimed Wood
In general, reclaimed lumber are re-used for making furniture and for home interiors. In-depth, reclaimed lumber have widespread use in classic and contemporary architecture and interior designing. The principal uses of reclaimed wood include in furniture, flooring, cabinet lumber, and side paneling.
The three major types of reclaimed wood are chestnut, oak, and pine. The most used variety for paneling and flooring is Wormy Chestnut. Chestnut is often reclaimed from barn wood. Season Fir and Maple are other wood types that are substantially reclaimed. If you are deciding on which type of reclaimed wood to use in coastal areas, Cypress is a terrific choice. It has an uncanny ability to withstand moisture and humidity better.
Reclaimed wood is a top choice. It exudes elegance supplemented by charisma and natural feel wherever it used, it is durable, has top-grade quality, is eco-friendly, and is cost-effective too as you would not treat or temper with the reclaimed wood often.