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Wood types

Hardwood, softwood, or modified timber for your windows and doors?

Deciding on whether to choose a hardwood, a softwood, or a modified timber for your windows and doors depends on a number of factors such as your particular requirements, the properties of different woods and your budget. Whichever you choose, it’s important that the timber is correctly treated and finished so that it performs well.
We only use premium timbers which are dehumidified and treated prior to manufacture. Our products are spray painted in the factory with four coats of microporous paint or stain to give them a long lasting and durable finish. With good care and maintenance, this factory coating will protect your chosen timber from any type of degradation for many years. The timbers we offer are:
Pine – an engineered softwood, finger-jointed for extra strength.
Meranti – a ubiquitous hardwood. Solid, long-lasting and excellent value.
Oak – a dense hardwood; market-leading for both domestic and commercial use.
Accoya™ – a modified timber that starts its life as a softwood similar to pine but has been treated with a non-toxic acetylation process which changes the cellular structure of the timber making it more durable and resistant to environmental damage.
Sashed timber types
To help you decide on the most suitable timber choice for your property we have summarised the main characteristics of the timbers we offer in the table below.
Sashed timber comparison table
Wood is a truly sustainable building material, and ALL our timbers are sustainability sourced. When selecting the wood type for your windows and doors there are three considerations: appearance, durability and cost.

1. Appearance

Obviously the look and feel of your windows and doors is important, one of the great benefits of wood over uPVC or metal is it’s visual warmth and aesthetic.
If you opt for painted items (not clear stains) then pine will give you a smooth finish. With meranti, oak and Accoya™ you will see more of the wood grain resulting in (in our opinion) a warmer textured finish with a visible wood grain.
Pine wooden sash windows spray painted white
Above – Pine softwood spray painted white.
Meranti wooden sash windows spray painted white
Above – Meranti hardwood spray painted white.
Oak wooden sash windows spray painted white
Above – Oak hardwood spray painted white.
Oak wooden sash windows spray painted white
Above – Accoya™ modified timber spray painted white.
If you prefer to have a stained wood finish then the colour of the wood comes into play more than the grain. Pine is a pale coloured wood, meranti is red in colour, oak has a warm colour most people are familiar with, and Accoya™ also has a warm colour but is paler than oak. We offer a range of stain colours, but the final finish will differ considerably depending on the timber you choose. We have a sample pack of our various stain colours on all our timbers that we can loan to customers considering stained finishes.
Stained Meranti Hardwood (left) next to Stained Pine Softwood (right) door in natural stained oak Stained Oak Hardwood

2. Durability

The most important factor in the longevity of your windows is the external coating of wood. We apply four coats of factory sprayed microporous paint to all our products. If maintained and cared for your factory coating should last 10 years, but this will vary depending on local conditions, for example, pollution from a busy main road will degrade the factory coating much faster. As long as your window and doors’ external coating remains intact and timbers are protected from the elements your window will last a lifetime or longer.
However, if the external coating is allowed to deteriorate so that any part of the wood is exposed to the elements then degradation of timbers will start, regardless of whether your windows are made from softwood or hardwood. That said, softwood will degrade much faster than hardwood. If you opt for pine softwood windows then the timbers will start to degrade immediately whereas hardwoods and Accoya™ will last considerably longer when exposed to the elements.
One of the most exposed elements of a window will always be the external cill, which is why all our softwood pine windows come with a hardwood cill for extended durability.

3. Cost

Our pine products offer an affordable range of timber windows and doors, and account for around 10% of customer orders.
Our meranti products cost just 20 to 30% more than pine, they are generally considered excellent value for money, and more than 60% of customer orders are in meranti.
Oak and Accoya™ is 30 to 40% more expensive than meranti, and account for around 30% of customer orders.

What is Accoya?

Sashed has added this premium wood to our range of timbers. But what exactly is Accoya? And what are the benefits of using it for your windows and doors?
Accoya™ is a natural wood created by taking sustainably sourced, fast growing softwood that is modified through an innovative, non-toxic process called acetylation to create a high-performance wood that has some remarkable properties. Accoya™ is the result of more than 80 years’ research and development that has brought together a long-established and extensively proven wood modification (acetylation) technique and leading-edge proprietary technology to create a premium, high-performance wood.
Accoya is:
  • Is a class 1 durability wood
  • Guaranteed against timber rot for 50 years above ground and 25 years in underground moister or fresh water
  • Harder and stronger than comparable hardwoods and a better insulator
  • Highly resistant to swelling and shrinkage – by 75% or more
  • Suitable for challenging applications due to its high strength-to-weight ratio
  • Coatings such as paints and stains last 3 to 4 times longer
  • An effective barrier to mould and insect attack
  • Made from sustainable sources
  • Recyclable
The following video explains more about Accoya™:
The best durability
Accoya is made from fast-growing and sustainably sourced radiata pine that has gone through the acetylation process. This non-toxic process changes the structure of the cellulose, a major structural ingredient of wood, so that it becomes impervious to environmental aggressors, such as moisture, decay, and insects. In fact, Accoya is so resistant to rot and degradation that it is guaranteed for 50 years against rot above ground, and for 25 years in groundwater or in contact with freshwater.
Accoya is a Class 1 rated on the wood durability database – the highest possible level. There are some hardwoods, such as teak, that are also rated as Class 1, however, natural durability can be variable and inconsistent. Accoya is consistently durable and each batch created is analysed after it is processed to ensure its durability.
Better for the environment
Accoya has a 50-year guarantee against rot. During its lifespan two more radiata pine trees would have had the time to fully grow in that period making it a sustainable choice. Traditional hardwoods tend to be slower growing species so by choosing Accoya you are not using timber from old growth forests, negatively impacting on the environment. Accoya™ is produced from well managed certified sustainable sources. Only abundantly available, fast-growing source species are used to create Accoya™.
Better for you
Due to its unique properties, Accoya lends itself to the most challenging construction projects such as canal linings, bridges, and decking. It’s equally great for domestic use for doors and windows. Accoya is highly dimensionally stable so it is far less susceptible to shrinkage or warping over time. Accoya’s unique properties and smooth surface also mean that coatings such as paint and stains will last much longer than on other timbers, so they will need repainting far less often.

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