If you’ve ever picked up an antique chair and compared it to picking up a new one, chances are you will be surprised at how much heavier it is. Old chairs tended to be made with oak, maple, and other hardwood species. Not only that, but they are most likely made from first-growth wood. What that means is that the wood has been around for 100 years or more, depending on when it was harvested. The trunks would have been massive so the planks are larger and the wood itself is denser than wood used in furniture and flooring today.
Old wood has a depth of colour and grain that isn’t often found in new wood because it’s harvested earlier – for hardwood, that might mean 60 years.
There are several companies that take the old wood that was used to build barns, factories, flooring, etc. and repurpose it into furniture. It is furniture that is unique, beautiful and durable. And, from a waste and climate change perspective, prevents wood from either being burnt or ending up in landfill, thereby locking in the carbon.
Below are some of the companies that use salvaged wood to make furniture. Please contact them directly or visit their websites for more information on their products.
If you’re interested in reclaimed wood for use in flooring, doors, mantels, etc., visit our post on reclaimed wood for floors and more.
The Barnboard Store: The Barnboard store carries a wide variety of furniture made from salvaged wood in many different styles. It carries tables with both a live edge (the natural edge of the tree), as well as milled-edged tables. One of their other specialities is barn board feature walls. There are three locations: Toronto, Hamilton and Durham. Visit their site to learn more:
Deadstok: Custom furniture and cabinetry made from salvaged wood, made for residential and commercial spaces. Recently acquired wood from the Honest Ed’s building, some long-leaf pine from the southern US and Douglas fir from BC.
Available by appointment only. Contact Niko@deadstok.ca,
Address: 9 Givins Street, Toronto, ON
Junk Whisperer: This company will deconstruct old homes or barns, salvage what they can, especially the wood. The wood is available in planks for decorative use, while formerly load-bearing beams can be used as mantels. All wood is sourced from southwestern Ontario.
Address: Staples, ON (Essex county)
HD Threshing: Located outside Elmira, Ontario, this company makes tables from reclaimed wood from barns in the area. All tables are hand-made and finished. As wood darkens over time, they do not stain the tables but will sand them more or less depending on whether they want a light finish or dark finish. They have the largest showroom of reclaimed wood tables in Ontario.
Showroom: 655 Industrial Road, Units 16-17, Cambridge, ON,