How To Use Reclaimed Wood

Interested in bringing the patina of salvaged wood—as well as its environmental benefits—into your own home? Here's how.

| November/December 2007

Willie Drake, owner of Mountain Lumber, offers the following pointers:

1. Salvaged wood should be properly kiln-dried. "Old wood has gone through changes in humidity year after year for a long time," he says. "Once it's been kiln-dried, this conditioning that's been taking place over many years actually makes reclaimed wood more stable than new lumber."

2. Make sure your home's HVAC system is in good working order. This will prevent damage to the wood from expansion or contraction due to humidity fluctuations in the house.

3. When buying wood salvaged wood for flooring or paneling, look for products that have tongues and grooves on the end as well as on the edges of each plank. "This will save the end-user money in the installation," Willie says.

4. Look at a salvaged wood supplier's reputation. Does the company stand by what it sells? Does it warranty its products? Does it provide good instructions for handling, sanding, installing and finishing its products?

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