The Benefits of Reclaimed Wood In Your Designs


We're seeing reclaimed wood being used in a variety of designs, especially in Modern Farmhouse, Industrial, or Rustic. Whether it's a dining table made from old barn beams, flooring made from barn siding, or even pallet wood used for an accent wall, reclaimed wood is a great resource and can provide a, well, farmhouse, industrial, or rustic look for your next design or remodel project.

There are a few benefits to using reclaimed wood as new flooring, wood paneling, or even in your new furniture purchases. Here are five to think about.

Old wood is more stable

Ask any woodworker, and they'll tell you that new wood is often more unstable and prone to warping than old wood. That's because the rings of younger trees aren't as tightly packed together which causes a lot of fluctuation in the wood's stability after it has been milled and glued-and-screwed together. Newer wood can warp and twist, or expand and contract as the weather changes, which can result in splits on tabletops, wobbly chairs and tables, and cupping of wide boards.

Old barns and buildings that were built over 100 years ago were often built from old-growth wood that was 100 – 300 years old itself. As the trees grew, the rings packed more tightly together, resulting in more stable lumber. And since "new" old-growth wood is nearly impossible to find (and we should leave it alone if we do), reclaimed wood is the best option for it.

There are a few environmental benefits

You can get some environmental benefits from using reclaimed wood:

1) Using reclaimed wood means not using new timber, which helps the forests that have been planted for future lumber use to grow a little longer. More growing means more stable lumber for other building projects. (See above.)

2) Reclaimed wood uses fewer chemicals and wastes less water than newly-harvest lumber.

3) You'll use a lot less paint and stain because you'll want to show off the character of the reclaimed lumber. (See #4.)

4) And finally, when old buildings are torn down, the wood is thrown into landfills; salvaging and reclaiming that wood keeps it from taking up limited landfill space.

You have access to rare and exotic woods

Some woods are rather rare these days, and are often only obtained from reclaimed sources. For example, if you wanted to use an old European or Asian wood in your design project, the only way you could get it would be to use reclaimed wood as the new wood is either no longer available or is very expensive.

Reclaimed wood has a unique look

Imagine using floor boards from an old coffee warehouse or an old timber bridge. Think of all the staining and character that has been picked up by decades of coffee being ground into the wood, how rich and dark it will look in your home.

A lot of reclaimed lumber has a rich patina created by years — decades, even — of its previous use, and you can showcase it in your home. So rather than paint it over and cover it up, display it for everyone to see.

It adds to the experience of your home

Imagine having a desk made from timbers of a long-ago factory, barn, or even a ship. Or a dining table or buffet made from reclaimed beams. Or a bed made from FSC-certified pine used in an old tavern or inn.

Your furniture can have a history that starts long before the day you bought it. It not only had a positive environmental impact, it will be more stable, better constructed, and will last longer. It will enhance the overall experience of your home, and you can sleep, write, or eat on furniture that you know provided work, shelter, or transport for others long before you encountered it.

If you'd like to add some reclaimed wood to your next remodeling or design project, Parker Gwen's design experts can guide you to the right kinds of elements to include in your home. To learn more or see how we can help you, please call us at support@parkergwen.com or visit our website for more information.

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