reclaimed teak

Santa Barbara Residence: Reclaimed Teak Flooring


The owners of this home in Santa Barbara wanted the rich red-brown and deep caramel to cognac color tones of a tropical hardwood for their remodeled flooring, with some natural patina & texture to make the wood wear well and age gracefully.

Reclaimed Wood Diaries: Adventures In Sourcing Part I - the Indonesian prison teak

This story begins with a tip we received about a unique source of reclaimed wood: Reclaimed Teak timbers sourced from a dismantled Indonesian prison.  The prison had been built maybe as much as a century earlier, so we knew it was likely to be amazing old-growth wood. We decided to investigate.

I met up with my contact in Jakarta, who would be helping translate and navigating to the location of the wood. We had to drive across town to pick up the his local contact.  If you’ve ever been to Jakarta you know that a simple trip across town is never simple. After zipping in and out of the swarming motor-bikes, dodging a sea of pedestrians, and navigating through uncontrolled intersections we arrived at a plaza in the heart of the city.  After a quick circle around the block we locate our contact, who excitedly jumps into the backseat next to me and without introduction immediately begins speaking rapid fire Bahasa Indonesian. He is really excited and animated and they engage in a quick back-and-forth.  I can tell something is up, and we rapidly pull away from the plaza.  I finally interrupt to ask what is going on.

You have to understand, my contact is a very soft-spoken, demure young man. As I ask my question he develops a pained expression on his face as he searches for the right words to explain the situation.  It’s obvious he is trying to soften the impact, convey that I shouldn’t really be alarmed… But it turns out there was a bomb threat on the plaza.  To this day I’m not sure if there was actually a bomb that had been found, or only the threat. But of course I think about all of the people on that busy Jakarta plaza, and of course I think yes, we are truly on an adventure now.

We drive for a while down narrow back-alleys and side streets with various twists and turns, and I realize that I have no idea where I am now.  As dusk is setting in we arrive at what looks like a very small wooden shack-like structure with a recessed portico that resembles a car-port.  Behind this opening sits the Teak.  Beautiful, premium, old-growth reclaimed Teak.  There is at least 5000 board feet of material here, and it is stacked 10’ high and the beams run 20’ long easily.  Long lengths like this in reclaimed wood are rare.  They are big timbers: 8”x8”, 10”x 10”, and larger.  I realize as I look at this pile of wood that it appears that the wood was here first and the house was built around it!  I can’t imagine how we will ever remove the wood without first removing the buildings that surround it.  

After a brief introduction I begin inspecting the wood.  I borrow a small flashlight and in the growing darkness start climbing a ladder to the top of the pile of wood to get a better look. These are very tight quarters as the 10’ tall pile is surrounded by the house and various lean-to structures, a chicken-coop… There is also a tree growing right up through the middle of the stack, and one end of the pile is under the low-hanging roof of a neighboring structure. To reach the end of the pile (so that I can measure the length of the beams) I have slide along my belly on the top under this dark recess. As I begin inching into the darkness I think to myself “I wonder how many poisonous snakes live in Indonesia?” 

After some inspection and a verification of the dimensions and quantity we settle in to negotiate the purchase.  We sit down at a small table in the “outdoor” room under a single incandescent light bulb hanging from a wire.  It is very warm and humid…sweltering is the word I’m looking for.  As I sit down I realize I have seen this setting before… It is uncannily like a torture scene from the latest action-adventure movie.  Of course my guests are quite hospitable, and I have nothing to worry about, but nonetheless the ambiance is unsettling.

My hosts bring a cup of lukewarm, insanely strong and sweet coffee and offer me clove cigarettes, which they are chain-smoking during my entire visit.  The combined affect is intoxicating.  I'm having a hard time thinking straight....

The best sustainable woods for exterior siding and decking

What are the top sustainable wood choices for outside?

Anthology Woods is receiving increasing inquiries about the best woods to use for decking that will have long-lasting durability and a beautiful look while protecting our environment.  The same species selected for Decking also make excellent choices for exterior siding in classic and rain screen applications, as well as soffit cladding.  We've compiled a quick list of your best bets in terms of beautiful woods excelling in exterior durability & sustainability.


Reclaimed Sakhay Teak - clear oil finish

Reclaimed Sakhay Teak - clear oil finish

Reclaimed Tropical Dinizia - Unfinished

Reclaimed Tropical Dinizia - Unfinished

Silvered Dinizia Siding

Silvered Dinizia Siding

Reclaimed tropical Dinizia siding with clear oil

Reclaimed tropical Dinizia siding with clear oil

As we discussed in a previous post, the immense market demand for newly harvested tropical hardwoods for exterior applications has caused unprecedented deforestation in the Amazon Basin and elsewhere in the world.  It's no wonder these woods are desirable - tropical hardwoods stand up exceptionally well to the cycles of sun, wind, rain and repeated abuse.  Luckily, there are a few post-consumer reclaimed options (meaning the wood is entirely recycled from a previous use, and no trees are currently being cut to provide for your project)!  You can either opt to finish your reclaimed tropical hardwood with an exterior finish or to leave it unfinished and allow it to weather.  Finished wood will always last longer, regardless of species.

