Reclaimed Wood

A Barn Theatre Set Designer on Reclaimed Wood

Contributed by Suzette Subance

I developed an appreciation for reclaimed wood during my 10 years as a set designer in a barn theatre. Oh the stories those wall could tell!

I love the sustainable nature and sense of history that comes with reclaimed wood. Four things to consider when using reclaimed wood in your space:

  • Vertical (walls) vs. horizontal (floors) application
  • Solid Wood vs. engineered reclaimed wood
  • Tongue and groove vs. board installation
  • Finishing the corners

Using reclaimed wood on a larger vertical surface can be impactful. The benefits of aged wood is the wood has been acclimated and therefore very stable with minimal expansion or contraction. Engineered wood vs. solid wood has some benefits, the material is usually less expensive and even more stable. Most engineered wood come in a tongue and groove format which makes installation seamless. The pitfalls of engineered wood would be in the exposed edges. How the edges are finished is very important and is something to be considered. A metal edge or solid wood are both good options.

Solid reclaimed wood planks are a most expensive route, but provides more flexibility in terms of finishing the corners and edges. Since the material is solid, you can miter the edge for a finished seamless look around corners. Another option is an alternating butt joint harkening’s back to traditional woodworking. In the end, you’ll have an impactful design and a great story to tell.

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  • Engineered Tongue & Groove
    Engineered Tongue & Groove
  • Solid Wood
    Solid Wood
  • Edge Conditions
    Edge Conditions