Wood is a time-honored construction material around the world, and despite being organic, it is highly durable and may last for centuries under the right conditions. Many historical buildings and houses in North America still have their original wood floorboards or other surfaces, a testament to wood’s toughness and use as a construction material. In fact, the Pagoda Fogong in China is the world’s oldest all-wood, multi-story building. Built in 1056, the Pagoda Fogong is nearly a millennia old but still standing. And while modern construction has phased out wood in some industries, wood is still a vital construction material for homes and furniture alike, such as in North America. Woodworking and carpentry traditions go far back, and the home-like feel of wood can be used in public establishments to set guests and patrons at ease. This ranges from reclaimed wood siding and paneling to reclaimed table tops to reclaimed spruce chairs and beyond.
Lumber in North America
A number of hardwood species can be found in North America from coast to coast, such as redwood, cedar, cherry, and more. English, French, and Dutch colonists made food use of these native hardwood species ever since they arrived, and some of this woodworking survives to the modern day. At first, early colonists built wooden items strictly out of pragmatic need, but by the Early American period (1649-1700), distinct styles emerged for the first time. Starting at this point, the American and Canadian lumber industries really took off, and new styles and fashions for wooden furniture and other items made their debut. Species popular then, such as cherry, are still use widely today, and in fact modern woodworking often imitates the colonial or Mission styles for nostalgia.
What about now, in the modern age? Wooden ships have been replaced by metal ones and skyscrapers are made of glass, steel, and concrete. Still, wood is a vital resource for homes, furniture, and interior decor such as wood paneling, and logging of hardwood species continues. In fact, ever since the year 1900, an impressive total of three trillion feet of lumber has been milled in North America of various species for furniture and homes alike. Some items today are wood pulp furniture to be lighter than real wood, but authentic wood is used for many other pieces of furniture such as tables or dressers. The widespread use of wood also shows up in waste; nearly 20-30% of all construction and demolition waste material is in fact wood. But this wood doesn’t have to be waste for long, and neither do old wooden pallets. Rather than being discarded entirely, this wood can be reclaimed for new uses, and this is resource-efficient and also eases logging pressure on hardwood forests. How can reclaimed wood be used for paneling or tabletops?
Public Establishments and Wood
Like private homes, public establishments such as hotels, restaurants and diners, and bars make use of wood to lend a comfortable feel to their interiors, and this wood can be either fresh lumber of reclaimed wood. Tables, chairs, paneling, bar stools, and more can be made from reclaimed wood if so desired.
Wooden tables and chairs are a staple of any eatery, whether a small-town diner or an upscale restaurant in New York City. This wood can be either fresh lumber or reclaimed wood, and the latter doesn’t have to look or feel shoddy and cheap just because it’s recycled. Skilled carpenters can build reclaimed wood tables, chairs, and paneling and apply paint and finish to make it nearly identical to other wooden furniture, with the added benefit of increasing resource efficiency. The same may be done in a bar, for wood paneling (common in bars) and the bar stools. Some bar stools are metal stools bolted into the floor, but others are in fact wood.
Restaurant owners opening their establishment may measure the square footage and expected number of patrons, and this an affect the size and number of tables and chairs ordered. The design of these and other wooden items can even take cues from homes, such as on websites like Pinterest. There, many home interiors involving wood are shown, and this can give a restaurant owner some decor ideas for their new establishment.