The Ultimate Guide to Reclaimed Wood Types

Types of Reclaimed Wood: Selecting the right Wood for Your Project

Vintage Timbers, with its commitment to sustainability and craftsmanship, offers a wide range of reclaimed wood options for your projects. From the rustic charm of Hand Hewn to the refined appeal of Kiln Dried, each type of reclaimed wood possesses unique characteristics that can enhance the aesthetics and functionality of your spaces.

We’re going to dive into the various types of reclaimed wood and provide insights into their features. We’ll also give you suggestions for ideal applications for each.

14 Types of Reclaimed Wood

  1. Kiln Dried
  2. Straight Bevel
  3. Micro Bevel
  4. Hand Bevel
  5. Natural Face
  6. Clean Face
  7. Dirty Top
  8. Hand Hewn
  9. Circle Sawn
  10. Sleeper
  11. Breadboard
  12. Dutch Creek
  13. Quarter Sawn
  14. Rift Sawn

Next, we break down each of the reclaimed wood products so you can decide which option is best for you. Let’s take a look at the unique qualities of these materials and the purpose they can serve in a project.

Kiln Dried:

Kiln Dried reclaimed wood is a popular choice for those seeking stability and consistency in their projects. This wood type undergoes a controlled drying process in a kiln, reducing moisture content to a specific level. The result is a stable, durable material that is less prone to warping or shrinking. Ideal for indoor applications, Kiln Dried wood offers a polished and refined appearance, making it suitable for furniture, flooring, and accent pieces.

Straight Bevel:

Characterized by precise, straight edges, Straight Bevel reclaimed wood adds a touch of sophistication to any project. This type of wood is carefully milled to achieve sharp, clean lines, making it an excellent choice for modern or minimalist designs. Whether used for flooring, paneling, or furniture, Straight Bevel wood imparts a sleek and contemporary aesthetic to your creations.

Micro Bevel:

For those who appreciate subtle detailing, Micro Bevel reclaimed wood provides a delicate edge profile that enhances its visual appeal. The micro bevel adds a touch of dimension to the edges without compromising the overall sleekness of the piece. This type of reclaimed wood is well-suited for flooring and paneling, where a nuanced edge can create a refined and tasteful look.

Hand Bevel:

Embracing the artisanal charm of handcrafted detailing, Hand Bevel reclaimed wood showcases the skillful workmanship of artisans. Each piece is carefully beveled by hand, resulting in a unique and irregular edge profile. This type of wood is perfect for projects that seek to capture the warmth and authenticity of handcrafted design, such as custom furniture or feature walls.

Natural Face:

Natural Face reclaimed wood celebrates the beauty of imperfections and the raw, untouched character of the material. This type retains the original surface of the wood, showcasing knots, nail holes, and weathered patina. Ideal for projects that embrace a rustic or vintage aesthetic, Natural Face wood adds a sense of history and authenticity to your creations.

Clean Face:

In contrast to Natural Face, Clean Face reclaimed wood undergoes a meticulous cleaning process to achieve a smoother and more refined surface. This type of wood is well-suited for projects where a cleaner and more polished appearance is desired, such as contemporary furniture, accent walls, or architectural elements.

Dirty Top:

Dirty Top reclaimed wood strikes a balance between the raw charm of Natural Face and the cleanliness of Clean Face. This type features a surface with traces of dirt, patina, and weathering, adding character and depth to the wood. Dirty Top wood is an excellent choice for projects that seek a weathered, yet curated aesthetic, such as farmhouse-style furniture, accent pieces, or reclaimed wood flooring.

Hand Hewn:

Hand Hewn reclaimed wood showcases the marks of traditional craftsmanship, where skilled artisans used hand tools to shape and texture the wood. The result is a textured and tactile surface that exudes authenticity and character. Hand Hewn wood is ideal for projects that aim to capture the charm of historic craftsmanship, such as rustic furniture, ceiling beams, or accent walls.

Circle Sawn:

Circle Sawn reclaimed wood features distinctive circular saw marks that add a rugged and industrial touch to the material. This type of wood is often chosen for projects that aim to achieve a reclaimed and repurposed look, such as barn doors, wall paneling, or industrial-style furniture.


