Originating in the 1970’s and 1980’s, reclaimed lumber has only grown in popularity, making it a hot trend in the current lumber industry. Increasing in desirability due to concerns for the environment, reclaimed lumber serves many purposes while offering durability, beauty, and a story to tell.
Because wood can last for centuries given the proper maintenance, many are turning to reclaimed lumber as an eco-friendly way to repurpose a resource. While some may worry that they are buying a “used” product that is old, rest assured that reclaimed wood will last for years to come given proper maintenance.
Most reclaimed lumber is at least 50 years old, making it a product of slow-growth timber. Much of the wood harvested during the mid-1900’s was slowly grown over hundreds of years before it was felled. By allowing the wood to mature hundreds of years, there are dense wood rings, which make the lumber durable and stable. This also makes the heartwood of the tree richer. The rich colors combined with a tight ring pattern is highly sought out by those looking for a beautiful lumber.
Another benefit of choosing a reclaimed wood is that it has had many years – perhaps even hundreds of years – to absorb moisture. You can safely lay a reclaimed wood floor and won’t have to worry about it considerably shrinking or expanding with moisture changes. This stability is desired by those living in varying climates.
Another thing to consider when purchasing reclaimed wood is the appearance. It’s important to know that this is a wood that was used for a project before, so there may be markings or holes from the previous use. However, proper refinishing along with an adequate sealing will help make the wood smooth again. If you are going for a rustic look, chances are a reclaimed wood will fit the purpose. You may need to consider different species of reclaimed wood to fit the specific needs of your project.
While beauty, durability, and appearance are all features of choosing a reclaimed wood product for your next project, many customers want to also be able to tell a story. Imagine an art gallery featuring frames made from reclaimed wood. Or a hotel bar built of reclaimed wood that came from a historic 1800s barn. The possibilities are endless. The owner will be able to boast not only of the green practices in play, but also about the story of the wood’s previous use. It is like weaving the past with the present.
Because of the surge in reclaimed wood, it is sure to change the lumber industry. J. Gibson McIlvain Company is consistently on their top game, constantly researching current, contemporary lumber practices; given customer demand, reclaimed wood may be the next big product in the lumber market.
J. Gibson McIlvain Company
Since 1798, when Hugh McIlvain established a lumber business near Philadelphia, the McIlvain family has been immersed in the premium import and domestic lumber industry. With its headquarters located just outside of Baltimore, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company (www.mcilvain.com) is one of the largest U.S. importers of exotic woods.
As an active supporter of sustainable lumber practices, the J. Gibson McIlvain Company has provided fine lumber for notable projects throughout the world, including the White House, Capitol building, Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museums. Contact a representative at J. Gibson McIlvain today by calling (800) 638-9100.
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