What to Know about Reclaimed Lumber

So you want to know more about reclaimed lumber. You’ve clicked on the right link. We know a thing or two… and are also pretty decent at researching the other things we don’t know. Find all of our references below.

Wall made from reclaimed lumber pallets by Janeen Davis.
Reclaimed Lumber Pallet Wall By Janeen Davis

Let’s start with what reclaimed lumber is. Reclaimed lumber is wood that has lived a previous life and still has some left to it. Whether as an old building structure, flooring, or even a pallet, this material isn’t fresh from the tree farm. Note that recycled lumber and reclaimed lumber are not the same. Recycled lumber has been altered just like a plastic bottle can be recycled into other things. Many people prefer reclaimed lumber for its character even so much that sometimes new wood is weathered to look like reclaimed lumber. However, similarly to us, there are more benefits to reclaimed lumber than just its beauty.

Recycled, weathered, and reclaimed lumber are not the same.

They just don’t make lumber like they used to. Yes, trees are working their darndest to grow and gather our emissions to make pure, delightful O2 but we’re not giving them as much time as we once did. We learned from the Superior Hardwoods of Montana website, that old-growth refers to trees that have reached full maturity. “The more slowly a tree grows, the denser the fiber becomes.” In short, new lumber is generally less dense than reclaimed lumber. When you invest in reclaimed lumber, you’re probably getting better quality wood too.


Reclaimed Lumber Cabinet By Phil Aumiller
Reclaimed Lumber Cabinet By Phil Aumiller

“The cumulative energy used to make virgin lumber in comparison to the reclaimed variety was found to be about 11 to 13 times more.”

There are environmental benefits to using what we already have like local lumber. We save that water and energy used to farm new trees, process the wood, and in many cases- ship the lumber to new, faraway locations. Interested in learning more about these numbers? Check out this analysis concerning the life cycle of lumber. 

At our materials reuse location, we often receive local lumber that’s reclaimed as a donation from contractors and/or community members. If you’re in need, please don’t hesitate reaching out at (303) 419-5418  or stopping by 6400 Arapahoe Rd., in Boulder. You’ll absolutely get a great deal PLUS your purchase helps divert usable materials from the landfill. With the support of our community, we divert nearly 4 million pounds of building materials each year. Learn more about the materials that we frequently have in stock here.



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