Reusing Old Materials for Green Bath Design

For a unique and eco-friendly look, try using salvaged materials in your bathroom design: reclaimed wood, antique tiles and even old sinks.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionBathroom side shelves are made of reclaimed wood by Stephen Staples.
These style salvagers are motivated by beauty, a love for old things and a desire not to waste them. That was the case several decades ago when wood from demolished structures was consigned to the trash heap or bonfire. Savvy entrepreneurs and craftspeople offered to haul away the wood for free and then sold it or used it themselves.

This practice evolved from small one- and two-person salvage operations in the 1970s and exploded in the past 10 years, says Liz Bieter of Duluth Timber Company, in Duluth, Minn. The reclaimed wood, often heart pine and Douglas fir but also other woods, such as redwood and chestnut, have advantages besides being beautiful and earth-friendly, Liz says. Because of its age, it's more stable than new wood; it won't change shape and its color has fully deepened.