If you like to manage your own home improvement projects, or want to build new cabinets, furniture, a deck, and so on, you will need to know how to choose your own timber. This isn't as easy as you might expect, as all those boards and studs may look alike to you, and you may assume that you can choose lumber by its appearance alone. To ensure you get the best pieces of timber for your home project, note a few commonly asked questions about lumber, and never be afraid to ask a salesperson for assistance in choosing the right variety and size of timber for your needs in particular.
Are knots a bad thing?
Knots on the surface of timber don't necessarily compromise the strength of boards and beams, but are typically just considered a visual defect. You may not see them as defects, however, as knots can add lots of character to timber cabinets and flooring, breaking up an otherwise monotonous surface and giving furniture or flooring a more rustic look. If you do like the look of knots, you should be able to use timber pieces with lots of knots on the surface without any issues when it comes to the material's overall durability.
What is the difference between reclaimed wood and fresh sawn?
Reclaimed wood can sometimes refer to wood that has been taken from other projects to be reused, such as framing from a home that was demolished. It also refers to wood that was cut many years ago; this is versus fresh sawn wood, which has only been recently cut. Reclaimed wood has had more time to dry, so it may have more cupping and bowing, which is the twisting of wood that happens when it dries out over time. However, if you find reclaimed wood that is very level and even, it is likely to stay this way over time, making it a good choice for any project that needs maximum strength from the wood.
What is sustainable wood?
Sustainable wood refers to wood that is purposely grown for use as lumber; trees that are cut for this lumber are also replanted, as is vegetation that may get uprooted when those trees are harvested. Sustainable wood may also refer to varieties of wood that grow back very quickly, such as bamboo. This type of lumber is best if you want to choose lumber that will have the least impact on the environment.