Wood Vs Timber

Difference Between Wood and Timber

The Difference Between Wood and Timber lies in their usage. Wood is the general term for all things wooden, whereas Timber specifically denotes processed wood employed in construction due to its strength. Timber serves structural purposes, while wood extends to various applications like furniture and crafts.

So, the common denominator is that both can have a meaning that derives from a product of a tree; however, those are not the only meanings.

Difference Between Wood and Timber

The following table shows the key differences between wood and timber

Sr.No. Wood Timber
   1.‘Wood’ is used to apply to the material that makes the tree and transfer water and nutrition.Timber is one type of wood. This is used after the tree has been fallen down or crushed.
   2.Wood is a fiber substance or rubbery that is out from plants or vegetation.Wood transformed into girders, beams, and boards.
   3.Wood is used for flooring, trussing, making storage containers, plywood, veneers, log, etc.Timber is used for furniture, firebreaks, beam, other construction purpose, paper pulp, etc.  
4.The central part of the trunk and branches are making up a substance that is used as a construction material.The forest trees are considered a source of  wood
5.Wood covered with trees.Timber is made a nest
6.The wood material can be made with a pencil, toothpick, stick, etc.Timber is a bigger wooden substance
7.Wood is used for various purposes.Timber is only used for industries and construction purposes.
8.Wood is directly collected from the forest.Timbers are made up of a straight wooden log.
9.Wood is rough wood.The timber is finished wood.
10.Wood is processed wood.Timber is unprocessed wood.
11.Wood is simply the material name all timbers and logs are made from in it.Timber is a simple wooden log and then converted into a beam, board, the shape of the rafter, etc.

What Is Wood?


Wood is a composite material. That is made up of cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose, and fibers. Also, wood is permeable or porous and has stringy organic tissues.

Wood is an old material like glass, stones, bronze, iron, copper, etc. Mainly the wood is used for construction purposes and used in daily routine products like toothpicks, pencils, sticks, tables, chairs,s, etc.

Read More: 35 Most Popular Types of Wood | Wood Types | Different Types of Wood

What Is A Timber?


Timber is one type of wood. Any type of wood can be capable of deforming in a minimum dimensional size and the required shape is referred to as timber.

The timber is also known as “LUMBER” In Canada and US. Raw timber is used in structural work and finished timber is used for furniture. All timber is made up of wood.

Generally, timber has two categories namely Hardwood and Softwood. But many types of timbers are included in this category,

  • Bamboo
  • Birch
  • Cedar
  • Cherry
  • Cross-laminated
  • Glulam
  • Green timber
  • Lime
  • Mahogany
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Plywood
  • Sapele wood
  • Tulipwood
  • Walnut
  • Wood ash
  • Spruce
  • Fir

Read More: What Is Timber | 18 Types of Timber | Types of Timber In Construction

Characteristics of Good Timber


The durability of timber is the most important factor for construction materials. Timber can resist actions such as biological agent action, chemical agents, physical agent actions, etc., and carry the load without damaging the structure.

However, the wood material is weak in alkali and against the action of acids but in that case, used alkali and acid solution for durability purposes.


The strength of wood means resistance against failure. Good timber does not fail easily and it should be enough to bear the load.

The strength of wood is an important factor while designing structural members like joists, beams, trusses, rafters, etc. The strength is depending upon the direction of the load.


Permeability of wood means the water absorption capacity of wood. A good timber absorbs less than 8 to 12% of water by it is weight when simply placed in water. Also, good timber absorbs less amount of water.

Permeability of timber is depending upon various factors like age of timber, type of cut, moisture content of timber, types of timber, etc.


The hardness of wood means resisting penetration. Also, the hardness of timber is depending upon its heartwood properties and its density. Good timber should be workable and hard.


The toughness of wood means resisting sudden shocks and vibration. The toughness of timber is improved by the interlocking system.

Toughness is the resistance against sudden shocks and vibrations. Good timber is resisted sudden impact load and vibration.


Elasticity means regaining it is actual or original shape after removing the load. A good timber should be elastic in nature.


The workability of timber means easy to cut into the desired shape and sizes. During saw cutting the wood is not damaged easily.


A timber is heavy in weight it means is good timber because it is more durable and lightweight timber is unsound and less durable. 


An age of 50 to 100 years is a good age for trees. The timber has a uniform structure which means that is good timber. The rings of timber should be close to each other that nature is indicating the maturity of timber for making a product.


Good timber means timber free from the defects caused by natural forces like knots, shakes, burls, fungal defects, dry rot, wet rot, blue stain, etc.

Fire resistance

The thermal conductivity of timber is depending upon various factors like density, porosity, and moisture content. Various types of timber are resisted fire but within certain limits.


The appearance of timber is depending upon the arrangement of cells in the structure. They are arranged uniformly then after cutting wood will be obtained uniform in appearance.

Also, the good timber appearance is shiny when it is sawed with the machine. Defects have damaged the appearance of the wood.


The color of wood or timber is indicated strength. The Dark color indicates high strength while the light in the color of timber is indicating low strength.


The shapes of bow and warp or splitting are damaged timber. It should not use for engineering works. Also, the shape of the wood does not disturb while cutting and seasoning.


An unpleasant smell is indicating the timber is decayed and the sweet smell of timber is good timber for engineering works.


When struck the timber produces a clear ringing sound that means timber is good. That is why many instruments are made up of wood and dull sounds indicate the damaged timber.

Read More: Seasoning of Timber | Seasoning of Wood | Timber Seasoning | Natural Seasoning of Timber | Artificial Seasoning of Timber

Best Wood For Furniture

  • Walnut
  • Oak
  • Rosewood
  • Teak-wood
  • Sal wood
  • Satin Wood
  • Jack fruit
  • Deodar
  • Sisoo Wood
  • Mulberry Wood

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1 thought on “Difference Between Wood and Timber”

  1. Roman Horváth

    The row number ten in differences – isn’t it the other way around? (Processed vs unprocessed.)

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