reclaimed beam with rusted nails and grass

Let’s Chat About Reclaimed Wood

reclaimed beam

A typical day at Excelsior…

A customer enters the showroom and we greet each other.

cartoon greeting during covid19

Customer: I want to use reclaimed wood for my man cave/great room/feature wall. How much is it?

Me: Ballpark, it’s “blah, blah” per square foot.

Customer: Wow!

I thought it would be cheap, because… it’s used, like a used car or a second-hand clothing shop.

Me: Well, I understand. I can definitely see how it would look that way.

Customer: Don’t you get the wood for free?

Me: We don’t. Would you like me to explain the process?

Customer: Sure!

Me: First we source the material. It may come from an old barn, a factory, or wherever. We purchase the reclaimed wood for a fair rate. Often we must bring in about twice the amount of wood that we need to yield due to defects like large cracks, holes, and rot.

The wood may be 100 years old and sometimes older. We do not want to pass along material that is not usable to you.

Then our crew de-nails the material by hand using metal detectors. All of the metal must come out or it destroys our tooling. This can be a tedious and lengthy process. Sometimes I can’t believe how many nails are in a board.

Next, we kiln dry it. Sometimes the wood is already quite dry, being that it is so old. However, we recommend kiln drying it to help ensure there aren’t any living insects in the wood. The material usually dries in the kiln for about 3 weeks.

After that, the wood goes into our milling department. We generally perform five (or more) processes on different pieces of machinery to compete the milling.

If we are pre-coating the reclaimed wood, we sand it first. Then we apply coatings, be it stain or polyurethane or oil. It sits on the racks until it is dry.

It’s quite a process. Each board is handled many times. A lot of time and effort goes into making a quality reclaimed product. That’s why it is so valuable and the lead times are a bit on the lengthy side.

Customer: That makes sense.

Here are some examples of reclaimed wood.

Me: If the reclaimed wood works for your budget – Great! That’s wonderful! The material is ethical, gorgeous, and adds a wonderful story along with history.

If not, we have plenty of new options that have a rustic feel similar to reclaimed wood. They are typically more affordable then reclaimed, yet still beautiful and sustainable with great quality.

Here’s an example of new circle-sawn pine. We can use our milling processes to mimic the reclaimed look.

Customer: Good to know.

Me: Many of our customers choose to use the new more affordable wood for large expanses in their homes and reclaimed wood for special touches like mantles, shelves, and kitchen islands. It’s a great way to incorporate reclaimed wood and stick to your budget. In any case, we are happy to help!

More Posts on Reclaimed Wood

great room with reclaimed oak floors and reclaimed beam mantle

Great Room Re-Do

This great room re-do is such an inviting space. The reclaimed mantle and shiplap really enhance the fireplace built-ins and create a feature starring many family heirlooms which are such conversation starters.

The homeowner used both new and old furniture and accessories to add character and charm. 

The reclaimed oak flooring grounds the space with great texture and warmth.

(Although these customers chose to do authentic reclaimed oak flooring, we are able to mill new wood with saw mark details to mimic the look of reclaimed and create texture with our milling and coating processes.)

Looking to do a re-do too!

We’ve got you covered!

New Home REclaimed

The wooded setting inspired this log home build. Even though this was a new build kit home, it has such character and the attention to detail is seen in every corner.

We had the honor of working with these customers on many fronts.

We built the bathroom sliding barn door from reclaimed material.

Reclaimed wood was turned into a table with the same vibe as the house.

We custom made the desktop from a decomposing live-edge Slab.

(You can read more about that HERE.)

The homeowners spent much time and attention on choosing just the right boards for each of the custom-built cabinets and closets.

They handpicked all of the reclaimed wood for their unique furniture projects in our Grab & Go, and collaborated with a local artisan/craftsman who did a stellar job building the custom closets, tv cabinet, and bar. As you can see these pieces are a work of art!

We milled the flooring that runs throughout the house from reclaimed oak, leaving much of the original patina, saw marks, and interesting nail holes showing signs of history. The result is stunning.

Our coating department ran thousands of linear feet of paneling through our machines and allowed them to dry on our drying racks. This was such a time and money saver for the homeowners.

Look at all of the interior paneling inside this log home!

Imagine having that coated on-site… Now imagine the carpenter finishing the install and stepping back relieved that it’s done! One step DONE.

We clear coated the interior paneling and the paneling used under the eaves on the exterior as well.

We just love this log home and how all of the wood elements combine to create such a warm and inviting space.

The results are such an inspiration!

Are you looking for quality wood products?

We would love to help!

Cedar Siding & Mushroom Wood Door

With clear cedar siding coated with a beautiful semi-transparent stain, this house was trimmed with custom millwork coated in a pale sage green to pick up the tones of the siding. We  custom made the reclaimed Mushroom Wood door and it contrasts perfectly!


