The Pros and Cons of Using Reclaimed Wood

One way to be environmentally friendly is to use recycled materials for your furniture and other household objects. Reclaimed wood is great to use because each piece is unique and gives your desk, flooring, or headboard a look that is different from any other. This is slightly different from upcycled wood, which includes repurposing good wood for a project other than its original purpose. On the other hand, reclaimed wood is salvaged material that you must revitalize to use for a new project. There are several advantages and disadvantages of using this kind of wood, so keep reading to find out if this material is perfect for your next project.

Pros of Using Reclaimed Wood

The first advantage of reclaimed wood is that it is environmentally friendly. When you use this material, you lower the demand for newly sourced lumber. This can prevent companies from cutting down more trees in the long run. It also keeps old lumber from going to landfills, where it will likely sit for years before decomposing. It is also important to keep in mind that installing reclaimed lumber for flooring is much better for the environment than petroleum-based carpet and linoleum. 

This kind of wood is also stronger and more durable than new wood. This is because the reclaimed material most likely comes from older trees, which have time to grow stronger. Sourcing lumber from first generation forests will be much weaker.

Using reclaimed lumber will also bring a uniqueness to your home that no one can copy. It offers an aged and weathered look that adds to a rustic home, and it has many uses. You can use this kind of wood for flooring, wall panels, desks, headboards, shelving, and more. On top of all of this, each piece of wood will have its own story since it previously had a different purpose. You can find reclaimed wood from old schools, ships, barns, railroads, and pallets.

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Cons of Using Reclaimed Wood

While there are several advantages to using reclaimed wood, there are also some disadvantages you need to be aware of. First of all, you have to know for sure that the company you buy from is telling the truth. Because of the high demand for reclaimed lumber, companies will say it is reclaimed when it is not. Make sure you buy your wood from reputable companies that have certifications from organizations like Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council.

If you are purchasing reclaimed lumber instead of revitalizing it yourself, the price will be higher than virgin lumber. This is because the wood requires a longer and more intensive process to ready it for your next project. If you do it yourself, you should be prepared to test the wood for toxins, remove any nails or dangerous organic matter, and deal with pests. If you know where the wood came from, it will be easier to know what to be especially wary of.


Though using reclaimed wood is a long process, it is well worth it. Once the wood is ready for use, you can use it for almost any wood project imaginable. It will add a unique look to your home because each piece of wood has its own story and look. It also helps you to reuse materials that can still offer benefits to use. This cuts down on waste and makes the most of the materials we have. In the long run, it will also lower the demand for new lumber, which reduces the rate of deforestation in the world.

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Lacey Jolley

I love exploring, experiencing new places, and eating good food! I'm amazed every day at how well the Earth provides for us, and I want to return the favor. I hope to help others learn how we can make our world a better, cleaner place.

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