Reclaimed wood is one of the biggest interior design trends in the latest couple of years. The worn layers, warm tones and rich textures bring a pleasant rustic aesthetic to any design style. Besides, the trend goes hand in hand with the recent obsession of preserving the planet by “going green”. The environmental benefits of using reclaimed wood are enormous because there is no need to cut down new trees for decorating purposes. Furthermore, reclaimed timber changes the way we design our homes. If you too are amongst the many that are infected by the reclaiming bug, here are some things you should know about reclaimed wood, before you chose (not) to use it.
It’s Not the Same as Recycled
Many people tend to get confused about the terms recycled and reclaimed. Although their purpose is definitely the same – preserving the environment, they are by no means equal. While recycled wood is reprocessed to create entirely new pieces, reclaimed is simply reused. This means that it is basically used in its original state, e.g. flooring from an old dockyard re-laid in a modern apartment.
Salvaged Wood Saves Our Forests
Did you know that forests cover about 30% of the Earth’s land area? However, if deforestation continues at the current rate all of the world’s rain forests will completely vanish in a hundred years time. Logging businesses that make wood products are to blame for cutting countless trees each year. So, that brand new wood flooring you’re looking at is the reason why so many species are losing their habitat. Reclaimed wood saves our forests by simple math: if you use wood that is already been cut, there will be no need to cut new trees to create completely new flooring.
Reclaimed Planks Are Wider
Eco-friendly benefits aside, there is a lot of aesthetic perks in using reclaimed wood. When comparing modern floors with old flooring in Victorian and Edwardian homes, you will notice that the latter include much wider planks. That is because trees back then were allowed to grow to their full size before they were cut down.
Furniture Looks Better
Reclaimed wood is not used only for flooring and wall covering. It can look just as beautiful when used for furniture. The material adds history, character and beauty to every furniture piece making it a unique statement in your home design. A dining table made of reclaimed timber will enrich your dining room with warmth and make it more inviting, while barn-wood stools, benches and shelving will spread this feeling throughout the house.
It Can Be Used Everywhere
There is no room in your house and no piece of furniture or accessory item where reclaimed wood can’t find its place. Imagine a headboard in your bedroom that evokes the rustic feel of a woodland cabin. Use it in your entryway to create a welcoming shelf for shoes, umbrellas and other personal items. Introduce old-world charm into your kitchen with a wooden pot rack, or treat your bathroom with farmhouse vanity.
More Strength and Durability
Finally, to sooth one of the biggest doubts people have about reclaimed wood – no, it doesn’t age and wear out quickly. On the contrary, this wood has already stood the test of time, by being exposed to hot and cold for years, so it is already done all the expanding and contracting it was ever going to do. Furthermore, the grain in salvaged wood is usually much denser than the one in new wood, so it is less likely to warp.
After reading all this, there is only one more thing to consider – reclaimed wood may require more legwork than simply stopping at the home center and purchasing it. Before you decide to buy, you should make sure that the wood you choose is properly treated, which includes cleaning, removing nails and kiln-drying.