Wooden beams and posts
In Western Europe, structural timber has a less central place in the reuse economy than in other parts of the world. For example, it is part of a well-developed sector in the USA, where reclaimed timber is seen by some as a completely distinct type of wood.
In our regions, we can distinguish between two categories of products. There are sections of reusable timber that are sought after specifically for their technical qualities and which are usually sold as an alternative – more ecological or less expensive – to the equivalent new product. On the other hand, there is a market for old beams from buildings that are often hundreds of years old. These can come in irregular shapes, are more expensive and are mainly desired for their history and appearance, although the technical qualities are also very important.
The reusable timber sections are used to create the framework of buildings and of secondary works like mezzanines, awnings, etc. This material is also often used for alternative purposes like solid wood furniture (tables, benches, steps) or other interior design projects.
Relying on reusable timber framing is an excellent way of ensuring that a building project does not contribute to deforestation. For this reason, some suppliers offer reusable timber accompanied by labels such as FSC recycled or equivalent – certifying that the wood comes from disassembled buildings and is not the result of tree cutting.
Beams, joists and woodwork elements originating from the structure of floors or roofs. Usually rectangular sections of resinous timber. They are not necessarily old.
Old beams from traditional buildings. They are often oak, in square section and with more irregular shapes. They can sometimes be hundreds of years old.
Structural glulam (glued laminated timber), from the disassembly of hangars or sports halls, generally dating from the second half of the 20th century.
Removal of locks, screws, etc.
Planing or sanding
Some prices recorded on the ground (prices for individual clients, VAT included):
Pine joists 6 x 16 cm: 3.5 €/m
Pine joists 8 x 24 cm: 8.5 €/m
Old oak beams: variable price depending on the finish (planed or not) and the length. For a 25x25 cm section: between 800 and 1800 €/m³. The unit price is higher for long beams.
Glulam beam: 200-300 €/m³
Did you know?
Between the 1990s and the 2010s, the demand for old beams has fallen. Numerous suppliers who had a substantial stock then equipped themselves to transform these beams into floorboards, cladding, doors, stairs or furniture. The beams are usually cut in the following way: the faces are cut and preserved intact to make distressed flooring. The core of the beam is cut into smaller elements which are, in some cases, artificially aged to complete the ranges of rustic wood floors.