You may have come across the term reclaimed wood, but what does it mean? Where does it come from? What’s the difference between reclaimed wood, recycled wood and salvaged wood? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is reclaimed wood?

Reclaimed wood is any wood that has had a previous life in some form of construction and has been repurposed for use in a new application. Some other terms you may hear are ‘recycled wood’ and ‘salvaged wood’, but these are not the same as reclaimed wood.

Recycled wood is wood that has been broken down into mulch and reformed into new boards, and salvaged wood is spare wood that has been taken from trees that have been cut down for other purposes or fallen naturally.

Where does reclaimed wood come from?

There is no set source that timber has to come from to be known as ‘reclaimed wood’ as long as it has already been used in construction in some way. This means it can come from multiple sources, such as factories, ships, railway tracks, barns, barrels and warehouses.

This wood is then used in a range of new applications, such as furniture and flooring that are full of character and have a perfect aesthetic to complement rustic-style rooms or homes. A significant part of the appeal is that it comes with a history and a unique patina or markings that help to tell its story.

Where does Winkleigh Timber source wood from?

Here at Winkleigh Timber, most of our reclaimed wood comes from here in the UK, from a range of previous applications, such as old scaffold boards, factory ceiling boards and old oak beams that have been fished out of the water, to name just a few. We have dedicated teams who search for old sites scheduled for demolition across the country, where we can be sure to source high-quality timber that would otherwise be completely wasted and destroyed.

What are the benefits?

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of reclaimed wood is that it is very environmentally-friendly. As the wood would have otherwise been destroyed or left to rot, using reclaimed wood for new applications is a zero-waste process and doesn’t harvest any new timber.

The new products that are made from the reclaimed wood, such as furniture and flooring, are full of history and character. The natural grain, knots and imperfections tell a story and are much more visually interesting (not to mention unique) in comparison to mass-produced or overly-processed timber.

Depending on the age and original application of the reclaimed wood, it can even be denser and harder than new wood. Wood over 100 years old for example, tends to have a tighter grain that contributes to its durability.


Now that you know where reclaimed wood comes from, do you think it might be a good addition to your home? If so, you can take a look at our reclaimed oak flooring, reclaimed pine flooring, or our furniture selection.


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