It seems as if the world of eco-friendly home décor is abuzz with terms like “reclaimed lumber” and “repurposed wood.” But what do those terms mean, really, and is the material really green?
Technically, reclaimed or repurposed lumber is any wood that is taken for reuse. That could mean anything from repurposing the scraps left over from a manufacturing process, to pulling lumber from old barns or houses, or even reclaiming fruit or nut trees that are cut down at the end of their productive life. The source and type of lumber will determine how it can be transformed into new life.
The concept is absolutely green. Using wood that would otherwise go to waste keeps excess materials out of landfills and means that no new trees are cut down to produce an item.
Lumber from old barns and houses will often make its way into new home furnishings, siding, cabinetry and even flooring. Lumber sourced from felled trees, coal mines, and wine barrels will find its way into home décor items and smaller furniture.
Most trees take many, many years to reach maturity and be adequate for building. Using old wood preserves existing resources and often provides a higher quality wood product for less money than you could get by using new wood.
Reclaimed timber also provides a unique appearance with traces of its origins still evident, lending it a character that new timber just doesn’t have. One of the other benefits of reclaimed wood is that it has already gone through many expansion and contraction cycles and is more stable than newly cut wood.
Reclaimed wood is a proven material that adds instant soul, personality, and history. It’s not flawless. The nail holes, seasoning checks and weathered patina just add to its natural beauty. And because it’s not from “new” lumber, it’s sustainable.
Not only is it sustainable and absolutely green, it’s also beautiful, inside and out.