What is reclaimed wood

What Is Reclaimed Furniture?

Reclaimed furniture is furniture made from wood that had previously been used for another purpose. The act of repurposing and turning it into a new item means that each piece of reclaimed furniture is unusual and different from most wood furniture items. Read more about its features, how to choose reclaimed furniture for your home and how to care for it with Wood Furniture Store.

Unique and unusual furniture is more in demand than ever with people looking for new ways to add character to their spaces and make them their own. This rise has gone hand in hand with an increased demand for reclaimed wood furniture.

Reclaimed wood furniture means that every piece is unique. Buying a reclaimed wardrobe, dresser or table ensures that it will be unlike any other, exclusive to your home. Choosing this route helps you to characterise your home differently to anyone else’s, making it wholly yours and completely individual.


What Is Reclaimed Wood?

Reclaimed furniture is made from reclaimed wood, or timber. This is wood that was once used for a different purpose but has been recycled or upcycled into a high quality piece of furniture.


Where Does Reclaimed Timber Come From?

The original purpose of the wood could have been anything such as old floorboards, beams or roof timber. Most commonly, it is salvaged from old factories, warehouses or even barns that are no longer in use and are being demolished. The wood is salvaged during the demolition to reduce waste.

However, there’s no limit on where reclaimed timber can come from. Sometimes furniture might be made from old rail tracks, boats, broken doors or wine barrels.

Old barn is a source of reclaimed timber

How is Reclaimed Timber Turned Into Furniture?

Every manufacturer of reclaimed furniture will have their own little tricks to make their furniture unique and special. However, all reclaimed timber has to go through various preparation stages to ensure that it’s of a high enough quality to be worked into furniture.

  1. Quality check – Furniture manufacturers will only use the highest quality reclaimed timber to make items. Wood will always be inspected for any irreparable damage that means it’s not good enough to be used.
  2. Nails, bolts and screws are removed – This has to be done by hand, using metal detectors to check that everything has been removed before the wood can be used.
  3. Milling – Wood goes through a process of milling. This uses a machine to strip the wood and cut it into appropriate sizes ready to be made into furniture.

Is Reclaimed Furniture of Lower Quality?

Not at all. Reclaimed furniture is only made from the highest quality cuts of wood so the furniture itself is of just as high a quality as that made from brand new timber. The wood is treated and finished in the same way too, creating furniture that will last a very long time but still uses recycled materials.

In addition to this, reclaimed furniture is often made from old growth wood which is more durable and stable than new wood. Keep reading to find out more about this!


Why Choose Reclaimed Wood Furniture?

Reclaimed wood furniture has a number of benefits over furniture made from new timber.


1. Character

First and foremost, people choose reclaimed furniture because it brings character to a space like nothing else. Wood furniture always looks beautiful, but reclaimed wood has natural variations, irregularities and markings that make it unique.


Reclaimed timber is often marked by unique knots in the wood pattern. This means that every piece is different and creates beautiful designs.

Nail marks

Some items might have small holes and marks in from where nails used to be. This shows the history of the wood, adding interest to the furniture.


Reclaimed items of furniture will be weathered in their own unique ways, depending on where they’ve come from and the stories behind them. This means that the furniture looks truly beautiful.


Each piece of reclaimed furniture will have its own history. Sometimes you’ll be able to find out what this is, but a lot of the time the magic is in not knowing. You can feel the history behind these kinds of items, which really develops the character of the room as a whole.

2. The Environment

If the character of the furniture wasn’t enough, the environmental factors of choosing reclaimed wood items is another fantastic reason to go with these pieces.

The timber used is all recycled and repurposed. If it wasn’t used in reclaimed furniture (or for other reclaimed items such as flooring) then it would go to waste.

It also means that new timber doesn’t have to be created from still growing trees, reducing the number of trees that need to be cut to make your wooden furniture.


3. Old Growth Wood

Reclaimed timber often showcases a type of wood that is more or less completely unavailable in the modern market: old growth wood.

Old growth wood comes from trees that have been left to fully mature and develop before being cut into timber. Because it can take a very long time for a tree to fully mature, most timber today is not made from this kind but instead from still growing trees to ensure the demand for real wood can be met and mature forests are protected.

