what is reclaimed wood

Your Guide to Reclaimed Wood Furniture


There are many different types of furniture that you can choose from when designing your home, but one type that is becoming increasingly popular is reclaimed wood. This article will discuss what reclaimed wood furniture is, where it comes from and how to buy legitimate pieces.

There is also a section that explains how to look after your reclaimed wood furniture so it stays in perfect condition for years to come.


What is Reclaimed Wood Furniture?

Reclaimed wood is wood that has been taken from old buildings, old barns, and ships, whereas reclaimed timber would be taken from fallen trees. It's then sanded to a smooth finish and can be reused in modern applications.

Repurposed wood furniture is growing in popularity as people want to bring a natural aesthetic and character into their homes.

Reclaimed wood is used for many different things. It is most commonly used for furniture, but it can also be found in flooring and walls of buildings as well. Reclaimed lumber is also used in construction, like for the beams and pillars of a house.

what is reclaimed wood


How Does Reclaimed Wood Differ from Other Types of Wood Furniture?

Reclaimed wood has a unique and aesthetically pleasing patina, or finish. It also has knots, nail holes and other imperfections that make each piece truly unique. In fact, most people who buy reclaimed lumber do it specifically for the character it will add to their furniture.

Reclaimed wood also differs from other types of furniture because it is made from 100% real wood, unlike composite wood that uses potentially toxic glues and adhesives.

Is Reclaimed Wood FSC Certified?

Currently, FSC certification for reclaimed wood is not available. However, an FSC Recycled certificate may be applicable to any products made from reclaimed lumber. The process of certifying reclaimed timber involves a series of FSC inspections, validations, and audits that take place from the timbers’ origin to its final destination.

Both pre-consumer reclaimed lumber and post-consumer reclaimed lumber can qualify as FSC® Recycled Credit. Before buying reclaimed lumber, reclaimed wood products, and reclaimed flooring, you can ask your supplier to their FSC Recycled certificate. Post-consumer wood is materials that are no longer in use, it usually comes from abandoned homes or construction sites.

Post-consumer waste also includes rejected products and offcuts or shavings that can still be used. Materials that have not yet been used are pre-consumer. These could consist of materials from municipal or industrial sources like rejects and offcuts, as well as shavings that are still usable.

Where Can You Buy Reclaimed Wood Furniture?

You can find reclaimed wood at auctions, flea markets and second-hand shops. You can also look for it on Etsy, Craigslist and eBay. There are also a few furniture companies that specialize in reclaimed lumber, be sure to check the following:


What Are the Benefits of Buying Reclaimed Wood Furniture?

One of the benefits of buying this eco-friendly furniture is that it's more durable. In fact, it can last for years without changing shape or color because it's been preserved well. It also has a softer, warmer feel than regular furniture because it's made from natural materials.

Reclaimed wood is sustainable in both production and use. Reclaiming also means less waste going into landfills which helps keep our environment clean while reducing pollution levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide emissions due to deforestation.

Using old scraps instead of fresh-cut timber reduces energy consumption since there's no need for fuel. This means that you're not only buying quality furniture but helping the environment by doing so as well.

Your home will have a unique look and feel when you choose pieces that are repurposed wood furniture. This is because the grains of wood used in these items give them an appealing texture and pattern.

what is reclaimed wood


Where Does Reclaimed Wood Come From?

One of the primary sources of reclaimed wood is old buildings. The pieces are taken from them and then repurposed into home décor or furniture. This means it was once part of a building or structure that has been torn down and taken apart. It can come from houses, factories, bridges, or any other buildings.

Read More: Best Eco-Friendly Mirrors


How Much Does It Cost to Make a Piece of Furniture from Reclaimed Wood?

This is going to depend on the piece of furniture you want to make. If you're looking for a great side table, it will probably cost around $50 and if you're looking for a simple dresser that doesn't have any sides or drawers, it will cost a couple hundred dollars.

It's important to remember that when you buy upcycled wood furniture, the price is often more expensive because of where it comes from and what was originally done with that material or piece of furniture. You want to make sure you're getting your money's worth before buying something made from reclaimed wood.


How Do You Know If the Piece of Furniture Has Been Reclaimed Or Not?

You can tell if a piece of furniture has been reclaimed by looking at the wood grain and surface. Reclaimed furniture often has visible marks and imperfections in the wood that were not originally there.

When you're looking at reclaimed wood, it's also important to make sure your purchase is legitimate and legal. Wood that comes from illegitimate sources is often questionable and may not be able to last a long time.

You want to look for two things when you're purchasing repurposed wood furniture: the material it is made from, as well as where they got it from. Real reclaimed wood is sourced locally wherever possible so shipping costs are low and the furniture is typically less expensive than other types of wood.

