Wood is a great choice if you’re thinking of replacing your existing window frames. Indeed, if you live in a traditional style home or a conservation area wood may be the only possible choice.
With several different kinds of wood to choose from it’s hard to know what’s best for you, so here is our handy guide to choosing the best wood for your wooden window frames.
Despite the name, hardwood isn’t necessarily harder than softwood. The term ‘hardness’ refers to the wood’s ability to withstand damage. However, it’s heavier and denser than softwood due to its cellular structure, and this makes it tough and durable.
Hardwood is aesthetically pleasing with a variety of beautiful dark colours and shades, and complex grain patterns. Oak, mahogany, walnut and ash are common hardwoods.
Hardwood is more expensive than softwood but its strength, resilience, and good looks make it an attractive option for your window frames.
This versatile wood is strong, long-lasting, durable and boasts beautiful grain patterns. It’s also a great thermal insulator so will keep your home comfortable all year round. Its acoustic properties are impressive as well – ideal for keeping the hubbub of urban areas at bay.
Oak takes a long time to grow and this makes it a little more costly than other woods. However, it will last a lifetime if properly maintained, so investing in oak framed windows is certainly money well spent.
Oak is a good choice for traditional or older homes, although it also gives modern properties an elegant and timeless appeal.
Sapele is a tropical hardwood that works well for wooden window frames in traditional homes. Although not as durable as oak, it lasts for a good 10 years or more before it needs replacing, making it a more cost-effective option than oak.
Sapele comes in lovely shades of dark reddish-brown and has striking grain patterns. A transparent coating enhances its stunning appearance by bringing out the best of its subtle hues. It’s also quite dense and robust.
Softwood is less dense than hardwood and lighter in weight. Common types include yew, pine, firs and cedars. Softwood grows far more quickly than hardwood, making it considerably quicker to replace – hence it’s the best choice if you’re looking for a sustainable product for your wooden window frames.
Softwoods are easier to cut and provide good insulation. Despite the name, softwood is still tough and reliable – in fact, it’s far more commonly used than hardwood, as it’s cheaper and easier to work with.
This is a great choice for window frames as it bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary. It has a subtle but appealing grain pattern and a warm red or brown hint – not too dark or too light.
The cellular structure of redwood ensures it absorbs very little moisture, which makes it naturally water-resistant, and its thermal insulation qualities are also excellent. Redwood is one of the most durable softwoods so is always a good option
This isn’t actually wood but rather a special treatment (non-toxic) that is applied to wood – usually pine. The process alters the cellular structure of the wood to give it superior strength and water resistance, plus exceptional thermal insulation. Pine is fast growing so it’s a sustainable product as well.
Accoya® is a worthy rival to oak and can last for up to 60 years, with a minimum of maintenance. It’s virtually impervious to rot and warping and looks good as well – the treatment process preserves the natural colour and wood grain.
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