About Reclaimed and Recycled Wood


Where does Reclaimed Wood Come From?

There are many sources of reclaimed wood, and much of it comes from the Virginia countryside that Cochran’s Lumber calls home. Some typical sources are:

  • abandoned mills, sheds, and factories.
  • houses that are not structurally sound enough to live in.
  • pasture fences that have been torn down.
  • barns and other farm buildings.

Eco-friendly Wood Product Sourcing

Reclaimed wood is the ultimate green building material.

Giving old wood a new lease on life is a great way to repair, reuse and recycle. And old wood just gets more and more beautiful with time. In this post, we’ll answer some questions you might have about reclaimed wood.


6 Pastures Barn Siding - Reclaimed Wood from Cochran's Lumber


What Types of Wood are These?

All of the classic American hardwoods are found in recycled wood, and in some cases, reclaimed wood is the only source of some of these wood species.

  • True heart pine is found almost exclusively in reclaimed buildings because heart pine takes decades to grow.
  • Chestnut trees no longer grow in the U.S. but you can find chestnut wood in reclaimed buildings.
  • Old-growth Douglas fir is another wood that is usually only available from reclaimed sources.
  • Red oak and white oak were popular choices then as they are now.
  • Some reclaimed projects will turn up exotic foreign woods that are now illegal to import into the U.S.

How is Wood Recycled?

Wood reclamation is a painstaking process that includes removing the nails, cleaning and finishing the wood, and kiln-drying it.

The wood has to be specially treated and processed before it can be turned into flooring or accent pieces. Cochran’s Lumber is one of the few millworks that can expertly perform this highly-skilled work.


Cleaning reclaimed barn beams for custom flooring by Cochran's Lumber Made in USA


What are the Best Uses for Recycled Wood?

Reclaimed wood has become popular because of the wood’s unique shadings, weather marks, and other characteristics. These developed over decades and give each piece of wood a distinctive look.

  • Barn doors can be used as wall accents, dividers or tabletops.
  • Single beams make striking shelves, decorative ceiling beams or fireplace mantels.
  • The wood can be turned into furniture or storage units.
  • Reclaimed wood makes beautiful flooring, and at Cochran’s, we can transform it into our low-maintenance, install-anywhere, engineered TrueWood®.


What Does the Wood Look Like?

Reclaimed wood fits perfectly in today’s designs with a focus on distressed, weathered floors and accents. The wood has taken on the glow of many years’ exposure to the elements, to what the building was used for, and to how the original woodworkers cut and finished it.

Reclaimed wood is also very strong because it was originally harvested from trees that had grown for a long time in clean, pollution-free air and soil. Over time, weathering and drying added to the wood’s strength.


What’s Another Way to Get the Reclaimed Look?

In some cases, pre-finished wood that recreates a reclaimed look is a convenient alternative to recycled wood. There are some cases where it makes sense to use this.

  • You’re completing a large project and you want a unified look.
  • You’re using the wood for structural support, or to cover wiring or beams; Cochran’s Lumber can make a beam box that will blend perfectly into your decor.
  • You need a material that is structurally sound.
  • You’re craving a particular color or finish that isn’t available in the reclaimed wood that’s available.


Reclaimed barn siding - Wide Plank floor prep - Cochran's Lumber


Your Trusted Source of Reclaimed Wood

Many lumber mills claim to offer reclaimed wood, but only a small fraction of millwrights have the knowledge and skill to reclaim wood. Improperly recycled wood will be weak, full of nail holes and splinters, and prone to breaking or cracking.

Make sure you know where your wood came from and how it’s being processed. At Cochran’s Lumber:

  • We verify the source of all wood we receive, whether it’s from a reclaimed source or a sustainable source like a responsibly harvested tree farm.
  • We select only reclaimed wood that can be finished to beautiful perfection.
  • We take our time with all the wood we receive and process.


Cochran’s Lumber

If you’re looking for wood that is rich in color, character, and history, or if you want a truly sustainable solution for your flooring and other wood projects, there is no better choice than reclaimed wood.

Your next step? Call Cochran’s Lumber. Visit our showroom online or in person, and take a look at the gorgeous floors, mantels and other products we’ve created with our reclaimed wood. We know you’ll find them inspiring and we look forward to creating the same beautifully rustic look in your home.



Cochran’s Lumber is proud to be the leading provider of spectacular floors for homes, offices, and retail spaces across America! Our newly redesigned showroom was thoughtfully designed to make the selection of flooring and finishes exciting and simple. We feature a variety of new and reclaimed flooring products and many new and unique finishes.

We are proud to offer an inviting space where customers can come and get a clear visual of the many types of hardwood flooring options that we offer, and feel comfortable at the same time.

Visit our showroom today in historic Berryville, VA (only 50 miles west of Washington D.C) or give us a call at 1(877) 297-8331.