Pros and Cons of Reclaimed Wood

By: Katie Trevino

July 24, 2017

Inspiration

What is reclaimed wood?

Reclaimed wood is a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to source wood materials for new or remodeled buildings. Most reclaimed lumber is rescued from old barns, factories, warehouses, and other old buildings instead of being harvested from new trees. When you use reclaimed, you’re repurposing old wood and helping preserve forests.

Interesting facts about reclaimed wood

It takes 13 times less cumulative energy to produce reclaimed wood than that of producing brand new wood.

Reclaimed lumber doesn’t always have to look like reclaimed lumber. Depending on preference, you can either keep the wood as is for a more rustic look from the natural weathering of the wood or you can have it milled to look just like new.

Advantages of choosing reclaimed wood

  1. Environmentally friendly
    1. As mentioned earlier, when you use old lumber you decrease the need for new lumber which, as a result, helps fight deforestation. Additionally, when you choose reclaimed wood you give a new purpose to old wood and keep it out of landfills. Since wood is a natural product, it is also better for the Earth to install wood flooring over carpeting or linoleum.
  2. Quality and strength
    1. Reclaimed wood is usually on a higher end of the Janka hardness scale than new wood because it often comes from trees which are very old and have lasted through many years and many different environments.
  3. Added history
    1. Since reclaimed lumber comes from deconstructed buildings, often times you’ll find that your reclaimed wood has an interesting back story. We recently were lucky enough to receive reclaimed lumber from the famous Joske’s building here in San Antonio.
  4. LEED Points
    1. Using reclaimed wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) can help your team or project earn LEED points which then determine the level of LEED certification it receives.
  5. Multiple uses
    1. Just like any other lumber, reclaimed wood can be used for just about anything you want to make! From hardwood flooring and wall paneling to furniture pieces like tables and shelves, the possibilities are endless and at no cost to the environment since you’re reusing materials!

Things to watch out for when choosing reclaimed wood

  1. Pests
    1. Sometimes when using reclaimed wood products, you must be careful of pests. Here at WoodCo, we treat all our reclaimed wood products for pests before they are sold so you won’t have to worry about future problems with bugs.
  2. Hidden dangers
    1. If you don’t purchase your wood from a company who will mill and process reclaimed wood, you run the risk of your wood still containing things like nails or other foreign items from its previous use. At WoodCo, we make sure to check for things like this and take out any foreign objects from our reclaimed wood before rehoming it.
  3. Legitimacy
    1. Make sure to purchase your reclaimed wood from a reputable company, like WoodCo, to eliminate the risk of false claims about the source of your reclaimed wood.