Why Choose Reclaimed?

By: Debbie George

March 01, 2016

Green Building

For many people, including myself, I never knew the difference between reclaimed or new wood. Before getting into why you should choose reclaimed, it’s better to understand what reclaimed wood is. Reclaimed wood is rescued from old barns, factories, warehouses and even wine barrels that stood time for over hundreds of years. Old wood likely grew in a natural environment where it had to fight for nutrients and sun, making the wood strong and durable.

Why choose reclaimed?

Reclaimed wood is a sustainable and environmentally friendly material used in new construction or remodeling. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is often up to 40 points harder on the Janka hardness scale than comparable new flooring and making it less prone to warping or cracking. If you are installing flooring in a high traffic area, old wood could be a better option as it’s already proven to stand the test of time.

This antique wood, is not only durable, but also environmentally sound. A building using reclaimed lumber can even receive LEED® certification points for environmental responsibility. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient as they use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an added bonus, they save money! In other words, you do your part helping the environment by purchasing reclaimed wood and what is more amazing than that?!

Did you know, most reclaimed lumber is salvaged from your own back yard? Not too long ago, WoodCo was able to salvage wood from the Joske’s building located in downtown San Antonio. It was known as the “Biggest Store in the Biggest State” until 1959 when Alaska joined the USA. It was then changed to the “Greatest Store in the Greatest State.” Many people who purchased the Joske’s wood took a piece of history home with them to live on for the remainder of time. Wouldn’t you love to own a piece of history as well? 

Antiquity, durability, beauty and individuality are what make reclaimed wood the best choice for your next project. 

Quick facts:

The process of producing reclaimed flooring uses 13 times less cumulative energy than that of producing new wood flooring. 

Reclaimed lumber is graded into three classes: low, mid, and high. Low grade reclaimed lumber is used for firewood and fuel. Mid-grade is used for shipping and crating. High grade gets refurbished and is used for furniture, siding, flooring, and more.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that demolished buildings can provide more than a billion feet of usable recycled lumber each year. Recycling this wood into flooring, furniture, and other products can greatly reduce demand for wood, preserving forests.