How to use Recycled Timber


Recycling timber is very common in Australia and New Zealand where there is an abundance of old wood in buildings. Recycling timber rather than choosing wood from forests, even those grown sustainably, is still the most environmentally friendly form of wood production. Recycled timber has many uses including furniture, flooring and structural uses such as stairs and window frames. Recycled timber is also known as reclaimed timber and can add a rustic charm to your home or business.

Sources of recycled timber include demolished:

  • wharves
  • buildings
  • bridges
  • rail yards
  • factories

Recycled timber can either retain its character with nail holes and staining or can be remilled and made to look like new. Using recycled timber in your building projects reduces the need for new wood and also keeps old wood out of landfill or from being burned and contributing to greenhouse gases.

Some uses of recycled timber include:

  • wood flooring
  • staircases
  • shelving
  • fireplace mantels
  • cupboards
  •  windows
  •  doors and door frames
  • decking
  • kitchen counter tops
  • structural framing
  • furniture
  • window frames
  • exposed beams or columns
  • furniture making (e.g. dining table and chairs, hall table or bed)
  • outdoor furniture

Recycled timber whether kauri, rimu, tawa or matai (all commonly recycled woods in New Zealand) can add a wonderful character and feature to your home or business renovations. You can use the timber for structural purposes and even allow large beams to be left exposed as a feature. If you want to incorporate recycled timber into the kitchen area look at utilising a large slab as a countertop or smaller sections for cabinet doors or frames. Wooden doors can be stripped of their paint and varnish to be retreated to look as good as new.

Recycled timber is popular in gardens, particularly old railway sleepers as garden beds or path edging. Timber is a great choice for outdoor furniture as it will weather well. Wood adds warmth to your home or business decor. Imagine a beautiful staircase as the centrepiece of your home with the steps and/or rail constructed from beautiful, carefully selected timber. Wood is hard-wearing and so makes a great floor covering. You can sand and refinish original floor boards to make them like new again or if they are not in the best condition you could consider laying a timber floor finish with wood milled from recycled timber.

Basically anywhere you would normally use wood in the home you can use recycled timber. One of the disadvantages of using recycled timber can be the cost of the finished timber due to the processing involved. Old nails need to be removed before the wood can change its use and this can be a time consuming process. Old wood may be different lengths compared with new specifictions for construction, making them difficult to use in framing. Recycled timber is perhaps best used as a feature timber to retain its character.

Four Star Flooring Ltd are specialists in recycled timber in Wellington. They install and maintain wooden floors and do floor sanding in Lower Hutt and the wider Wellington area. Contact Four Star Flooring for all your Wellington flooring needs. Visit their website for a quote at


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