New vs Recycled Timber- Price, Quality, Sustainability

old vs new growth timber

At Reconstructed, we sell both new and recycled timber. We value protecting our beautiful Earth, so all of the timber that we sell is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Most of our products are made from recycled timber, because we believe that it is higher quality and more sustainable. Here is a summary to help you decide which timber is right for you.

Old Timber is Better than New Growth

Recycled timber is often more expensive that newly harvested timber. It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but there are some good reasons for this. Firstly, the manufacturing process is a lot more compacted and time consuming than new timber This is due to the process in removing old nails, bolts and the risk in damaging milling machines. Not many timber manufacturers are willing to take this risk.

The second reason old timber is more expensive is simply due to the quality. New growth timber simply can’t match the quality of old growth. Old wood comes from virgin forests, that have grown more slowly over the years. This means the rings are tighter and the wood is less prone to warping, rotting and twisting. Old timber has a lot more history and characteristics due to wind, droughts and bushfires that are embedded it its grains. This is what gives messmate furniture its unique and bold design. New timber tends to be more consistent and even in its grain pattern, which is great for minimalistic and Scandinavian designs but doesn’t quite have the same impact.

 

messmate tallboy
Grain patterns of Old Timber
old vs new growth timber
Old vs New Growth Timber

Old Timber is sparse

Old timber is becoming more and more rare, which also dictates the slightly higher price. This year the Government has banned all native logging in Australia. This is a necessary step in protecting our native environment and wildlife from the destructive damage the logging industry causes. Since 2000, 435,000 hectares had been degraded through logging operations, the study said, affecting 244 threatened species – 104 of which are federally listed as endangered or critically endangered. Banning logging is a necessary step in order to protect our native wildlife and ecosystem, but that also means that high quality timber is going to be harder to find. 

messmate door
Recycled Timber Doors
Recycled Timber Flooring

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