International Timber: Buying hardwood timber in the UK
Published Friday 1st February, 2019
Hardwood timber is becoming one of the most consumed materials globally due to the top-level uses it encourages, from furniture to construction, and it’s increasingly being favoured over its sister-resources stone, plastic and metal.
Hardwood timber offers an endless list of beneficial qualities for the buyer that surpass the assets of its competitors. Timber is first and foremost the most environmentally friendly material a person could need – one cubic meter of timber will lock away approximately one ton of CO2 – which day-by-day aids the damage being done by global warming, green-house gases and pollution. Research has recently been undertaken which has proven that 64% of consumers are ‘belief-driven’, i.e. they won’t buy from you unless your motives and societal impact are positive. So if you’re still developing residential buildings that are 80% steel and brick, your target occupiers will be less likely to move in. That’s why it’s important to start investing in timber today, and move in the same direction as your buyers.
Alongside its incredible environmental impact, hardwood timber is also sought after for its mature and rich aesthetic, its natural durability and its affordability.
The question remains – how do you go about buying hardwood timber in the UK?
In this journal entry, we’re going to take a look at International Timber’s hardwood product list, its benefits, and how to buy it.
International Timber’s hardwood product list
At International Timber we have one of the most extensive catalogues of hardwood timber in the UK. After 40 years in the business of hardwood trading, we’ve listened to our customer-base and grown our product offering to fit what the modern-day woodworker and contractor requires.
Our current hardwood offering is made up of the below:
Our tropical hardwood selection is vast, made up of 14 different species from across Africa and the western world. Each individual species has properties that make it unique. For example our Wawa timber is found in West Africa and dries rapidly and well with little tendency to warp or shake, perfect for home furnishing, whilst our Massaranduba which is native to South America is known for its resistance to shock and wear, making it ideal for decking and flooring.
Probably one of the most popular tropical hardwoods we have on our product list is Sapele – found on the Ivory Coasts – which has been found to be much harder than African or American mahogany, and in resistance to indentation, bending strength, stiffness, and resistance to shock loads, is practically equal with English oak.
See the 14 tropical hardwood products we have here.
Temperate forests are located in the Eastern United States, Canada, Europe, China, Japan and certain parts of Russia. These forests contain a great choice of timber from deciduous trees, coniferous trees and broad-leaved – so we have species like Ash, Walnut, Oak and Maple.
Our American Red Oak is typically used for construction and architectural interiors due to its heavy strength and slight bending range, whilst our popular American Black Walnut’s tough character traits and medium density make it the ideal hardwood timber for high-class joinery including stairs. We recently supplied it to a client who used it to create this stunning staircase.
See the rest of our temperate hardwood timber range here.
European hardwoods consist mainly of oak and beech. Oak has been a valued wood for furniture for centuries – there is a myriad of places in the UK that highlights the use of oak timber in construction and this is apparent even today, in any furniture store or kitchen showroom. Beech, on the other hand, is commonly used for painted joinery and furniture.
Our European hardwood range is made up of 15 different species, all individual in their traits and benefits. Some key products include our kiln dried Prime Grade Square Edged European Oak which is known for its durability and is ideal for quality joinery manufacturing and furniture, and our Oak Sleepers which are great for outdoor use and as such are mainly used in landscaping and for garden furniture.
Find out more about the rest of our European hardwood timber range here.
International Timber’s joinery hardwoods are primarily made up of PSE and mouldings, the best timber for these being Oak and Ash. As previously covered, Oak and Ash are used for their hard-wearing and density, making them the optimum choice for joinery tasks including skirting, flooring and furniture.
Our standard mouldings are available in various profiles, sizes and lengths, however we understand individual specifications may be required; our milling facility enables us to machine bespoke profiles within 7-10 working days if necessary.
The PSE that we provide are primarily used for decorative or joinery purposes, and we keep a range of sizes and lengths in Meranti, Oak and Ash. Additionally, we’re able to machine other species on request, giving you a wide and exclusive breadth of options.
Hardwood Stair Components
Similarly to our PSE and mouldings, our hardwood stair components come in Oak and Ash, giving you a certain amount of flexibility with the design and style of your home.
To complement the stair range, available to order is a wide selection of traditional and contemporary components in American White Oak and Ash. This superior product specification offers 47mm spindles and 115mm newels with handrail and accessories to match. This gives you a substantial product over the norm, while still being competitively priced.
If you’d like to order a sample of any of these products, or the ones aforementioned, simply click here.
And finally onto our hardwood flooring. Our solid timber floors blend durability and excellent acoustic properties making them ideal for commercial, leisure and residential applications. At International Timber we offer a choice of American White Oak, European Oak and American Black Walnut.
It’s important to remember that hardwood flooring is a natural component that reacts to temperature and humidity, so regardless of which type of timber you choose, you should learn how to manage the upkeep. You can speak to any one of our product champions about this by getting in touch with them here.
And that’s it
If you’d like to speak to a timber consultant to find out more about how we can help your woodworking efforts, get in touch and we’ll be able to help you out.