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General Hardwood Floor Info

What Is Reclaimed Wood?

Thinking about using reclaimed wood in your next flooring or furniture project? Learn more about reclaimed wood and make an informed choice.
Thinking about using reclaimed wood in your next flooring or furniture project? Learn more about reclaimed wood and make an informed choice.
Posted October 25, 2017

Reclaimed wood, recycled wood, salvaged wood—while there may be some small differences between these terms, the overall idea is that old wood is being used in new projects. This trend is becoming more and more popular, but using reclaimed wood properly is more than just taking old wood and turning it into something new and beautiful.

 

Popularity of Reclaimed Wood

Fans of reclaimed wood give many reasons why they prefer it over newly manufactured wood. Here are some reasons why reclaimed wood is becoming more sought after.

  • A sustainable choice. By its nature, reusing wood that normally would have been thrown out, burned or otherwise destroyed reduces waste and landfill space.
  • Wood with a story. The source of reclaimed wood can have a long story attached to it. Wood coming from old barns, schools, shipyards, or other buildings brings out even more richness to the look and feel of reclaimed wood.         
  • Hard and durable. Since most reclaimed wood has been around for decades or longer, it’s had the time to go through its growing pains. Because of this, reclaimed wood is stronger and more climate resistant than new wood.
  • Unique specie choices. As conservation for trees and forests have grown and changed over the years, some species of wood are only available as reclaimed wood.
  • Rustic appearance. Vintage style is trendy in everything from fashion to homes. Using the floor as the foundation of the style of the home means using reclaimed wood and a natural oil finish, such as Bona Craft Oil 2K.

Considerations with Reclaimed Wood


Using reclaimed wood is a smart, sustainable choice, but there are some things to consider before you design and buy.

  • The right retailer. Because of its popularity, there are more and more sources for reclaimed wood. Do your homework and learn about a retailer’s methods for getting their stock.
                  
  • Wood’s past life. Think about how the wood was used before. Was it used in a sanitary place? Was the wood left outside for decades? Be sure to the choose the safest wood, especially if it will be around pets and children.
     
  • Proper preparation. Make sure the reclaimed wood has been properly treated. Has it been scrubbed and cleaned? Have all the nails or other metal fasteners been removed? Has it been kiln-dried, heat treated so that the wood doesn’t have any insects? These are all important precautions to make sure the wood is safe to use.
     
  • Other options. Many people love reclaimed wood for its vintage, rustic look. However, if that’s the only reason why you’re looking to use reclaimed wood, remember that there are newer options and technology out there to give your floors a distressed look. While reclaimed wood is an option for a rustic look, it’s not the only one.

Have more questions about wood types or hardwood floors in general?

Check out our Hardwood Floors 101 video series for more helpful information to help you design and build the floor of your dreams. For more about protecting hardwood, check out our collection of waterborne finishes and sealers.
 

Achievable Looks with Waterborne Sealers & Finishes