When looking to replace your timber windows or 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 quality window manufacture. With regular maintenance, windows built using the best timber should last a lifetime and beyond. Timber should be chosen for strength, durability and stability.
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.
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, 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 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 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 is the best wood for new 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.
Timber Durability Chart by Gate Expectations by Inwood. Click on the image to see the information more clearly.