Reclaimed Wood FAQs
Why is reclaimed wood better than new wood?
Reclaimed barn wood comes from virgin growth timbers, most growing for hundreds of years before being cut by man. When a tree grows slowly in its natural element, fighting for light and nutrients, it becomes tall, strong, durable, and dense. This slow growth creates a beautiful grain and color in the wood that cannot compare to new wood.
When exposed to the harsh elements for such an extended period of time, an incredible patina is rendered. These characteristics of old growth timber combined with century old wood working processes, like hand hewn and hand sawn techniques, creates a look that cannot be reproduced with new wood. It’s this rustic beauty that makes reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed antique wood in such high demand.
Where does reclaimed wood come from?
We carefully salvage barn wood timbers, siding, and other architectural elements from condemned barns and structures that are no longer in use. Factory and mill floors from the Industrial Revolution era were made predominantly with heart pine, maple, and oak and prove tremendously sturdy today. Real Antique Wood is one of the largest reclaimed wood suppliers in the Northeast carrying more than 1 million board feet ready for installation and finishing.
Century old barns were built with many different species of wood and were often built with the trees grown right on the property. Barns tell us a lot about their area and what species used to grow or still do in that area. The species we typically see from dismantled barns are hickory, basswood, walnut, heart pine, oak, maple and chestnut (before the 1904 chestnut blight).
What are the advantages of reclaimed wood floors?
Reclaimed wood is all old growth wood, with a richer color, grain, and density than new wood. It can be finished to your exact specifications, whether you want an antique look or modern feel, our mill is able to fabricate exactly what you’re looking for.
Reclaimed barn wood has been naturally drying since it was first cut, adjusting to changes in humidity by expanding and contracting over many decades. It is the only type of wood that can be installed over radiant heating systems. New wood that has been milled and kiln dried is subject to shrinking after it is installed. Reclaimed wood has been lived on and used — there are scratches, wear and tear from many decades, that all lend to the unique charm of the wood. Naturally, it hides nicks, scratches, or dents that eventually occur over time in your home or business, and doesn’t deter from it’s beauty.
What if I am doing a renovation or addition?
Real Antique Wood can match any floor and finish no matter the quantity. We are reclaimed wood flooring experts with a huge inventory in our shop and warehouse ready to go.
What about insects, nail holes, prior finishes and paint?
Nail holes, original finishes, and weathering make reclaimed wood the unique material it is. It is common to see remnants of red barn stain or white wash embedded in antique barn siding. Oftentimes, prior insect damage leaves a natural patterning that is remarkably beautiful. After milling, the outer layer can be removed to reveal the beautiful wood underneath.
Saw marks on hand hewn beams add charm and history to the product and are sure to inspire conversation about a time when a man labored with his hands to build.
Prior to selling all products, we inspect them carefully to ensure they meet our strict quality guidelines. Products are inspected to make sure there is no rot and that all metal has been removed from the timbers.
Our wood is kiln dried to ensure that any bugs residing in the wood are killed off as well as to get the moisture content right where we need it to be.
What is more expensive: a reclaimed wood floor or a new wood floor?
Antique wood is more expensive — they aren’t making any more of it! Timbers from the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries are a finite commodity and those that meet our standards are even rarer.
If you appreciate the beauty of these natural antique wood materials, you will certainly understand that the value exceeds commercial lumber milled from new growth timbers in modern mills.
Will Real Antique Wood remove my old barn, farm house, or other antique structure?
If a you have an antique structure like a barn, old factory, or farm house that needs to be dismantled, Real Antique Wood will be happy to assess the value and quality of the materials that can be reclaimed and recycled. We typically remove all of the wood and some metal from the site, leaving a cleaned site and the foundation and stone. Let us assess the value of your antique structure which will continue to live on for generations to come in homes, offices, and businesses. Contact us with pictures of your structure at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does Real Antique Wood work with Interior Designers and Architects?
YES! We welcome design and construction professionals of all kinds. We are happy to work with designers, contractors, and architects. We will assist you with our input, expertise, custom fabrication, and wood samples.