If you're looking for greener building materials that have some character and history, consider using reclaimed lumber throughout your home. Reclaimed wood can be refashioned into cabinets, floors, ceiling beams and countertops for any area of your home. Whether you select reclaimed wood that has the original join marks, or you select wood that has been refashioned, reclaimed lumber can be a great material for many spaces.
Where to Find Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood may not be as easy to find as traditional lumber. Fewer vendors carry it and selections and quantities can vary greatly over time. Visit one of these retailers to see if they have reclaimed woods that meets your needs.
Elmwood Reclaimed Timber carries a wide selection of reclaimed and vintage wood. A selection of their products at any time may include:
- Cabinet grade lumber
- Reclaimed wood floors
- Wood counters
- Fireplace mantels
They also carry antique lumber that can be used for any project. Sizes and species of wood varies, but does include both soft and hardwood.
Vintage Timberworks supplies antique and reclaimed wood and lumber. They offer products both with the original finish, including join marks, weathering and patina, as well as lumber that has been refinished to a new luster.
They carry a wide selection of wood products, including those suitable for:
- Timber and beams
- Corbels and mantels
- Planking and decking
- Wood flooring
Sources of their wood includes:
- Antique west coast woods like Douglas Firs, larch, redwood and cedar
- East coast reclaimed woods from antique barns
Trestlewood is a wholesale provider of reclaimed, rescued, and antique lumber. They carry as-is and include refinished hard and soft woods of multiple species, sources, widths and sizes. Products include:
- Reclaimed wood flooring
- Barn siding
They grade their wood by character, from low character to high, so customers can select the amount of patina, marks, join holes and history that their wood shows.
Reclaimed Lumber and Beams
Reclaimed Lumber and Beams carries both reclaimed wood and lumber products. They welcome small orders and are located in Western North Carolina.
Their products are sold both as-is and re-sawn; their selection includes:
- Rustic timber beams
- Wide-plank flooring
- Reclaimed Douglas fir
- Antique big timber and beams
Armster Reclaimed Lumber
Armster Reclaimed Lumber Company salvages and re-manufactures their wood products to your exact specifications. They carry numerous species of wood including:
- American Beech
- Black Cherry
- Black Walnut
- Gray Elm
- Rock Maple
- Red Oak
- White Oak
- Eastern Hemlock
- Red Pine
- White Pine
- Yellow Pine
- Douglas fir
- Tidewater Red Cypress
- Western Red Cedar
Selecting Reclaimed Timbers
Timbers and lumber that are reclaimed can in many cases be indistinguishable from newer products. They may also carry the marks and history of their past use.
When you choose to use these timbers, make sure you find out the following to ensure you get the product you want:
- What is the condition of the wood? Antique, as-is, or re-sawn?
- How much do they have of a specific wood, finish, or size? Always order more of a product than you need to ensure you don't run short and are unable to get more.
- Can you see samples of the wood you are considering? Make sure you see samples of the lot, not just generic photographs, as patina and color can vary tremendously from lot to lot.
- How old is the wood? Where did it come from? Lumber produced up until 1995 may contain chemicals such as arsenic, which can leach into the ground.
Pros and Cons of Using Vintage Wood
Like many repurposed products, there are pros and cons to using repurposed wood.
- Reclaimed and vintage wood can be considered a green building product, because no new trees were harvested to make it.
- Some species of wood that are no longer being used as lumber can be found in reclaimed varieties.
- Antique wood can be used in salvage projects to match original fittings.
- Aged wood may be stronger and more durable than chemically aged and treated new wood.
- Reclaimed timbers can be unique, showing their history and patina in every plank.
- Reclaimed products may cost more than newer materials, due in part to the scarcity of them.
- You may be unable to find the species, style, or size of lumber you want for a job.
- There may be limited quantities of products available.
- Reclaimed timbers are often not local and may need to be shipped to your location, adding further costs to the project.
Purchasing Reclaimed Lumber Products
In addition to building projects, repurposed wood can also be used to make ready-to-ship items like doors, furniture and cabinets. A few places to purchase these items include:
- Reclaimed Lumber Products: They carry doors and furniture made of reclaimed wood.
- Woodland Creek Furniture: They carry some products made entirely out of repurposed wood.
- The Old Wood Co.: Locally sourced antique wood furniture and products are available here, and all are handmade.
- Furniture From the Barn: Furniture is made entirely out of reclaimed barn wood.
Bring Some History to Your Home
Old wood brings with it a life and character all its own. Bring some old or reclaimed timber, lumber, or wood products into your home to give them new life.