What is Reclaimed Wood?

Enticing Trees | 03 September, 2019

            reclaimed wood from old barns

What is reclaimed wood?

To put it simply: wood that was one thing before, but is now a different thing.

To put it properly: reclaimed wood is wood that was harvested, cut, treated, and used for construction (say, a barn), and later repurposed for a different project or use. 

Please don’t confuse reclaimed wood with salvaged wood, which is wood that was never actually used for anything. But don’t worry! We’ll go over all the terminology commonly encountered in this space in a later post. 

Have you ever driven past old wooden mills out in the countryside? Do you ever wonder what happened…why it’s no longer in use? Perhaps the land got bought out just before the economy crashed, or maybe Lassie couldn’t save the family farm after all.

Whatever it was, surely it’s a waste for all that beautiful wood to sit and rot, becoming eaten up by the ravages of time. 

What if you could repurpose some of that wood, and bring something organic and rustic back into a world of carpeted bathrooms, vinyl flooring, and “pleather”? Some beautiful candle holders, for instance.

This is wood reclamation. Making something old new again.

Where does reclaimed wood come from?

Reclaimed wood can come from anywhere. When America was an unspoiled new world, it was rich with abundant resources and trees were one of them. Massive, ancient trees--some up to 500 years old--with thick, dense fibers that were ideal for building sturdy, long-lasting structures. 

Wood was a primary construction material in just about everything until relatively recently in our history. Over that time, many of those high-quality trees were clear cut and turned into things like mills, farms, houses, barrels, factories, pallets, boxcars on trains, etc. The list is nearly endless.

But the supply of high-quality natural wood dwindled, and as the laws of supply and demand dictate, the price went up. This bit of economics birthed the advent of cheaper construction materials, and wood as a primary resource for construction fell to the wayside.


Why should you use reclaimed wood?

In recent years it’s become fashionable to repurpose those forgotten wooden structures into other objects, rather than allowing them to fade away into disrepair. Not only does this practice contribute to the green movement, it also results in a completely unique, one-of-a-kind item...a far cry from the cheap, mass-produced world that surrounds us.

Beyond the uniqueness factor, reclaimed wood is typically high quality and durable. While new construction codes may render an old bridge unsuitable for its original purpose--or it has merely fallen out of use--we can breathe new life into its parts. In the process, we create something personal and meaningful to us.

What can you use reclaimed wood for?

You are only limited to your imagination. The most common use is, ironically, in new construction projects: flooring, wood beams, cabinetry, furniture, etc. 

If a large-scale home renovation isn’t the right fit, you can still bring the beauty of reclaimed wood into your home with unusual wall art

But really, you can do anything! Enticing Trees would be excited to collaborate with you and bring your idea to life. Click here to tell us what you have in mind, and let’s work together to turn your ideas into a beautiful and rustic reality.