Sleeper reclaimed wood, sourced from reclaimed railroad ties or industrial sleepers, offers a unique and weathered appearance. The marks of its previous life contribute to a distinctive character that is perfect for projects seeking a one-of-a-kind, reclaimed aesthetic. Sleeper wood is suitable for a variety of applications, including outdoor furniture, garden features, or accent pieces.


Breadboard reclaimed wood is characterized by the presence of a breadboard end, a traditional woodworking technique that enhances the stability of large tabletops. This type of wood is often chosen for projects like dining tables, where the breadboard end not only adds structural integrity but also contributes to a classic and timeless design.

Dutch Creek:

Dutch Creek reclaimed wood pays homage to the craftsmanship of the past with its rich and detailed milling. This type features intricate profiles and textures, making it a standout choice for projects that demand a high level of detail, such as custom cabinetry, doors, or architectural millwork.

Quarter Sawn:

Quarter Sawn reclaimed wood is known for its unique grain pattern, achieved through a specific cutting technique. This method results in a straighter grain and enhanced stability, making Quarter Sawn wood ideal for applications where minimal movement is crucial, such as flooring or high-end furniture.

Rift Sawn:

Similar to Quarter Sawn, Rift Sawn reclaimed wood is prized for its straight grain, but with a different cutting technique. This method produces a distinctive linear grain pattern that adds a touch of elegance to the wood. Rift Sawn wood is often chosen for projects that require a refined appearance, such as cabinetry, flooring, or architectural elements.

The Advantages of Reclaimed Wood

Vintage Timbers seeks out sustainable sources of reclaimed wood, creating environmentally-friendly beauty with endless benefits.

In a world increasingly concerned with sustainability, reclaimed wood has emerged as a popular choice for those seeking both environmental consciousness and unique aesthetics in their projects.

Whether used in flooring, reclaimed wood paneling, or furniture, reclaimed wood offers a multitude of advantages that go beyond its visual appeal. The numerous benefits of reclaimed wood include its positive impact on the environment, its distinctive character, and its versatility in various applications.

Reclaimed Wood Benefits

Environmental Sustainability:

One of the primary advantages of reclaimed wood lies in its contribution to environmental sustainability. By repurposing wood from old structures, barns, or industrial sites, we reduce the demand for newly harvested timber. This, in turn, helps preserve forests and ecosystems, mitigating the environmental impact of deforestation. Choosing reclaimed wood is a conscious decision to promote responsible forestry practices and contribute to the conservation of natural resources.

Unique Aesthetics and Character

Reclaimed wood possesses a character and charm that is unparalleled. Each piece carries a history, showcasing the marks of its previous life – whether it's weathered patina, nail holes, or distinctive grain patterns. This inherent character adds a level of authenticity and uniqueness to every project, creating a visual appeal that cannot be replicated by new, mass-produced materials. The warmth and depth of reclaimed wood contribute to a sense of timelessness and connection to the past.

Durability and Stability

Reclaimed wood often comes from older trees that have grown slowly and developed a denser grain over time. This characteristic makes reclaimed wood exceptionally durable and stable. In comparison to newly harvested wood, which may come from younger, faster-growing trees, reclaimed wood is less prone to warping, shrinking, or cupping. This makes it an ideal choice for applications like flooring, where stability is crucial.

Storytelling and Heritage

Every piece of reclaimed wood tells a story. Whether it's the beams from an old barn, the planks from a dismantled factory, or the timbers from a historic building, each element contributes to a narrative of the past. Incorporating reclaimed wood into your project allows you to infuse it with a sense of heritage and history, creating a connection to the craftsmanship and lives that shaped the wood's original purpose.

Versatility in Design

Reclaimed wood is incredibly versatile, offering a wide range of options to suit various design styles. From the rustic charm of weathered barn wood to the clean lines of meticulously milled planks, reclaimed wood can be adapted to fit contemporary, traditional, industrial, or eclectic aesthetics. Its adaptability makes it a favorite among designers and architects looking to add character and uniqueness to their projects.

