Recycled vs Reclaimed Timber- What’s The Difference?

If you’ve been in the market for timber products, you’ve no doubt heard about recycled and reclaimed timber. A lot of the time, these words are used interchangeably, however they are in fact very different products. These differences are subtle, yet important so we will be explaining them in this article. 

Recycled Timber

Recycled timber has been salvaged from an existing structure, but has been processed in a way that the final product is used for an entirely different purpose. Some of our recycled floorboard timber that was originally used for structural purposes like beams and trusses. The upside to recycled timber is that its moisture content is almost zero, as it’s had many years or decades for it to dry naturally. This makes it more prone to rotting or growing fungi. Recycled timber can often have imperfections like nail holes, which isn’t ideal of you’re wanting a cleaner timber look. However, these imperfections do give the timber a lot of character which is becoming more on trend. 

Reclaimed Timber

Reclaimed timber is simply timber that is still used for its original purpose. While recycled timber goes through a rigorous processing system for it to be used for an entirely different purpose, reclaimed timber has been altered minimally- often just lightly sanded and re-varnished. Many of the houses we demolish have beautiful, high quality floorboards that we collect and repurpose, giving it a whole new life. The knots and veins in old timber is impossible to find in modern timber, due to fast growing plantations. Reclaimed timber can be much more refined than recycled timber, due to it always being an aesthetic product to begin with.  

At Reconstructed, we product both recycled and reclaimed timber. Our goal is to minimise timber wastage, so we have methods of transforming high quality used timber into a new product. 

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