  • Reclaimed Sakhay Teak is a premium old-growth Teak reclaimed from vintage structures in Southeast Asia.  The rich brown color tones & lively grain of Teak are distinctive to this species, and the natural oil & silica content in the wood makes it an exceptional choice for exterior projects.

  • Reclaimed Dinizia is originally from Brazil, with rock-hard density, extreme durability and excellent resistance to decay and insects.  Along with Teak, Dinizia is in the class of woods that can last for decades outside.

With a Reclaimed tropical hardwood you are getting the ultimate:  the best sustainability and the best durability.  Your reclaimed wood comes with reclaimed character to testify visually to your part in preserving our planet, too!


Domestic species from reclaimed sources are very sustainable, though they are not in the same A+ class for long-lasting durability as the tropical woods are.  Species like Redwood & Cedar are suitable for decking and siding, and Fir is often used in soffits or on siding with an exterior finish.  Unfinished Fir will age rapidly, though it is used frequently in the northwest. 

This house has reclaimed cedar siding and reclaimed  Grandstand Fir  soffit with a matte clear finish to protect the wood. The deep overhangs also provide shelter to extend the life of this installation.

This house has reclaimed cedar siding and reclaimed Grandstand Fir soffit with a matte clear finish to protect the wood. The deep overhangs also provide shelter to extend the life of this installation.



Another great source can be salvaged or sustainable harvest woods.  Anthology Woods has begun working with partners to bring salvaged and sustainable woods to market including domestics like redwood & cedar, and tropical Mahogany.  Sources include urban, industrial, water or forest floor salvage, or in some instances, wood from sustainably managed forests.  These are often excellent woods in terms of lasting service & beauty, though they seldom match the sustainability of a truly recycled wood, and rarely have as interesting of a story.  Their advantage is often longer & more consistent lengths than are common for reclaimed woods.


Please contact Anthology Woods with any questions about sustainable decking, siding, or soffit wood and we'll be happy to support your project with our expertise & wide range of options!

Hot White Wash Takes Heirloom Woods To Contemporary Cool

Soft grays, tans, and creams in reclaimed & sustainable woods give a neutral base:

In case you missed our recent email announcement about our white-washed wood collection, here it is!  We're so excited to share these gorgeous looks in reclaimed and sustainably sourced woods with you, and will be happy to support your projects with these distinctive wood looks.

Pearly Teak is a solid reclaimed white-washed wood suitable for vertical services like walls and exterior siding, as well as ceilings & soffits.  It is 100% post-consumer reclaimed, and with the heavy white wash looks amazingly refined & sophisticated!  Ask us about a similar product for flooring, as well.

Reclaimed Heritage Oak Reserve: Fletcher is a blend of Red & White Oak with a fumed body, wire brush, and multi-step white washed finish.  The finish softens the look from antique rustic to a more muted, refined & relaxed appearance.  At home in a classic chateau as well as a Manhattan penthouse.  This look is available both solid and engineered for flooring, walls, and ceilings, and a range of widths may be specified.  if you prefer a cleaner look, it can be provided on new wood, too.

Left Coast Reserve Oak: Zane Grey begins on flat-sawn (aka plain-sawn or European-cut Oak) Oregon White Oak, prized for hardness & durability (it is about 25% harder than standard Oak).  A fuming treatment reacts with the natural tannins in the wood to produce the gray and tan tones, and finally we finish with a natural white oil finish.  Available solid or engineered, with certified wood as an option.  

Click on the image to see the full post, and please contact Anthology Woods if you'd like more information about these products!



Anthology Woods Featured in Hardwood Floors "Green Issue"

Anthology Woods is happy to share:  We're featured in the Hardwood Floors Green Issue!

Look for us on pages 55 & 56 of the green issue - all about sustainable, fsc, and reclaimed wood flooring for LEED and environmentally-minded projects.  

Our reclaimed woods include flooring, wall paneling, siding, and decking in species of Teak, Oak, Pine, Douglas Fir, Dinizia, Cedar, Redwood and more.  Whether you want the weathered gray wood look or a more refined sustainable aesthetic, we look forward to helping you meet your goals!

See the NWFA's Hardwood Floors "Green Issue" online here.  

In the Green Issue, the NWFA notes that reclaimed wood is really taking off.  Speaking of NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association), This is a great resource for locating a qualified installer when it comes time to install your beautiful wood floors.  The NWFA provides a list of their certified installers on their website, and you can search by your region.  A flooring installer is also able to install tongue and groove profile wall paneling & cladding, as many of our interior wall/ceiling wood products are.

In addition to our reclaimed woods, we can also source sustainable new wood, as well.  Whether salvaged or FSC-certified cultivation, we’re here to help you find what you need.

Browse our reclaimed wood products for flooring, paneling, and siding here, or reach out to Anthology Woods for support on your project.