Eco-Friendly Choice

Choosing reclaimed wood aligns with eco-friendly principles, contributing to the reduction of waste and the carbon footprint associated with new wood production. By salvaging wood from existing structures slated for demolition or repurposing, we divert materials from landfills and reduce the need for energy-intensive manufacturing processes. This eco-friendly aspect of reclaimed wood makes it a sustainable and responsible choice for environmentally conscious consumers.

Support for Local Economy

Many suppliers of reclaimed wood are local businesses that salvage materials from nearby structures. By choosing reclaimed wood, you support local economies and businesses engaged in sustainable practices. This localized approach also reduces the environmental impact of transportation, as reclaimed wood doesn't need to travel great distances to reach your project site.

Customization and Adaptability

Reclaimed wood offers a high level of customization, allowing you to tailor the material to your specific project requirements. Whether it's handcrafting furniture, creating unique flooring patterns, or designing bespoke architectural features, reclaimed wood provides a canvas for creativity. Its adaptability allows for the realization of custom designs that stand out and reflect your individual style.

Choosing the Perfect Reclaimed Wood

Tips for Different Areas of Your Home 

There's a lot to consider when it comes to selecting the right type of reclaimed wood for various areas of your home. This is a crucial step in achieving the perfect balance of aesthetics, functionality, and durability. As mentioned earlier, each type of reclaimed wood carries distinct characteristics.

Now we discuss how to choose reclaimed wood that can enhance specific spaces. Here are a few tips to help you with the design of each area and meet the practical requirements of the space.

Consider the Room's Functionality

Different areas of your home serve different functions, and the reclaimed wood you choose should align with these needs. For high-traffic zones like entryways and hallways, opt for durable and stable options like Kiln Dried or Quarter Sawn reclaimed wood. For more decorative or low-traffic areas, you have the flexibility to explore options with unique textures, such as Hand Hewn or Dirty Top.

Embrace Natural Elements in Living Spaces

Living rooms and communal areas are ideal spaces to showcase the character and warmth of reclaimed wood. Consider Natural Face or Dirty Top reclaimed wood to bring a rustic charm to accent walls or fireplace surrounds. These options celebrate imperfections and weathered patina, adding a touch of authenticity to gathering spaces.

Create a Cozy Bedroom Retreat

In bedrooms, the goal is often to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Opt for reclaimed wood with a softer, more tactile feel, such as Hand Hewn or Dutch Creek. These types of wood lend themselves well to the creation of custom headboards, accent walls, or even unique furniture pieces, enhancing the overall comfort and aesthetics of the space

Durable Flooring for High-Traffic Areas

For flooring in high-traffic areas like kitchens or hallways, prioritize reclaimed wood with enhanced durability and stability. Kiln Dried or Circle Sawn options are excellent choices, as they offer resistance to warping and movement. These woods are not only practical but also add a touch of character to spaces that often see a lot of activity.

Enhance Dining Rooms with Breadboard Ends

Dining areas benefit from the use of reclaimed wood with classic and timeless features. Consider choosing wood with Breadboard ends, which not only adds structural integrity to large tabletops but also imparts a traditional and refined aesthetic. This feature is perfect for dining tables, providing both style and functionality.

Weather-Resistant Choices for Outdoor Spaces

When selecting reclaimed wood for outdoor applications, such as decking or furniture, prioritize weather-resistant options like Sleeper wood. Sleeper reclaimed wood, often sourced from railroad ties, is naturally weathered and resistant to the elements, making it an excellent choice for durable and attractive outdoor installations.

Incorporate Circle Sawn Wood in Industrial Spaces

For industrial or loft-style interiors, Circle Sawn reclaimed wood is an ideal choice. The distinctive circular saw marks add an industrial touch, making it suitable for exposed beams, accent walls, or even furniture pieces. This type of wood complements the raw and utilitarian aesthetics often associated with industrial design.

Achieve a Contemporary Look with Straight Bevel or Micro Bevel

For modern or contemporary spaces, consider reclaimed wood with clean lines and precise edges. Straight Bevel or Micro Bevel options provide a sleek and sophisticated appearance, making them well-suited for flooring, paneling, or furniture in spaces that embrace minimalist design principles.