However, old growth wood is significantly more stable and durable than new wood. This is because it’s had more time in which to become dense and tight, increasing the strength of the material. It can make it harder to turn into furniture, but this hardness makes for extremely durable items of furniture.

reclaimed wood seat

Choosing Reclaimed Furniture

If you’re sold on the idea of reclaimed furniture, how do you go about choosing the right items for your home?

There are some important things to consider when choosing furniture to make sure it works in your home and will look great years down the line.


The Right Style

Not all reclaimed furniture is the same — that’s the fun of it! But it means that you should make sure you look properly at what style will suit your interior, match your existing furniture and add to the look of your room, rather than being a distraction.

At Wood Furniture Store, we have three different set ranges of reclaimed furniture to cater for different tastes, including both oak and pine. We also often have special items in our unusual furniture collection.

Reclaimed wood display cabinet
Reclaimed wood drawers

Appearance and Practicality

It’s easy to fall in love with an item of reclaimed furniture because of its character and appearance. However, it’s vital that you remember to consider the practicalities!


It may sound obvious, but make sure the size of the furniture is what you need for your home. As beautiful as a reclaimed oak table might look online or in the showroom, if it’s too big for your dining room then you can’t get it — and equally, if it’s too small for your needs.

Try not to fall too deeply in love with an item unless you know it’s the right size and won’t dominate your space or feel too small. It doesn’t matter how great a piece it is; if you get it home and it doesn’t work in your room, then you will never really love having it.


Before you purchase an item of reclaimed furniture, think about where exactly you’re going to place it so it can have the best impact on the room. You don’t want the beauty of the furniture going to waste tucked unseen into a corner or lost behind a door!


A Reliable Supplier

When you’re investing money into reclaimed furniture, it’s important to buy from a reliable and trustworthy supplier. This ensures that you can ask questions about the timber and the item before you buy it.

Wood Furniture Store are a trusted supplier of reclaimed furniture. We’d love to chat to you about any of our pieces over the phone or in person in our showroom!

Caring For Reclaimed Wood Furniture

If you’ve invested money in a beautiful item of reclaimed wood furniture, the last thing you want is for it to become damaged, even years down the line. Properly cared for, reclaimed furniture can last a very long time.

General Tips

Lift don’t drag

When moving your furniture, from a reclaimed table to a wardrobe, be sure to lift the item rather than dragging it. Not only will this protect your floors, pulling or pushing can put strain on the joints. Lifting, on the other hand, might take some teamwork but will help protect your furniture.


Some items of wood furniture could be scratched by anything with a point or sharp edge. From belt buckles to keys, try to keep your reclaimed wood furniture from having too much contact with things that might scratch it.

For a reclaimed table, you could consider a tablecloth. This can put on if the table is going to be used for a craft activity or something that might damage the wood, and removed at other times to show off the beautiful material.

reclaimed wood surface

Sunlight and Heat


Direct sunlight can stain wood and change its colour over time. To avoid your item changing colour, try to place it out of direct sunlight.


Intense heat, such as that from radiators, has been known to crack wood. This is because heat causes wood to expand. Wood can naturally expand and contract slightly, but intense heat, especially if frequent, can cause too much strain that leads to cracking. Avoid placing your reclaimed wood item too close to a direct heat source like a radiator.

Moisture Stains

From coffee mug rings to bigger stains, moisture can leave marks on real wood furniture. The best thing to do is to avoid moisture coming into contact with your reclaimed item. This means using coasters on tables, for example.

Sometimes accidents happen, however. Read our guide on how to remove heat stains from wood for tips on what to do!


It’s important to keep reclaimed furniture clean to ensure longevity. Dust it regularly with a dry cloth to keep it looking good and make sure you mop up any spillages immediately after they occur. If your furniture begins to lose it’s shine, you can use a beeswax polish to revive it.


Reclaimed Furniture

Reclaimed furniture is a fantastic choice for any home. You can find anything from tables and chairs through to dressers and wardrobes made from reclaimed timber. Wood Furniture Store have several ranges of reclaimed furniture, as well as our unusual furniture collection which sometimes features reclaimed items.

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