Thursday 11 August 2016

Choosing the Best Timber for Your Traditional Windows and Doors

When looking to replace your timber windows or doors, in addition to choosing the right design for your windows and doors, it is important to consider the different timber options that companies may use in their quotations.

Timber selection is probably the most important element in selecting high quality windows and doors. With regular maintenance, windows and doors that have been built using the best timber should last a lifetime and beyond. Timber should always be chosen for strength, durability and stability.

window timber durability chart choosing the best wood
Timber Durability Chart by Gate Expectations by Inwood. Click on the image to see the information more clearly.


Accoya is an engineered timber grown from sustainable sources, and treated with ascetic acid under high pressure. This treatment reaches the core of the timber, stabilising and preserving it. Accoya is extremely durable (class one durable), making it ideal for extreme weather conditions. In fact, other timbers are often rated against Accoya, with Accoya being used as the benchmark against which other treatments and modified timbers are measured. The high stability helps ensure that windows and doors open easily all year round.

Accoya wood also forms an effective barrier to insect attack, making it less prone to rot than other timbers. Accoya is sustainably sourced and comes with a 50 year anti-rot guarantee.

Siberian Larch

Larch timber is a species of tree grown in arctic conditions and under much duress. The Softwood timber is slightly durable (class three – four durable), stable and resistant to decay. The timber is extremely hard, making it one of the most toughest softwoods.

European Redwood

European Redwood, also referred to as Scandinavian Pine, is a Softwood timber. The heartwood variety is pale to dark reddish brown. It is a stable timber that is slightly resistant to decay and insects (class four durable), meaning it is expected to last between 5 and 10 years. The timber has a high resistance to shrinking and warping compared to other common softwoods.

Red Grandis

Red Grandis is a versatile, stable, Hardwood timber. It is class three durable, meaning it is expected to last between 10 and 15 years. Similar to Siberian Larch, Red Grandis is resistant to insects and decay. Grown in South America, the timber has a good consistency in colour, appearance, and evenness of grain.


Sapele timber, also known as Sapele mahogany, is a reddish-brown hardwood. Sapele offers many of the same characteristics as Genuine Mahogany. The timber is stable, moderately durable against decay (class three durable), and moderately resistant to insects. It is also good for painting, due to its fine graining. However, unlike genuine Mahogany, Sapele is a timber that can be sustainably sourced, making it a good choice for the environmentally conscious customer.

European Oak

European Oak is both stable and durable (class two durable), making it an excellent option for timber windows and doors. European Oak often also comes from sustainable sources, so it is also environmentally friendly. The downside to oak is that it is very expensive. Please note, that if you are offered American White Oak for external windows or doors, it is not considered suitable for manufacturing external joinery.

What wood is best for sash windows, casement windows or external doors?

When buying new windows or doors, it is important to use a timber that is designed to last. We therefore would suggest that a class one or class two durable timber is used.  Specifically, we would recommend using Accoya as it is reasonably forgiving of any subsequent lack of maintenance or neglect and will last a lifetime. For window cills, we normally use Sapele.

At The Sash Window Workshop we understand the importance of providing high quality timber windows and doors that are built to last.  We are also proud to be FSC certified, highlighting that we comply with the highest social and environmental standards, helping preserve the planet for future generations.

To find out more about the type of timber that we use, or to obtain a quotation for high quality replacement timber windows and doors, please contact our team on: 01344 868 668.

You may also be interested in:
Is softwood or hardwood better for windows
What wood should I use for my window frames?
The timber used by The Sash Window Workshop

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