Bringing people together in a space where comfort and cool co-exist, A&P cruated a space with local astists, craftspeople and products. We were delighted to be a part of their vision.

Excelsior sourced the recalimed wood used on the walls and tabletops. We believe that wood is such a uniting element.  A&P seeks to unite and mashup all manner of people, food & drink.

Check them out at A&P Bar


This Saugerties home tucked in the mountains. So many of our favorites materials come together in this eclectic house, with our customer’s beautiful decor accenting each piece. From walnut flooring and staircases to reclaimed oak barn doors and cabinets, we had a blast photographing each room.

The reclaimed water tower cedar ceilings were stunning, while the whitewashed version on the first floor ceilings and balcony created great texture. Live edge slabs on bars, tables, and walls are scattered throughout the rooms. Rift and quartered white oak moldings border every room, window, and door! Dead standing maple paneling creates a modern feel in the kitchen and entryway to showcase our customer’s art collection. You have to take a look.

kitchen with exposed reclaimed beams and heart pine floors


Reclaimed heart pine flooring and antique hand hewn beams were utilized to add character and old world charm to this beautiful home.

New Face Antique Heart Pine features subtle reclaimed characteristics perfect for more refined rustic designs. Find out more about our Antique Heart Pine here.

Add instant age, teture and character with our Hand-Hewn Beams!


This is why we love what we do here at Excelsior Wood Products.

When the Town of Woodstock approached us, to fabricate a boardwalk for their trail system, we thought, “The remnants of the Coney Island Boardwalk belong there!”

We knew the citizens of Woodstock had the heart and vision, along with their desire to reuse and recycle, to embrace this project.

Due to the wet conditions in areas of the trail system, a boardwalk became a necessity.

Excelsior Wood Products fabricated the “new” boardwalk here on site.

The wood was reclaimed from the Coney Island boardwalk. The species is ipe (nicknamed “iron wood”). This wood is very unique. It’s great for wet outdoor conditions. It’s very resistant to termites and fungus. To top it off, it has a class A fire rating, the same as concrete and steel!

We worked closely with the town’s task force. The logistics of fabricating then transporting over 220 feet of this boardwalk were complex. Excelsior and the Town donated many hours of laborious volunteer work.

This reborn boardwalk, in it’s new home, appears natural, organic and very beautiful. We hope that many people who have dear memories of Coney Island will visit and reminisce. Come see a piece of history settled in this sanctuary in Woodstock.

For the Love of Wood!


We were absolutely blessed to be a part of Extreme Makeover’s Home Edition benefiting the Korpai family in Crawford, NY. They have an adorable five year old daughter who has dwarfism. This has inspired the family to become advocates for increasing understanding and reducing ignorance toward little people.

To find out more about dwarfism click the links below.

Read more about our small part in this project in our blog post.

Extreme Makeover’s Home Edition


We were absolutely blessed to be a part of Extreme Makeover’s Home Edition benefiting the Korpai family in Crawford, NY. They have an adorable five year old daughter who has dwarfism. This has inspired the family to become advocates for increasing understanding and reducing ignorance toward little people.

As you likely know, all materials and time are donated by hundreds of volunteers. When we arrived at the building site we were struck by the sea of vehicles and huge number of folks working hard to construct this home. It puts an instant smile on your face and joy in your heart to see so many come together to give. There is nothing like one of these building sites. It’s a beautiful, chaotic mess which somehow ties itself into a lovely organized bow in one week!

When we were contacted by Extreme Home Makeover’s staff they asked us to give what we could. How could we refuse? We felt so grateful to be a part of this. The enthusiasm of the Extreme Makeover staff, the magnitude of the project and the generous spirit of the collective group of volunteers were inspiring.

We decided to add some style and flavor to this project. So, we gave about 1000 SF of antique heart pine (reclaimed from the Revere Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn, NY), about 400 ft of wood reclaimed from the Coney Island Boardwalk, 200 square foot of reclaimed oak and another 200 square foot of reclaimed mushroom wood. We donated the material and our production guys donated their time and labor to mill the material. What charitable employees we have! The designers we met with had some creative ideas for the material. They mentioned using it for ceiling paneling, finish trim, furniture and outdoor garden benches.

When we drove there to make the delivery it poured rain for the entire hour drive. Tom and I rode in the flatbed. Ron, Christina, Hannah and Rachel rode the Ural motorcycle with the side cart. They were soaked. We arrived at the site and were surprised to find that it hadn’t rained a single drop. The crew didn’t experience any delays due to the nasty weather. To top it off, there was a rainbow arcing over the building site. Ron looked at me and said “Now that is karma.”