Timber & Sheet Materials

Timber & Sheet Materials

Timber & Sheet Materials

What is Timber?

Timber is widely used around the world in the construction of everything from small pencils to tables and chairs, to the immense structure of a building. As such, timber is a natural product that comes in two distinctive types: hardwood and softwood.

What is a Hardwood?

If a piece of timber is a “hardwood”, that means that it is typically identified by different aspects of the timber, such as density, the grain, the pattern, and the overall flexibility.

The easiest way to identify if something is hardwood is to determine the type of tree that it was sourced from; if the tree has broad leaves that it loses in the Autumn, then it is most likely a hardwood.

Hardwoods grow slowly, giving them a complex structure that includes pores; this makes the timber hard and durable. However, not all hardwoods are equal; for example, woods such as balsa are classed as hardwood, however, it is softer than most types of softwood.

Examples of Hardwoods include:

  • Oak
  • Teak
  • Balau
  • Poplar

Due to their strength, hardwoods are commonly used in the construction of timber frameworks, for example, shipbuilding as well as high-quality furnishings, including tables and chairs. However, their strength means that hardwoods are also excellent shock absorbers; as such, they are commonly used in the handles of tools such as hammers and chisels, as well as sporting equipment such as hockey sticks.

What is a Softwood?

Softwood timber derives from “gymnosperm” trees which are typically trees like conifers that do not lose leaves in the Autumn. Instead, softwood trees can be determined by if they produce seeds, cones or nuts.

Examples of Softwoods include:

  • Douglas Fir
  • Pine
  • Redwood
  • Cedar

Despite its name, softwood isn’t necessarily weaker than hardwood; the surface may be; however, the core is often still strong. They are often lighter than hardwoods and can absorb finishes, stains, oils, and other preservatives better than a hardwood. For this reason, softwoods are a popular choice for woodworking projects, as well as for flooring, cladding, and decking.

What is FSC®?

We are FSC® certified. FSC® stands for Forest Stewardship Council, who is a non-profit organisation established in 1993 to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.

The FSC® is commonly recognised by the “Tick Tree” logo that is commonly placed on timber products to indicate that it has been certified under the FSC® system. This means that when a customer purchases a product with this logo, they purchase in confidence that they are helping to ensure the world’s forest remain alive for future generations.

What is CoC?

CoC stands for Chain of Custody and is a type of certification from forest to customer ensuring that products featuring the FSC® logo have been checked at every stage to guarantee their authenticity to be FSC® certified.