Does anyone have a view on the benefits of using hardwood vs softwood in replacement sash windows? Lob a lump of good quality hard wood & softwood out in the garden (or even better, bury it) and see which lasts longer. Commonly used hardwoods for decking are: ipe , teak , iroko and cumaru The most commonly used softwood for decking is pine. Many pellet manufacturers take by-products (like wood waste) and refine them into pencil-sized pellets that are uniform in size, shape, moisture, density and energy content. Jon Culshaw is a sustainable timber advocate and joiner specialising in bespoke wooden gates and garage doors at He loves the smell of sawdust in the morning! Ultimately, any of the three decking materials may prove suitable or unsuitable.
When heating your house or using firewood for your stove, for example, you should always choose hardwood rather than softwood. Acetylated wood is softwood that passes through a modification process which increases its strength and durability and yet is environmentally sustainable. In its natural harvested form, Radiata Pine isn’t very useful or durable; the durability meaning it won’t last very long if used in external situations.
Softwood is derived from conifers or evergreens and comprise 80% of the world’s production of timber. Over the years and if left untreated hardwood will weather and change colour, normally to dark grey. However, prolonged exposure or immersion of your logs will increase the moisture content over time and is not advisable. We want our gates and garage doors to last as long as possible, so we use timber like Accoya because of its durability, hardness and suitability for our products.
Most hardwoods survive outdoors all year round while softwood furniture often needs to be covered or brought indoors in the worst weather – not always practical when you’re short on storage space. It is so frustrating the quality of logs in garage forecourts and I partly blame the major retailers on this as they all sell nets of logs in their forecourts and the quality is appalling, but buyers seem to buy on price only and don’t understand the importance of quality. Therefore, unlike firewood in a woodstove, softwood pellets will have the same high density as hardwood pellets and will burn just as clean as hardwood pellets if the bark is removed.
Some of the common woods used for softwood decking include pine, spruce, hemlock, fir, red cedar and redwood. Most hardwood these days is carefully farmed, with new trees planted to replace those cut down. If density isn’t achieved; if moisture isn’t removed; if fines aren’t removed, then the fuel quality will suffer…..it doesn’t matter if it’s hardwood or softwood. For example, a low quality hardwood is actually softer and less dense than a good quality softwood. Hilarious about the debates re: firewood diameter, and that they actually icounti the wood.
In relation to each of these important decking questions, hardwood decking will outperform softwood decking every time. The TDCA supports all initiatives that provide reassurance that timber materials used in decking have come from sustainable forests. While premium pellets are all under 1% ash content, that could be anywhere from around25% to8%. My previous free wood bonanzas were from people who cut down trees in their yards, chainsawed them into lengths, and wanted someone to haul the logs away. There are other types of decking board available – composite deck boards and also Vinyl (UPVC) boards and systems.
Hardwood decking is cut from trees with a slow growth habit – typically like those from rainforest areas – and therefore cost more to produce. The price of kiln dried hardwood logs is higher because they have had to go through a process of kiln drying but it doesn’t mean that they are more expensive. To the average layman, of course, the distinction between hardwood firewood and softwood firewood might seem unimportant. Kiln dried logs are very dry and much cleaner which means they are better for storing.
Wood pellets are equal to oil, when oil is 55 cents a liter, and one ton of wood pellets is equal to one Full cord of wood. The term hardwood and softwood can be a little misleading as some hardwoods are soft and some softwoods hard. But softwood does has some advantages for firewood; it drys (seasons) quicker than hardwood when cut. First, the only reason that hardwood burns hotter and longer in a wood stove is because hardwood, in its natural state, has a much higher density that softwood does. Didn’t know that softwoods put out more btu’s, thats just the op of wood burning, I mean softwood puts out good heat but it burns so quickly that it could never match hardwood in a woodstove.
And regardless of whether the sawdust is hardwood, softwood or a mixture of the two, they will all get compressed to the same high density regardless of whether the sawdust is oak, pine, maple, fir, cherry or any other species of wood. Hardwood fundamentally comes from trees that lose their leaves in the winter, so trees such as Oak, Ash, Beech etc. Side note: We use and sell Cleanfire pellets in our stoves at our Stove King store location.
At Wessex Restoration, one of the main reasons we use softwood timber is because of the fact that it is environmentally friendly and sustainable. Softwood furniture is not necessarily soft – nor hardwood furniture particularly hard. Contamination in the form of rock/dirt/sand/grit/silica will greatly affect the quality no matter what the species, whether hard or softwood. However, due to the fact that they tend to emit more smoke than hardwood, and burn out quicker, they are generally not as good as hardwoods in wood stoves or for home burning.
However, just because the tree is classified as a hardwood doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice. This is another reason why softwood decking is a lower cost option than hardwood decking. With poor coaling qualities, softwoods are not good for overnight burning in a wood stove because the fire will likely be out with not hot coals left over to restart it. When Samuel Cabot opened the doors to his workshop in 1877, he had one mission: top-quality wood care. One of the pros of composite decking was its maintenance free profile, but the same cannot be said about softwood and hardwood. For this reason, softwoods make excellent kindling for any fire, even ones with hardwood logs.
Last time I ordered wood ( 5 cords) the logs were mostly quite large, actually to the point that two people could barely lift them. The best firewood deal I ever got was when I worked with a friend and he had a truck and I had the chainsaw. For example, balsa is a hardwood even though it is one of the lightest and softest woods. If the amount of heat released per pound of wood is the only measure of efficiency used, there is little difference between hardwood and softwood.
In conclusion: if it’s durability you’re looking for then a correctly manufactured softwood window or door will perform extremely well in comparison to a hardwood product. Hardwood decking, on the other hand, with a bit of maintenance , will last for many years. For Softwood Decking – Of the three options mentioned here, softwood is the most affordable option with options from reputable seller starting at just over £4 in store. For instance, when you have two equal sized pieces of wood, and one is oak (hardwood) and the other is pine (softwood) you will get much more heat out of the oak than you will the pine.
Softwood lumber is usually marked with a stamp specifying which species of tree it was cut from. For durability, a properly-treated and manufactured softwood will perform very well compared to a hardwood product. So to keep within the terms of the Broxwood warranty all external facing surfaces must be factory painted. Although softwood decking will look great when you first install it, it will typically start to show real signs of decay after a couple of years.
What I am really trying to emphasize here is that whether a wood pellet is made of hardwood sawdust or softwood sawdust will have no bearing or influence over the quality of that specific wood pellet. Traditionally, hardwood has been the preferred fuel in wood stoves and open hearth fireplaces because it naturally has a lower moisture content, is a denser fuel, burns longer, and has hotter coals. This is why hardwood is far more suitable to the task of heating homes and for use in stoves.
The larger logs represent harder work for the secondary processor as they are more difficult to move around and require in most cases that extra time be spent with splitting. Birch has no other commercial value other than as firewood and many cutters specialize in supplying it to homeowners around the island. Over 90% of all decking comes from pressure treated softwoods because of the availability, ease of working and inexpensive pricing.
Softwood is less dense compared to hardwood and must be pre-treated with preservatives in accordance with British Standards EN 335. As for the Hardwood being to hard and causing wear on the stove that sounds like a complete flat out lie, I wouldn’t deal with the guy. Hardwoods like oak and teak for instance will require more maintenance than mahogany, for example, but less than a softwood. Once you understand this simple idea, it stands to reason that trees which take longer to grow – like hardwood – absorb more energy from the sun.