Hardwood Construction: Critical Factors to Consider for Ideal Timber Selection
Hardwood timber is one of the most popular construction materials used in both residential and commercial buildings. The likability of wood in this type of application has remained consistent over centuries, and this can be attributed to the general performance and visual appeal of the material. On the other hand, the quality of different types of hardwood timber can vary significantly. Therefore, it is important for you to evaluate and compare the accessible lumber before installing it in your building. Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing the most suitable hardwood timber.
Load Bearing Capacity
When building any structure or feature using hardwood timber, you should consider its strength and subsequent load-bearing capacity. In general, most hardwoods are strong because of their high density, particularly when compared to standard softwoods. However, they do not all have the capability to support the structural weight. This means that if you install a relatively lightweight piece of lumber and high pressure is exerted on it, the timber will experience stress and might break. You should be especially cautious when choosing hardwood supplies for architectural roof trusses and decking support members. For the best results, you should check the recommended and intended application of timber pieces before purchase.
Hardwood timber is highly durable after installation, and the material will last long with some light maintenance. Unfortunately, the longevity and performance of the wood depend heavily on the environment in which it is installed. Therefore, you should evaluate the properties of your preferred timber materials with the conditions in which they will be installed. Typically, wood is rated for external or internal use. The former type of wood can be used in most environments because it can withstand changes in humidity and temperature without distortion. Often, these materials are also treated with special chemicals to prevent fungal growth, UV degradation, and pest infestation. Wood intended for internal use is more prone to damage when installing near moisture or in the outdoors.
Finally, you should examine the appearance of the wood to ensure that it is suited for your application. In general, hardwood lumber is attractive because of its warm and natural look. However, the distinct appearance will depend on the wood grain, wood species coloring and even the presence of imperfections such as knots. If the wood is completely exposed such as in flooring applications, you should ensure that there are minimal flaws. Alternatively, you can finish the surface with paint or stains to conceal the defects.