Reclaimed wood is obtained from abandoned barns, factories, river wood and other structures, many of which were constructed sometime between 1700 and the early 1900s. Many columns, timbers, siding and thick planks are removed from their floors, walls and roofing, in order to obtain different types and several different grades of reclaimed wood.
These wood materials have an authentic weathered appearance that often includes nail holes, knots, color contrasts, worm holes, mounting hardware holes, saw marks, varying surface patina and other authentic physical characteristics.
Many of materials are taken from larger buildings which provide the large structural timbers. Other woods are reclaimed from early cabins and saloons, which provides a variety of wood species in varying sizes.
Woods obtained from the Northeast U.S. are known for their excellent strength, because colder climates feature shorter growing seasons, which in turn results in growth rings that are much closer together. In addition, wood that comes from older buildings tends to be much stronger than wood reclaimed from newer structures. Another great benefit derived from reclaimed wood is that its use removes this material from accumulated waste. This, in turn, minimizes the impact from new construction.
Reclaimed Wood includes:Barn Siding
Reclaimed barn siding will often feature naturally faded colors. Colors in Grey-Brown siding can range from dark to light gray-brown. Original Paint can appear as saturated color to very light faded color.
Hickory is generally reclaimed from barn beams found in the Midwest. Hickory planks are hand-chosen for unique colors and features that can only be seen in slow-growth wood that was naturally aged over time. This wood offers wide variations in color, ranging from almost white to dark brown, and also has authentic sound cracks, wormholes and knots. It is the strongest North American commercial wood that you can get.
New England Hemlock
New England Hemlock is reclaimed primarily in New England states from old barns and cabins. It is likely to be very grainy, and also to have a pronounced knot structure.
Oak is reclaimed from wood joists, granary boards, rafters, siding and the floor boards found in old barns and other early wooden buildings. Reclaimed oak hardwood flooring, which is well known for its strength, durability and wear resistance, is certainly one of the most popular flooring choices. It features warm earth tones; tight knot structure; and varying grain patterns. You can also expect to find original saw marks, nail holes, sound cracks, and wormholes on these old floor boards.
Wormy chestnut is obtained from old factories and mills where it was used for structural beams, joists and timbers. The American chestnut tree was prized for its strong, straight-grained wood that was easy to saw and split, for centuries. Regrettably, this once vital hardwood timber tree was virtually destroyed in the eastern U.S. by an Asian Blight fungus during the 19th century. You can expect this commercially-extinct chestnut, to have planks that range in color from shiny tan to chocolate, along with an open, tight grained textural appearance. Wormy chestnut will also exhibit some original saw marks and holes from nails in addition to its famous wormholes from whence it gets its name.
Reclaimed wood is generally more durable than freshly-lumbered wood and is highly desirable for its patina, durability and sustainability. Case in point: Unlike newly-lumbered pine, heart pine is treated as a hardwood thanks to its tight grain that frequently has seven or more growth rings per inch. Most species are suitable for residential or medium-traffic commercial applications.
The care and maintenance of wood is significantly different than that of a hard surfaced material like natural stone or porcelain tile. Softwoods, as well as softer hardwoods, will exhibit greater wear than harder hardwoods like hickory, maple or oak.