Guest post by Viridian Reclaimed Wood
Hardwood has always been an attractive feature in a home. Who doesn’t like gorgeous hardwood flooring? As design trends turn green, more homeowners are opting for the eco-friendly counterparts of this perennial favorite – often in the form of reclaimed wood – to make their dwellings more efficient, sustainable and durable. As you gather ideas to make your home more appealing to buyers or to give your fixer-upper a facelift, don’t neglect the advantages reclaimed lumber offers.
Benefits of Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood, sometimes called recycled or antique wood, is lumber that’s been given a new life. The wood gets harvested from shipping crates, old barns, wine casks, boats, gym bleachers and other structures that have been deconstructed or are no longer needed. Instead of letting the perfectly usable wood end up in a landfill, someone salvages the lumber so it can serve a new purpose.
Not only is reclaimed wood beautiful, it offers the following benefits:
Strength. Reclaimed lumber is stronger than virgin wood by up to 40 points on the Janka scale of hardness. The reason for this is that reclaimed timber generally comes from old forests. The generations of trees in today’s harvested forests, where a lot of new lumber comes from, are not as strong or durable as old-growth wood. Consequently, reclaimed timber is hardier and less likely to shrink or warp.
Sustainability. Flooring options like carpet and linoleum are often made from synthetic, non-renewable petroleum-based materials. Brand-new wood floors contribute to deforestation. Reclaimed hardwood flooring, however, doesn’t pose these types of environmental hazards. While trees are a renewable resource, they’re getting cut down faster than they can grow in some parts of the world, which affects local communities and wildlife. By using reclaimed wood instead of virgin wood, you help slow deforestation and reduce waste in the nation’s landfills. In certain instances, reclaimed wood that’s FSC-certified can even help you earn points toward a LEED certification if you’re working on a green remodel.
Uniqueness. When you use virgin lumber, all you really know about it is that it came from a forest, got cut down, was milled and ended up in your home. Reclaimed lumber, on the other hand, always has an interesting history. Perhaps reclaimed hardwood flooring came from an old barn that was the site of annual harvest parties, or maybe it weathered the seas as shipping crates from Asia.
How to Incorporate Reclaimed Wood into Your Property
Reclaimed hardwood flooring: Flooring is a long-term investment you make in your home, so it’s important to choose a material that’s durable, offers a timeless look and is simple to clean. Reclaimed lumber offers just this. If you rent your home out or have an especially active family, go for wood with a rustic finish, like circle-sawn antique oak flooring. The look of the wood naturally masks any scratches that may appear and is simple to refinish as needed. (The strength and durability of reclaimed lumber also makes it ideal for decks.) If you prefer an engineered hardwood floor, you can find engineered materials made from reclaimed lumber, too.
Wood paneling: Just like new wood paneling options, those made from reclaimed wood come in a variety of types, textures and colors. Use veneer panels for new cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, walls, tabletops or for new pieces of furniture.
If you can make something from virgin wood, you can usually fulfill your design vision by swapping it out for reclaimed wood. When you choose this recycled material, you make the decision to add character to your home and help the earth. For more ideas about how to incorporate reclaimed lumber into your property, talk with an interior designer or a reclaimed wood retailer.
Viridian Reclaimed Wood is locally owned and operated in Portland, Oregon and provides eco-friendly, unique and affordable reclaimed wood flooring, veneer, paneling, tables & counters.
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