What is Reclaimed Wood? Discover Its Benefits and Charm

In an age where new trends pop up almost daily, making your home stand out can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible – and it’s worth doing. One way to give your living space a unique look is by using reclaimed wood planks instead of planks from newly-cut trees. Old barns, homes, and warehouses are a great source of planks with rich tonal variations and enhanced stability.

Did you know? Using reclaimed wood can add a tremendous amount of character – and it’s great for the environment, too. 

By understanding what defines reclaimed wood and the numerous benefits it provides, you’ll be in a position to make an informed decision when choosing materials for your next project.

The Sustainability of Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is the ultimate eco-friendly choice for your home renovations or furniture building. It's not only stylish and unique – it also reduces the impact on the environment by repurposing existing material rather than sourcing freshly cut trees. Companies like TerraMai source large quantities of this type of wood from old structures slated for demolition while ensuring their products are certified recycled by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC).

Here are a few perks of utilizing reclaimed wood in your living space.

Environmental Benefits and Reduced Deforestation

Choosing reclaimed wood over new lumber reduces deforestation rates and preserves our planet’s previous resources, including old-growth trees like Douglas fir. It also lowers the carbon footprint by requiring less energy when compared to harvesting and processing new timber.

Did you know? Environmental sustainability is contagious. Using reclaimed wood promotes a recycling culture and encourages others to consider sustainable options when making purchases.

Saves trees:
Reclaimed wood reduces the need to harvest new trees for modern wood products like ceilings, floors, walls, and furniture.

Lowers carbon footprint:
The process involved in reclaiming and reusing wood requires less energy than sourcing planks from new timber. 

Promotes a recycling culture:
Choosing to use reclaimed wood doesn’t only affect you. Others around you are more likely to contribute to environmental sustainability, too.

Certified Recycled Materials Through FSC

To ensure sustainability, reclaimed wood products have to comply with the strict standards set by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Environmentally-conscious companies ensure all their recovered woods are FSC-certified, which guarantees responsible sourcing and processing methods.

And FSC certification doesn’t just protect the environment. It ensures you’re investing in a quality product. If you’re looking for a sustainable and stylish option for your next home project, consider using reclaimed wood. It’s a great choice for you – and for the planet. 

Key Takeaway: Reclaimed wood is an eco-friendly choice for home renovations and furniture crafting. It reduces deforestation rates, lowers carbon footprints, and promotes a healthy recycling culture.

Unique Character and History in Reclaimed Woods

Every piece of reclaimed wood carries its own unique past, adding authenticity and personality to any space it’s installed. This gives homeowners an emotional connection to their homes, and enhances well-being within built environments.

Emotional Connections with Natural Elements

The rich history behind reclaimed wood adds a layer of depth to your home decor that simply can’t be found in modern wood. Just imagine the stories held within century-old barn beams or weathered planks from shipwrecks. Those same stories can be repurposed into stunning wall accents or furniture pieces.

Utilization of these materials not only aids in sustainability initiatives, but also generates a feeling of comfort, individuality, and peace of mind knowing that you’re contributing to the well-being of our environment.

Biophilic Design Principles

Nature in living spaces:
Incorporating reclaimed wood into your interior design brings organic textures, patterns, and colors that evoke feelings of being close to nature.


Natural analogues:
Elements like aged timber showcase the passage of time through their patina and wear marks – subtle reminders that we’re part of a larger ecosystem that’s constantly evolving around us.


Some reclaimed woods display characteristics such as knots or grain patterns resembling other natural forms (e.g., flowing water), which can inspire creativity boosting relaxation in living spaces.


By embracing the beauty of reclaimed wood, you can create meaningful connections between yourself, your family members, and nature – all while protecting our planet’s resources. So whether you’re looking at flooring, furniture, or other reclaimed wood products, you can feel good about your choice to support the environment. Transform your living space into something amazing by choosing reclaimed wood planks for your next project! 

Key Takeaway: Reclaimed wood provides a unique history that adds a layer of depth and personality to any space. Using these materials not only contributes to sustainability efforts, but also creates an atmosphere filled with warmth, character, and a sense of connection to our environment.

LEED Certification Benefits with Reclaimed Materials

Using reclaimed materials can help architects qualify for LEED certification since older planks have naturally closed pores, making them not-emitting sources of VOCs.

Non-emitting Sources Due to Closed Pores

The aging process of reclaimed wood results in closed pores, which reduces the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This makes it the optimal selection for homeowners seeking to enhance indoor air quality while adhering to green building certifications.

By incorporating reclaimed wood products into your home or office space, you’re not only adding character – you’re contributing to a healthier home environment, too.

Credits Earned in Various Green Building Certifications

The use of reclaimed wood flooring and furniture can earn points under the Material & Resources category within the LEED rating system. These points contribute to higher levels of certification such as Silver, Gold, and Platinum status.


WELL Building Standard:
Incorporating biophilic design elements (like reclaimed wood) into interior spaces helps meet criteria outlined by this standard that focuses on enhancing human health and well-being through sustainable building practices.


Living Building Challenge:
As part of their commitment to creating regenerative spaces that connect occupants with nature, this program encourages the use of reclaimed materials like wood to minimize the environmental impact of construction.


For your next home improvement or renovation project, consider opting for repurposed wood planks to give your space character and history, and back up sustainable construction practices with a view to the future. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed in choosing reclaimed wood

Key Takeaway: Using reclaimed wood in your home or office helps earn LEED certification and contributes to a healthier environment by reducing VOC emissions. Reclaimed wood also qualifies for credits in various green building certifications like the WELL building standard and Living Building Challenge.

