Reclaimed and recovered wood

| |

Character is part of the charm

In the recycled wood world, there are differences between reclaimed and recovered wood.

This portico kitchen built with reclaimed wood was an FSC winner.

Reclaimed wood was cut 100 to 300 years ago or more from trees bigger and older than anything being harvested today. It comes from old barns, gristmills, or factories and has been salvaged for new construction. The surface can have a dark patina over an eighth of an inch thick with nail holes, cracks and checks. But these are character marks, and the tighter grain of this old-growth wood makes it ideal for flooring, trim, countertops or cabinets. Often, reclaimed flooring is made from structural beams that have been salvaged and milled.

In the U.S., most reclaimed lumber comes from old buildings, barns, factories and warehouses.  To find wood on your own, search online or in the newspaper for buildings that are going to be or have been dismantled. Old barns, houses, or commercial structures are all candidates for finding wood that can be reclaimed.

If you’re buying reclaimed wood, research the company to make sure their environmental philosophy is sound. Be sure they use an ecologically safe binder and finish.

Recovered wood comes from trees that were cut for construction or that came down during a weather event. Usually it’s found in construction sites, yards, or along roads where dying trees have been cut.

Managed forests and farm lots are also a source of sustainable wood. If you purchase wood from a managed or certified forest, look for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification. FSC is an international organization that guarantees wood has been harvested using environmentally and economically sustainable methods.

Posted by on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010. Filed under Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed