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Reclaimed Wood Table Tops


Guests are increasingly seeking out greener, more environmentally conscious venues, which can only mean a rise in more sustainable, eco-friendly furniture being incorporated into hospitality décor. Quirky styles and finishes have always proven popular and Reclaimed Wood Table Tops  provide these.

What is Reclaimed Wood?

Reclaimed Wood is timber that is being put to use for a second time, quite probably for an entirely different purpose - repurposed.  Its previous life could have been anything from scaffolding boards, hardwood flooring, or even recycled oak wine barrels. Readily available wood reflects these earlier lives, typically being pine, oak, elm, cypress and ash.

Having lived a past life, surfaces tend to be only lightly sanded, so as not to lose the character they have developed. In addition, the individual boards/slats of timber are unlikely to match, giving a less uniform appearance. 

Reclaimed Wood Table Tops for Hospitality Use:

These patterned reclaimed wood table tops, which you can see below, have been created from wood previously used for different purposes, such as Victorian floorboards and rather unusually, the deck of Hastings Pier. These table tops are fixed onto a plywood base, before being sanded, stained and finished.

The reclaimed scaffold table top, also shown below, has been repurposed from planks collected at building sites over the county.  Sturdy and strong, it is supplied with battens underneath to stop wood from warping. Due to it’s slatted nature, slight movement may be expected with this type of surface. 

‘Pros’ of Reclaimed Wood Table Tops:

  • Eco-Friendly - The sustainability kudos coming from using recycled wood for table tops. We all know the impact of deforestation - when choosing contract furniture made from reclaimed wood, you are both reducing demand for newly sourced timber and the amount going to landfill. Essentially, it is a ‘guilt free’ option. Read more on sourcing sustainable furniture here. 
  • Durability  - Recycled wood tends to be stronger and more durable than ‘new’ wood grown today because it often comes from old-growth trees, instead of first-generation forests, making it a great choice for contract furniture which needs to stand the test of time. Long term weathering makes wood less susceptible to drying, cracking and splitting. A stained or lacquered finish will make it even more hard-wearing, allowing it to maintain its appearance year after year. See more on Wooden Table Tops Finishes and Effects here
  • Character- Having a story to tell, with scars from a previous life, adds to the appeal of your top. Rich colouring and fine grains give reclaimed timber its unique appearance and add character to a venue - leaving a lasting impression on guests.

‘Cons’ of Reclaimed Wood Table Tops:

  • Price - Reclaimed wood may be more expensive than virgin wood because of the lengthy, labour-intensive process required to make it ready for contract use - including testing for toxins, nail pulling, removing potential pests, etc..
  • Reliability - Because of the high demand for reclaimed wood, furniture companies may say it is reclaimed when it is not. Make sure to buy your hotel and restaurant furniture from reputable companies with product integrity.
  • Gaps between the slats - Due to it’s slatted form, reclaimed wood may have slight cracks or gaps in between each plank, which could become susceptible to food getting stuck, even if cleaned regularly. 

Read all of our blogs about table tops here: Knowledge Base - Table Tops .

Topics: Tables, Furniture Knowledge

By Charles Nicholson Charles Nicholson on 04/06/21 16:12
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Hospitality Furniture Knowledge book

Searching for table sizes, wood finishes, researching chair materials or simply wondering what furniture will work best in a restaurant or hotel space? This book is packed with over 10 years of knowledge from the contract furniture industry.

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