Recycled Timber: History & Uses Guide

What is Recycled Timber

Recycling timber became popular before the turn of the century as deforestation and climate change emerged as a social concern. Suppliers and consumers started to explore more sustainable sources by reclaiming timber from old wooden structures like barns, old buildings, bridges and structures that had been demolished.

How is Timber Recycled

In Australia, where old wooden structures are common, timber is reclaimed or salvaged during demolition, as timber is stripped out and stockpiled. The reclaimed timber is bought by companies who recycle them by testing for any possible contamination then de-nailing it before milling it to size into new products such as flooring.

Due to the time involved and labour-intensive nature of the work necessary to recover and re-manufacture recycled timbers, they are typically priced at a premium to an equivalent new piece of timber.

What is Recycled Timber Used for?

Once the timber is recycled it is sold for use in a variety of forms, see our Recycled Timber Products Brochure. Their stable nature and hardiness mean that recycled timbers are excellent for structural uses as well as for aesthetically-oriented projects like furniture.

Uses of recycled timbers include:

Benchtops

There is great warmth and beauty in a timber benchtop, especially in the heart of the home. Not only is it an attractive workspace, it’s also a durable and quiet surface to work on.

You can create a single solid slab made from a single piece of timber (subject to size limitations) or fix (laminate) together many timber boards to create a largersize, which is more common. Thicker benchtops are better suited for kitchen islands and as a focal point in the home.

Decking & Flooring

modern home with recycled timber deck

Reclaimed timber can create a rustic look that has seen a resurgence in recent years. Many find the warm tones and natural feel welcoming and calming, as well as beautiful.

Austim offers recycled and new timber in three different finishes for decking & flooring:

  • Dressed - will provide precise sizing and a consistently smooth finish. May still exhibit recycled characteristics.
  • Dressed and hand brushed - as above but with the beautiful textured finish.
  • Sawn and hand brushed - a less precise sizing, potentially a more rustic look with variation likely in weathering, colours, and finish. 

Recycled timber decking and flooring is suitable for both commercial and residential designs, as natural timbers create a relaxed, inviting space.

Timber Posts & Beams

Elizabeth Quay recycled timber posts

Often made from telephone poles with evidence of bolt holes and surface checks, recycled posts and beams can be used structurally behind walls or exposed to enhance the aesthetics of an indoor space. They can come inlong lengths and large sizes that make them applicable to a wide variety of projects, both residential and commercial.

The character of the timber creates real history even within modern homes. Recycled posts are often used in outdoor applications such as supporting shade sails – see Austim’s recent Elizabeth Quay Project.

Cladding

modern home with recycled timber cladding

The natural characteristics of timber make cladding a practical, beautiful and green complement to any project. Timber cladding offers a unique warmth and style that just cannot be matched by other materials

Today, the decision to use timber cladding appears to be more motivated by aesthetics and design, contributing to the renewable, sustainable, and green sensation it lends to wherever it’s applied.

Austim is the recycled timber supplier Perth trusts. We source the most striking selection and have all the answers when it comes to recycled timber. Perth asks Austim!

Mike Rowney