Customize Architectural Features with Dutch Creek

Architectural elements such as doors, window frames, or cabinetry can benefit from the detailed milling of Dutch Creek reclaimed wood. The intricate profiles and textures add a level of sophistication, making it an excellent choice for customizing and enhancing architectural features throughout your home or building.

Blend Tradition and Elegance with Quarter Sawn or Rift Sawn Wood:

For spaces where a touch of tradition and elegance is desired, Quarter Sawn or Rift Sawn reclaimed wood is a perfect fit. These options offer straight grain patterns and enhanced stability, making them ideal for applications such as flooring, cabinetry, or high-end furniture, where a refined appearance is crucial.

A Harmonious Environment

Choosing the right type of reclaimed wood for different areas of your home or building involves a thoughtful consideration of both aesthetics and practicality. By understanding the characteristics and ideal applications of each reclaimed wood type, you can create a harmonious and visually appealing environment that reflects your personal style while meeting the functional needs of each space.

Vintage Timbers: Sustainably Crafted Stories in Every Board

At Vintage Timbers, our passion for reclaimed wood goes beyond the surface—it runs deep into the history and heritage embedded in each weathered board. We take pride in being custodians of a unique legacy, providing our customers with 100% original vintage lumber that carries the whispers of a bygone era. Here's why we are dedicated to using sustainable reclaimed materials and how it shapes our commitment to craftsmanship.

A Tribute to Old Growth

Vintage wood, sourced from structures like barns that have stood the test of time, is a testament to the slow growth of old-growth forests. Unlike today's fast-grown wood, our vintage lumber boasts a denser and tighter grain, a result of decades or even centuries of patient growth. We celebrate the richness of this old-growth wood, acknowledging its superior quality and durability compared to contemporary alternatives.

Respecting the Past, Crafting the Future:

Every board we salvage carries a story, etched by years of use and the endeavors of countless lives. These boards were once the backbone of barns and structures, supporting families and communities. At Vintage Timbers, we approach the deconstruction process with the same dedication and love that went into constructing these structures. 

From Deconstruction to Rebirth:

Our commitment to sustainability at Vintage Timbers extends from the deconstruction phase to the crafting of the finished product. Each board at our timber mill is meticulously handcrafted into a unique piece that pays homage to its origin. We believe in giving these vintage materials a new life, allowing them to narrate stories for years to come. It's not just about recycling wood—it's about preserving history and creating something beautiful from it.

As a company, we invite you to join us in transforming visions into reality, nurturing dreams, and creating spaces with character and history.

Barns are Pillars of Heritage and Strength

The barns of early America were more than structures; they were lifeblood, pillars of the United States that supported communities and dreams. The reclaimed wood from these barns, with its unmatched strength and richness, symbolizes the foundation of our society. These structures were more than just shelters; they were the early banks, storing investments and housing dreams. Vintage Timbers is committed to bringing this rich history into your home, ensuring that each piece holds the warmth, sacrifice, and change witnessed by the barns of old.

Vintage Log Structures Preserving the 1800s Legacy:

Our dedication to history extends to offering vintage log structures dating back to the 1800s. From log homes to barns and storage buildings, these structures are methodically sourced and professionally dismantled. By providing these log structures, we enable our customers to bring a piece of the past into their present, ensuring that the legacy of these structures lives on.

Vintage Timbers' commitment to sustainable reclaimed materials is not just a business choice—it's a love for history, craftsmanship, and the timeless beauty of vintage wood. With each piece we offer, we aim to infuse your spaces with warmth, character, and the echoes of a rich past. Vintage Timbers invites you to be a part of this journey, where every board tells a story waiting to be cherished in your home.

Reclaimed Wood Wrap Up

As you start your project with Vintage Timbers, the diverse range of reclaimed wood types provides endless possibilities for creativity and expression. Whether you seek the timeless charm of Hand Hewn, the precision of Straight Bevel, or the industrial appeal of Circle Sawn, Vintage Timbers offers reclaimed wood that tells a story and enhances the unique character of your creations.

By understanding the features and ideal applications of each wood type, you can bring your vision to life. Vintage Timbers champions the sustainable and eco-friendly ethos by helping customers who are purchasing reclaimed wood for building materials.

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