Timber cladding: choosing the right one

Published Thursday 10th March 2016

Timber cladding has grown in popularity in recent years, due to its useful contribution to a building's sustainable footprint.

Despite being a powerful visual signifier of your commitment to the Green agenda, what can be off putting for many is choosing the right kind of timber for a project, due to the finite detailing and specification.

While we’ve already covered what steps you need to consider when selecting a species in a previous blog, here we take a look at the range of species of internal and external cladding we have in stock and discover their best practices.

  • External Cladding

western red cedarWestern Red Cedar

Western red cedar is one of the most popular species to use in cladding as it doesn’t require any preservative treatment, because it’s naturally resistant to decay and insect attack.

It’s soft, rather brittle and light in weight. If left uncoated, it will season to an attractive silver grey appearance over a period of approximately eighteen months in areas with low air pollution.

Cedar offers superior acoustic qualities too, helping to reduce noise or confine it to specific areas. As such, this species provides the best of both worlds, making it suitable for both external and internal cladding. It is also an excellent material for thermal insulation – in summer keeping the building cool and in winter preventing the heat from escaping.

Another notable quality is that it has a very low shrinkage factor and very resistant to warping, twisting and checking.

siberian larchSiberian Larch

Siberian Larch is a hard and dense timber and moderately durable. The colour of heartwood can change from a yellowish-brown to pink-brown.

Typical applications include cladding, decking, flooring, window and door frames. Despite its density and hardness, it machines well and takes fixings.

radiata pineThermowood Radiata Pine

Due to the thermal treatment, this cladding is extremely sturdy and versatile, being able to use internally or externally for things like cladding, decking and saunas.

 

Not only does it have good resistance against the weather and its resistance to decay, compared to other timber cladding, it’s one of the longest lasting and environmentally friendly solutions available. Due to its stability, paint manufacturers are happy to provide 3-10 year warranties, subject to conditions.

Generally it is good and easy to work with and produces an excellent finish. However, specialised glues are required for gluing and laminating this material.

accoya claddingAccoya

This modified timber has excellent working qualities to produce a superior finish and is very stable. As such, it is favoured for external cladding and other applications such as joinery, decking, fencing and outdoor furniture.

In its natural state, Accoya wood is a light straw colour, yet as a result of kilning and our production process, there may be some discolouration.

Despite this, Accoya wood has exceptional durability and dimensional stability, which means that it requires significantly less maintenance to other unmodified timbers, since paints and stains stay where they belong - on the wood.

european redwoodEuropean Redwood

This species offers the most cost effective solution for timber cladding. When used in external cladding applications, European Redwood is supplied with the option of factory approved coatings to enhance the durability.

Despite being strong and moderately hard, this product needs to be kept undercover in dry conditions. Common uses include windows, doors, internal joinery, decking and construction.

While the timber works easily, the finish does depend on number of knots present. Yet the wood is capable of a smooth clean finish

  • Internal Cladding

Meranti

This species is sourced from Malaysia, typically a dark reddish brown, with white resin streaks commonly present. Meranti is moderately durable and is reported to dry rapidly and well, with little degrade. Some slight distortion may occur in denser types.

Typical applications are furniture making, cladding, general joinery and plywood. The timber works well with a smooth finish when machined and takes a stain or coating well. Meranti also kiln-dries well with little distortion and remains stable in most joinery applications. However, it does need to be kept undercover in dry conditions.

american white oasAmerican White Oak

Like most oak, this hardwood boasts great strength properties and is favoured for a wide range of applications, such as: furniture, construction, joinery, windows, internal doors, internal cladding, interior flooring and mouldings.

Despite being stable for internal applications, this timber must not be installed in areas subject to high moisture such as bathrooms or wet areas. This is due to the timber being kiln-dried to a low moisture content (between 8-10%) so is only recommended for interior cladding, unless conditioned to a suitable moisture content prior to installation.

  • Dura Cladding

Made from Wood Plastic Composite (WPC), this immensely versatile material is game-changer in the timber industry that combines the traditional appearance of timber with the durability of an engineered composite. It’s the first product of its kind to be 100% FSC certified and looks and feels just like natural wood, providing a lightweight and durable solution to suit any project.

Dura Cladding is manufactured from a unique combination of recycled plastics and hardwood waste coupled with highly developed man-made product enhancers and stabilisers.

The availability of wider planks provides a striking finish and also benefits from drastically reduced installation times – making them ideal for use on larger buildings.  There are a whole host of colours to choose from, many of which are available in different plank widths.

To explore the differing width options and a wide variety of cladding colours to suit every project need, why not try the new free online Colour Visualiser Tool now or click here to get a quote using the Dura Cladding calculator.

And if you’ve got any questions on timber cladding then get in touch with International Timber today or check out our product range.