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Recycled wood

What to do with reclaimed wood

Ah, reclaimed wood! You’ve probably seen it in every decorating magazine or interior design blog you’ve ever read. These days, rustic, distressed wood is everywhere, especially here in Canada and south of the border.

So, what is this reclaimed wood really all about?

What’s so special about it?

Would it be worth including it in your next project?

To start with, we call it reclaimed wood, but we can also say salvaged wood. It has that little something extra, a story.

You see, most of this wood comes from old structures built in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Wood, having already fulfilled its first mission, can be moved and recycled to meet our modern demand for eco-responsible, sustainable building materials.

But be careful not to confuse it with reclaimed wood, which is naturally harvested and then stored for some time to give it an aged appearance.

Unlike reclaimed wood, salvaged wood has never been used in construction. The reclaimed wood probably comes from an old church or barn.

What's the best type of wood to salvage?

In fact, any tree will do. But if you must know, builders over 100 years ago had a slight preference for oak, Douglas fir and redwood. Lovers of reclaimed wood, meanwhile, love the longleaf pine, a rare specimen that can take up to 500 years to mature in the wild. But it’s worth the wait: once mature, this pine is absolutely enormous and can provide long, sturdy boards, ideal for construction.

Today, one of the only eco-responsible ways to build with longleaf pine is to use reclaimed wood.

Only 2% of its original plantation area in the United States is covered by this species. Compare that with 41% in the 19th century and you’ll understand why it’s so important to recycle this wood for the future.

What are the advantages of reclaimed wood? There are lots of them! To name but a few, reclaimed wood has a timeless rustic appearance, tells a “story”, preserves natural resources and reduces pollution by avoiding further treatment.

First of all, we love reclaimed wood for its refined, antique look. With decades or even centuries of use, the wood grain tightens, making it more resistant and durable. Worn wood is timeless and never goes out of fashion.

Incorporated into the decoration of a home or business, it instantly adds depth and character. On ceilings, walls, floors or furniture, wherever you decide to use reclaimed wood, you won’t regret it when trends change next year.

When you introduce reclaimed wood into your home, you’re not simply adding another eco-friendly building material to your structure. You bring in a story. Imagine if your floors came from an old blacksmith’s barn in Canada’s North? Or if your wall was once a railway station in a small town that came into being thanks to these same pieces of wood?

Wood tells a story

Having a story to tell in your home creates conversation and can also increase the value of your home. With so many “copy-and-paste” homes on the market today, buyers are looking for that little “something extra” that will grab their attention.

When you choose reclaimed wood over new wood, you help preserve natural forest resources for future use. Less demand for new wood means less logging and therefore less deforestation!

By using reclaimed wood, the trees in our natural environment have more time to regrow, prolonging the life of the forest of which they are a part. Did you know that the number of trees in the world has fallen by 50% since the beginning of human civilization?

A frightening figure that we can help to reduce together by choosing eco-friendly products like reclaimed wood.

Using reclaimed wood has an extremely low environmental impact, compared to manufacturing and processing new wood.

Reclaimed wood has already been treated in the past, so there’s no need to treat it again. This means fewer refinery chemicals released into the environment, protecting our soil, wildlife and watersheds.

Using reclaimed wood is one of the most eco-friendly ways to build or decorate your home. And with Forge Design, you’ve got plenty of options!

Visit our website or contact us directly to learn more about our products made with reclaimed barn wood!

Thanks for reading! See you at the next blog!

In the meantime, if you have any questions or a project in mind, contact us!

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