With reclaimed wood, there can also be issues with the quality of the furniture if it is not sealed properly. When this happens, your new furniture will start to show signs of aging within just a few months or years instead of decades."

You can tell for sure that the reclaimed wood pieces come from a legitimate source if they are FSC certified. This means that the wood comes from a responsibly managed source, and it has been legally salvaged.

what is reclaimed wood


Is Reclaimed Wood Eco-Friendly?

When we use reclaimed wood, we don't have to destroy a forest by cutting down trees. And using reclaimed wood can actually help the environment.

When we buy reclaimed wood, we are also taking part in recycling and saving old materials instead of throwing them away or letting them rot. Reclaimed lumber is an environmentally friendly option for people who want to enjoy high-quality furniture as well.


Is There a Downside to Using Upcycled Wood Furniture?

Reclaimed wood is the second most popular choice of material for furniture because it's beautiful and stylish. However, there are some cons to consider before purchasing.

The main downside to using reclaimed wood pieces might be the price. Reclaimed wood is often more expensive than other woods used in construction, like oak and maple.

Another con of using reclaimed wood for furniture is that it can shrink or expand with changes in climate which makes it less durable over time. And it's not as resistant to water damage as other woods.

However, the biggest downside may just come down to personal preference - some people prefer a more modern look or feel while others like something with character.

Because reclaimed lumber is so popular and because dealers often claim that their products are sourced from sustainable forests when in reality, it isn't always the case. Buyers should be sure about where exactly the wood comes from before purchasing any furniture made with such materials as a way to not only protect themselves but also support companies who do things responsibly by buying certified timber which has been harvested sustainably.

Reclaimed wood may sometimes be infested with pests such as termites or carpenter ants. To make sure your reclaimed wood is free from pests, do an inspection before buying and only buy kiln-dried reclaimed wood.

Is Reclaimed Wood Expensive?

Wood is a natural resource, and as such, it’s renewable. Repurposed wood furniture requires more labor than new furniture, which usually makes it pricier. However, you can get cheaper pieces that are still of good quality if you look around.

A lot of upcycled wood furniture these days is made from old shipping pallets. These pieces are usually inexpensive, and it’s a good way to recycle something that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

In other words: It really depends on how much you want to spend and what you're looking for.

what is reclaimed wood


How Do You Care for Reclaimed Wood Furniture?

To keep your furniture in good shape for years to come, it's important to care for your pieces as you would any other piece of furniture.

The first thing is to make sure that the surface has been sealed with something like tung oil or a sealant made specifically for wood. If not, then light colored wood will yellow over time and darker colors can develop minor cracks in the finish due to fluctuations in the wood's moisture content.

You should also try to avoid placing anything heavy on your furniture, or it may warp over time. It is best not to put any items with sharp edges or corners that could scratch its surface.

It's easy to clean reclaimed wood pieces, just follow these simple steps:

  • Clean with a dry cloth to remove dust and dirt. 
  • Avoid using water or any other liquid cleaners on the surface of your piece as this will cause it's natural patina finish & coloration (if you have one) fade over time.
  •  If necessary, use an organic soap like Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap for cleaning surfaces that are not sealed. It's often done in kitchens where food can be spilled onto counters without being wiped up right away. 

To remove stains from reclaimed wood make sure to follow these next step.

  • Rub with a small amount of dish soap and water on any stained area, scrubbing gently to avoid damaging your furniture's finish or coloration if you have one
  • Rinse off well using fresh soapy cold/warm (not hot) running tapwater & dry thoroughly!
  • Apply an organic oil like coconut butter for protection from spills 

Is Reclaimed Lumber Toxic?

It depends on where the wood comes from. If it's taken from old buildings and bridges, there's a possibility that it's been treated with toxic chemicals, but if it's taken from fallen trees, most probably it's completely free from any harmful substances.

Read More: Your Guide to Non Toxic Furniture

Beware of Fake Reclaimed Wood and Distressed Wood

The most important thing to remember when buying reclaimed wood is that it's not always what you think. There are many types of materials out there claiming they're made from old, salvaged lumber and sometimes even distressed or fake pieces which have been artificially aged with chemicals in order for them to look weathered, this can be a huge problem if the material isn't durable enough.

Be sure before purchasing anything labeled as "reclaimed" (or any other type) because these words don’t necessarily mean quality products. Some companies will use cheaper woods like pine instead so do your research beforehand by asking questions about where their product comes from.

what is reclaimed wood


Reclaimed would is a great alternative to any other type of furniture. It doesn't require much maintenance, it's durable and has an original charm that you can never get from factory-made wood products. Reclaimed would furniture pieces are not only unique but also very practical.

We'd love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to comment and share your experience with using reclaimed wood furniture or post a question in the section below.

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