One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It may seem obvious that reclaimed wood is in fact wood that has been reclaimed and repurposed from one form to another. But what isn’t obvious is where this wood came from, and what it had to go through to truly become reclaimed and safe to install in your home or business. Reclaimed materials can often be quite old and antiquated, originating from vintage buildings and structures from centuries ago. Ethically-speaking, reclaiming materials from these old buildings is the only way to obtain the sought-after old-growth wood. Other than these sources for reclaimed wood, it can also be salvaged from much of the wood that would have been diverted to a landfill from a construction project or other instances with leftover wood materials.
Where Does Reclaimed Wood Come From?
When people think of reclaimed wood, they’ll often picture an old abandoned barn or structure that has been untouched for years. Wood from these buildings that end up being salvaged is known as post-consumer reclaimed wood. But many fail to realize just how much wood waste is actually produced on a daily basis. Much of the current reclaimed wood is sourced from waste generated during the manufacturing process of wood products like furniture and construction leftovers. This kind of reclaimed wood is known as post-industrial and encompasses much of the salvaged accent features we see around us today.
Reclaimed wood can also be salvaged from dead or dying trees submerged in reservoirs created for power generation. Even though it hasn’t necessarily been “used” before, it’s still considered reclaimed because the wood materials were given a purpose that would have otherwise resulted in chipping, burning, or a landfill. This method gives rise to what is known as water reclaimed wood and is a safe option to obtain exotic hardwoods without fear of illegal logging practices.
One of the main features that draws eyes to reclaimed wood year after year is the opportunity to display history in your household that looks stunning and has a story. Reclaimed wood has so many different origins, and salvaging its antiquity and beauty is priceless for any space.
How Do I Know if Reclaimed Wood is Safe?
Reclaimed wood is obviously a natural material given that it is, well, wood. Since it was sourced from trees, it’s pretty safe and natural at its core. If a piece of wood is considered eligible for repurposing, it’ll go through a thorough cleaning process to ensure things like bugs, mold, and nails are not an issue. It’s the additives to the reclaimed wood that are cause for concern much of the time. Anything that was added to the wood after being salvaged such as a finish, fire retardant, substrate, or glue, need to have their VOCs kept to a minimum. When there are few to none of the VOCs, the reclaimed wood emits little to no toxins in the air, making the environment in your home and its surroundings much healthier and safer all around. Most reclaimed wood companies make the environment their top priority. One of reclaimed wood’s claims to fame is its sustainability and eco-friendliness. So for the most part, most companies that offer reclaimed materials will likely use no VOCs, but it’s always a good idea to double-check.
How is Reclaimed Wood Installed?
Reclaimed wood is generally installed just like any other wood material. Certain companies will manufacture their reclaimed wood to fit certain shapes and sizes, making installation seamless and easy for anyone to do. Other reclaimed wood may be a bit more difficult to do on your own and will require you to hire a professional to come in and help you out. Because reclaimed wood has been around for so long and from so many kinds of places, it won’t always fit together how you may need. In certain scenarios, it can be necessary to trim the edges of your wood to fit in perfectly to the space you’re hoping for. Some of the companies that we supply reclaimed wood from have materials that were made to fit into one another without any problems. We also carry faux reclaimed options for those wanting the rustic look of wood but the durability of new wood materials. Whichever route you decide to go down, know that your reclaimed wood can be installed to fit your lifestyle and design needs however you so choose.