In recent years, many restaurants and other businesses have made the move to going green with little steps, like getting rid of plastic straws or composting food scraps. However, some are taking it one step further and using eco-friendly materials in construction, starting with reclaimed wood.

What Is Reclaimed Wood?

Reclaimed wood is wood that has been salvaged from old construction projects, buildings, pallets, fallen trees, or other sources. This wood would normally sit in a landfill and take up space while contributing to harmful greenhouse gases. Instead, reclaiming the wood allows it to be used in other projects safely. This wood tends to have a more rustic look, but can be finished in a variety of ways. No matter what finish is used, all reclaimed wood should be properly treated to make sure it’s safe to use in its new application.

Why Use Reclaimed Wood?

Reclaimed wood has been regularly used for a wide variety of reasons. Some prefer the often rustic look of reclaimed wood and how it can contribute to certain aesthetic finishes. Reclaimed wood can be fashioned into just about any wood product, including furniture, decor, and more. This creates unique looks for restaurants that can contribute to many styles and decorations.

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Others choose to use reclaimed wood for its environmental factors. Wood that gets salvaged as reclaimed wood is all still suitable for use; some sturdier pieces of wood are even strong enough to act as structural supports when building. For restaurants looking to make an environmental statement, reclaimed wood can show that your commitment to eco-friendly practices is literally built into your business.

Reclaimed Wood Applications

When using reclaimed wood in your restaurant, focus on using the material to emphasize your existing decor and style. Reclaimed wood can have a very distinctive look, and using too much can be a bit overwhelming in a single space. When selecting your reclaimed wood, keep your existing decor and aesthetic in mind; look for pieces that will accent your style rather than working against it.

The best use of your reclaimed wood may also depend on where you’re sourcing it from. Reclaimed wood siding, for example, can make for a great accent wall, while wood reclaimed from a large fallen tree might make a unique statement piece as a bar countertop. Pay attention to what reclaimed wood is safe to use for load-bearing or structural purposes before you start incorporating your reclaimed wood into your space’s design. Not all reclaimed wood is designed to be used for larger, structural projects, so checking beforehand is essential.

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If you’re unsure about using reclaimed wood in larger ways in your restaurant, start with smaller items. Add a few reclaimed wood table tops or chairs to your restaurant, or a few pieces of art using reclaimed wood on the walls. This will give you an opportunity to see the new look and decide if you want to include more.

Reclaimed wood can be a great look in a variety of restaurants, whether you have a new and modern look or a welcoming rustic vibe. Including this material in your restaurant can improve your overall aesthetic while also helping the environment.

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