Unparalleled Beauty Found in Recovered Woods

Recovered woods boast an unparalleled beauty due to their aging among natural elements before being salvaged. Companies like Carlisle Restoration Lumber specialize in milling reclaimed wood from barns and industrial buildings, resulting in dimensionally stable boards with deep grain patterns and colors that can’t be replicated by new lumber.

Aging Process Enhances Visual Appeal

The aging process of reclaimed wood enhances its visual appeal, giving it a unique character which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also rich in history. This adds an extra layer of depth and charm to any space where reclaimed wood products are used.

Dimensional Stability Found Only in Aged Timber

Reclaimed lumber has already stood the test of time, proving its durability over decades or even centuries. This makes it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas like floors and countertops.


Resistance to warping:
Old-growth trees were typically denser than today’s fast-growing varieties, which means they’re less likely to warp when exposed to changes in moisture. This is particularly beneficial if you’re renovating a kitchen or bathroom.

Tighter grain pattern:
The slow growth rate of old-growth trees results in tighter grain patterns that give reclaimed wood planks a unique appearance compared with modern wood products.

Incorporating recovered woods into your home design will provide both environmental benefits and a stunning aesthetic. By investing in reclaimed wood, you’re not only preserving history – you’re contributing to the reduction of deforestation and promoting healthy practices in the lumber industry.

Reviving Rare Species through Reclaimed Wood

The process of reclaiming wood helps revive species such as the American chestnut. By repurposing old structures made from this type of timber, its beautiful grain can be reintroduced into modern products without harming existing ecosystems.

Preserving Endangered Tree Species

Reclaimed wood plays a crucial role in preserving rare and endangered tree species. Many old-growth trees like American chestnut – which was nearly wiped out by blight in the early 20th century – can still be found in reclaimed lumber sourced from historic buildings and barns.

Using these materials allows homeowners to enjoy their historical beauty while effortlessly contributing to conservation efforts.

Utilizing Rare Materials in Contemporary Designs

Douglas fir:
This majestic tree is known for its strength, durability, and stunning visuals. Reclaimed Douglas fir planks are perfect for adding a level of warmth and charm to homes.


American chestnut:
At one time abundant across North America’s eastern forests, this highly sought-after hardwood now exists primarily within reclaimed wood sources. Its grain patterns make it an ideal choice for statement-making furniture or accent walls.


River-recovered cypress:
Sourced from logs that sank during transportation more than a century ago, river-recovered cypress offers unmatched color variations. This is largely due to years spent submerged underwater. Incorporating river-recovered cypress into your design brings unparalleled aesthetics.

Investing in reclaimed wood planks like the ones mentioned above allows you to showcase rare and beautiful materials that are no longer available through conventional means. And it feels good knowing you’ve done your part in preserving our planet’s natural resources, too.

Key Takeaway: Reclaimed wood not only adds history to your home, but also plays a crucial role in preserving rare and endangered tree species. Planks made from American chestnut and river-recovered cypress create a truly one-of-a-kind look that also supports sustainable practices.

Certified Recovered Woods and Chain-of-Custody Documentation

When buying reclaimed wood products, it’s vital to ensure that the materials are certified and have proper documentation. Companies like SmartWood provide chain-of-custody documentation for recovered woods, detailing the origin of the material and handling processes involved during recovery.

Importance of Certification and Documentation

Certification guarantees sustainability and responsible sourcing, protecting marine ecosystems throughout salvage operations. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) provides strict environmental guidelines for certified materials, so you can be confident you’re getting a quality product. 


Verifying Dealer Reputation

Before investing in reclaimed wood planks for use in your next project, verify dealers’ reputations through research or customer reviews. Some companies offer histories on where their wood was obtained, adding transparency and trust when buying unique planks for your home.

Tips for Verifying Reclaimed Wood Dealers

Look for certifications from reputable organizations like FSC or SmartWood.

Read customer reviews or ask friends who’ve purchased similar items before.

Ask questions:
Inquire about chain-of-custody documentation provided with each product purchase.

See examples:
Visit showrooms to inspect quality firsthand before making a decision.

Investing in sustainable materials for your home preserves our environment and adds unique character and history to any project. Choose reclaimed wood planks if you want to reduce waste and promote wood reclamation efforts. And make sure the wood you purchase is certified and sourced from a reputable dealer.

Reclaimed Wood FAQs

What is reclaimed wood and what makes it unique?

Reclaimed wood is lumber that has been salvaged from old buildings, barns, homes, or warehouses – giving it a unique character and history that can’t be replicated with new lumber.

What types of wood can be reclaimed?

Reclaimed wood can come from a variety of species of tree, including oak, pine, chestnut, maple, cypress, and others, depending on the source it was salvaged from and the region where it originated.

What gives reclaimed wood its distinct appearance?

Reclaimed wood is aged lumber that has undergone natural weathering processes over time, resulting in a distinct appearance with rich patina colors and deep grain patterns. Every plank made from reclaimed wood is unique!

What makes reclaimed wood a good choice?

Reclaimed wood is an eco-friendly alternative to new lumber, reducing the demand for new trees to be cut down. It has a unique aesthetic appeal with historical significance. It’s durable and dimensionally stable, which makes it a practical choice for flooring, furniture, and walls. And reclaimed wood can contribute to certification benefits for green building projects.


Reclaimed wood is a sustainable and eco-friendly option for home design that offers unique beauty, stability, and a deep connection to the past. By repurposing aged lumber from buildings or structures that are no longer in use, we can reduce our environmental impact while preserving endangered species. So using reclaimed wood doesn’t just benefit your home… it benefits the planet too!

Whether you’re looking to add character to a single room or create a cozy living space throughout your home, there’s something special about incorporating this timeless material. Check out a few popular choices of reclaimed wood planks at Stikwood.com.