The Difference Between Reclaimed Wood and Antique Wood

Sourcing old materials provides a sustainable method for many furniture makers. Reclaimed and antique wood offer an eco-friendly source of lumber. Both options provide charming, unique characteristics, and the differences between reclaimed and antique wood can help you decide your preference.

What Is Reclaimed Wood?

Reclaimed wood refers to repurposed wood from various preexisting structures, such as abandoned buildings, barns and rural facilities. Collected beams, structural elements, flooring and siding go to a warehouse for cleaning. Prepping involves cleaning, nail removal, milling and forming the wood into planks.

Each unique piece of wood tells a story. The wood planks may have patina, nail holes, saw marks and natural sun bleaching. A door may change color around the knob due to years of touch.

What Is Antique Wood?

Antique wood refers to lumber extracted from trees around 100 to 300 years ago, and some antique woods in the U.S. date back to the 1600s. When European settlers first arrived in America, untouched trees were already several centuries old.

Characteristics of old-growth trees involve tighter growth rings, beautiful wood grain and greater density. The large trees yielded wider boards than today’s younger-growth trees.

Antique wood is valuable because of its rarity and historical significance. Some of the country’s oldest buildings use wood from these trees, and conservation laws protect some remaining old-growth forests.

Reclaimed Wood vs. Antique Wood FAQs

Budget, availability, design and function can help you decide on reclaimed or antique wood. Learn about the main distinctions with these common questions and answers:

  • What is the difference between reclaimed wood and antique wood? Antique wood is more durable. It’s also termite- and rot-resistant because the old-growth tree rings grew closer together with strong heartwood at their center.
  • Is reclaimed wood more expensive than antique wood? Antique wood’s scarcity makes its price higher than reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood’s age makes its supply more available to furniture makers and construction developers.
  • How is antique wood used? Property owners usually display antique wood in decor, building elements, furniture and fixtures.
  • How is reclaimed wood used? Reclaimed wood appears in tables and furniture, flooring, paneling, shelves and cabinets.

Shop Reclaimed Wood and Antique Wood

Decorate your spaces with unique pieces of wood that have a history. Greg Pilotti Furniture Makers handcrafts high-quality reclaimed tables and furniture with custom designs for your offices and workspaces.

For an original piece of furniture, call 484-712-5178 or fill out a pricing request form today!