Rustic is in. If you’re a fan of HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, or any other home design related channel, show, magazine, or website, you’ve probably seen pictures of gorgeous, rustic and antique-looking kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and more. The theme is immensely popular, and can be achieved by adding certain rustic elements to your home. While there are many ways to do this, one of the most popular ways is to use reclaimed wood.
You most likely see reclaimable wood every time you drive through a town, city, or countryside. Old barns, bridges, homes, churches, barrels, docks, and more are prime structures to reclaim. You may be thinking, “Ew! I don’t want to take old crappy wood and put it in my home! Old bridges don’t look like something I want in my kitchen!” Don’t worry – the wood has quite a process to go through before it ends up in your home.
Reclaiming wood begins with deconstruction. Deconstruction involves carefully dismantling a structure to keep wood beams intact. When a structure is carelessly torn down, all of that old wood will most likely end up in a landfill. Instead, deconstructing it will make it reusable!
After being deconstructed, wood is shipped to or taken by the myriad of companies who make new things out of it. Those companies then inspect the wood to make sure it’s not full of nails, water damaged, or otherwise unusable.
Depending on what the company plans to do with the wood, different steps are taken. It will usually be cut down into the sizes that will be used for the new use. For instance, reclaimed wood flooring is very popular. If wood is going to be used for wood flooring, it’ll be cut into floorboards.
After the wood has been cut down to size, it is often dried out in a kiln. While old wood is often beautiful, it can be really wet or infested. Drying it in a kiln will not only prepare it for its intended use, but it will also ensure that any infestation is taken out.
A New Purpose
Reclaimed wood can be used for many different projects. Flooring is quite common, but the wood can be used to make exposed ceiling beams, tables, kitchen counters, armoires, siding, chairs, bookcases, mantles, decks, and more. There are many hobby woodworkers who enjoy purchasing wood to make their own crafts. It is available to the general public – anyone can purchase reclaimed wood, for whatever project is in mind.
An Eco-Friendly Product
Beyond creating an antique look and beautiful, strong flooring, reclaimed wood is great for the environment. It keeps reusable wood from being dumped into landfills, and reuses wood instead of increasing the need to harvest more. Not only is the wood recycled in this way, but due to the fact that it has already been weathered, reclaimed wood is usually very strong and, after being repurposed, will have a great life span.
Joli D. writes for EnerChange, helping non-profits save money by saving energy.