Finishing wood

On the reclamation market there are many wooden products that can be used as finishing materials, both inside, for floors and panelling, and outside, for cladding and terraces. These elements come from various sources: old agricultural structures; maritime infrastructure, industrial applications, etc. They usually have originally the form of planks, but thicker elements or panels can also be found. 

Their years of exposure to use and weathering have left traces that make reclaimed wood much appreciated: variations in colour due to sun or rain, traces of centuries of processing, deep grooves, etc. In addition, elements of wood that have been used before are mechanically more stable than new wood; and wood that was felled decades or sometimes centuries ago is of a very high quality, as the trees were given more time to grow. 

Finished wood is typically available from traders specialising in one or more of the products listed below. 

Documentation

Scaffolding wood

Scaffolding wood, as the word says, comes from scaffolding. It is typically unplaned pinewood boards, 1.5 to 3 cm thick, that are very suitable for use as a running board due to their long fibres and that have been exposed to construction site and weather conditions for a period of several years. Scaffolding wood is a true classic among do-it-yourselfers who like to work with reclaimed wood, especially to make furniture.Today, new scaffolding wood is increasingly losing ground to aluminium elements. 

Scrap wood

Scrap wood is a collective term for various types of wooden planks that are released during the renovation or demolition of buildings. Most common is roof boarding, but wood from facades or outdoor furnishings is also sporadically available. It is mainly demolition contractors who sell this wood, which they recover from their sites. This is usually pine or spruce, but sometimes more special batches are also available. For parquet and plank floors, see the category “Interior finishing wood”.  

Wood from other applications

Various specialised traders offer other types of reclaimed wood, often from more limited material fluxes. For example, there are so-called cheese boards (on which cheese is laid out to dry), truck boards, wine press boards (from the barrels in which pressed grape juice was collected), etc. Not infrequently, these are boards with a very specific patina and a long history. 

Timber formwork panels

Timber formwork panels known as “Steenschotten” are  true classics on the reclamation market in Belgium, the Netherlands, and, to a lesser extent, France and Germany. These panels find their first application in the concrete industry, where they are used as supports to vibrate and dry precast concrete products. Afterwards, the rectangular panels, often azobé, douglas fir or larch, can be used for a variety of different (exterior) applications and are especially popular for terraces.

Barnwood

Barnwood has also enjoyed great popularity in recent decades. The term usually refers to wooden planks from the dismantling of former agricultural barns, mainly imported from Eastern Europe and North America. This time- and weather-treated wood is very stable and strong and has a very distinctive aesthetic. Often, batches of barnwood also have a certain historical significance, as the wood originates from European and American primary forests. 

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Planks sawn from (oak) beams

Some suppliers saw reclaimed beams into planks suitable for all kinds of applications. These are often oak beams that are sawn into floorboards. These planks have less patina than reclaimed parquet planks, but on the other hand, their dimensions can be determined relatively freely, and their stability ensured.

(Tropical) wood from maritime applications

Tropical hardwood was, and to a lesser extent still is, widely used for many maritime applications. Ship's timbers, mooring posts, sheet piling, etc. consist largely of azobé, especially in the Netherlands, and to a lesser extent of other wood species such as Douglas. This type of wood is naturally very resistant to moisture and high loads and is therefore very suitable for (but not limited to) outdoor use. Reclaimed marine timber is mainly found on the Dutch and Belgian reclamation markets.

Wagon boards and railway sleepers

Wagon boards are usually pine, oak or sometimes even tropical planks that come from old, covered or uncovered freight wagons. Railway sleepers are typically made of oak and are sawn into planks (they should not have been treated with tar before reuse!). Both products are usually offered together by the same suppliers and come from all over Europe.