This might be your first time reading about reclaimed wood – but you’ve heard the term floating around. You may have even thought about buying a home decor item made of reclaimed or repurposed wood. The things that struck you about it? Its uniqueness, the outer character of the wood, and the idea that these pieces had a rich history before they found you.
Reclaimed wood isn’t just a trend or a fad. It’s been utilized for many years as an aesthetic, durable, eco-friendly material for all manner of siding, flooring, and furniture. To appreciate objects created from reclaimed wood, you have to first understand its basic definition.
What Exactly is Reclaimed Wood?
Reclaimed wood is wood that has been previously used in other structures. The disassembling of a structure, whether intentionally or unintentionally, results in wood waste that can be saved and given a new life. The old purpose that wood may have served includes barns, beams, ships, and more.
With a slightly different meaning than that of “salvaged” wood, reclaimed wood specifically refers to wood that was originally harvested as lumber for the purpose of construction. Much wood of this kind is made from what is known as “old-growth trees”. This essentially means that the trees are of a “first generation” harvest. The umbrella of old-growth trees houses a variety of different wood species; the common traits being hardness, heaviness, and durability. These characteristics make reclaimed wood highly desirable.
Where Does Reclaimed Wood Come From?
Due to industry and environmental changes over the last 100+ years, it would be difficult to trace the origin of your reclaimed wood. However, it might be safe to assume that, if the structure from which it was reclaimed is local to you, the wood is probably from old-growth trees gathered in your area a long time ago.
Back in the day, the finest, largest trees were harvested for construction. In modern times, we’re very aware of the damages of deforestation and are more conscious about protecting our natural resources. The good news is, we still have top-quality wood hanging around ready to be up-cycled. Repurposing gives that incredible lumber a second chance!
It’s estimated by the Rainforest Action Network organization that 3.5 billion to 7 billion trees are cut down every year. Since we’re now working with only around half of the Earth’s original tree volume, the environmental benefits of reusing wood are obvious. Beautiful flooring and home decor pieces can be environmentally guilt-free by opting for character-laden, sustainable reclaimed wood.
The History of Your Reclaimed Wood Continues With You
Not only is your reclaimed wood eco-friendly and full of history, but it’s also incomparable in style. Cleaning and retreating the wood enriches its color and creates a satiny smooth surface. But, even after the polishing, no two reclaimed wood pieces could ever look exactly alike. Its marks, striations, and intriguing wood grain is totally unique to that piece, so rest assured that it’s original to you.
Think about your home and the potential to give it a real conversation piece like a reclaimed wood wine rack, dresser, or nightstand. No family passes down grandma’s particle board kitchen table – whether a dining set, bed frame, or kitchen island, reclaimed wood lends a rustic, lived-in look while adding a dynamic element to your modern home.
Sure, it’s reclaimed, but it can never be recreated quite in the same way!