Different Types of timber

Types of Timber In Construction

What Is Timber?

Timber is nothing but a form of wood that is shaped into beams and planks. It is also known as “lumber” in the US and Canada.

Mainly, timber or Lumber is a separate part of growing trees. Any type of timber that is capable of getting a minimum dimensional size can be termed timber or lumber. It is a stage in the process of Timber production.

Different types of timbers are used for building construction as structural members. Those woods which are adapted for building purposes are timbers. Woods are cut and shaped in a specified dimension or standard size for the industry.

Types of Timber

The following are various types of timber used in construction

1. Bamboo Timber

A bamboo tree is a natural organic tree that is used for house construction. It is one special and unique type of tree on earth. Bamboo trees are available in many countries, especially in tropical and subtropical regions.

Most of the timer-producing bamboo trees are available in South Asia. The Bamboo color varies from pale yellow to almost gold. It is one of the industrial materials also identified as the most promising building material.

Bamboo timber is proven as an alternative to tropical hardwoods in recent years. It is available in any size and length as per requirement.

Advantages of Bamboo Timber

  • Bamboo is fast-growing and high-yielding.
  • They are easily renewable.
  • Bamboo timber is energy extensive, processed, and glued up imported products.
  • Bamboos quickly reach full maturity after only one or two years.
  • Bamboo timber has a unique earthy odor while being worked.
  • Strong bamboo fibers have tensile strength.
  • It is highly resistant to warping and cupping in ambient humidity.
  • Bamboo timbers are used in veneer, paper, flute, window blinds, fishing rods, ladders, scaffolding, carving, etc.
  • Bamboo timber requires little fertilizer.
  • Grows initially at full width.

Disadvantages of Bamboo Timber

  • Bamboo timber is a polluting material.
  • Bamboo timber requires special care.
  • It is susceptible to insect attacks.
  • Bamboo timber has been reported to cause skin irritation.
  • Decay fungi are present in bamboo timber.
  • The price of this timber is much higher which exceeds the cost of domestic hardwoods sometimes.
  • It is inconsistent.

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2. Birch Timber

Birch is one of the superior craft-wood. It is a major source for getting hardwood. Birch is available in many forms like yellow birch, white birch, etc. Among these, the yellow birch is widely used and is also known as gray birch or swamp birch. Birch offers a low natural luster.

Advantages of Birch Timber

  • Birch Types of timber are economical in most cases.
  • Inner birch is aromatic.
  • Birch is long-lasting.
  • It is usually heavy, hard, and strong.
  • It is always easy to work with birch and glues and it finishes well.
  • Birch gives widely ranging appearances.
  • Birch is suitable for high-quality furniture.
  • Birch has great
  • Birch is used for creating strong plywood.
  • Birch is waterproof.
  • Birch can easily support a large structure.
  • It is mostly used to make boxes, crates, skateboards, furniture, and other wood items.
  • Birch gives a wavy fine texture.

Disadvantages of Birch Timber

  • Birch is perishable, and readily rots and decays.
  • Birch is susceptible to insect attacks.
  • Birch can cause tear-outs during machine operations.
  • Birch is reported as a “sensitizer” which includes respiratory irritation.
  • Birch is slow-growing.
  • Birch is harder than other hardwoods.

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3. Cedar Timber

Cedar is one of the high-quality types of wood. It is manufactured from different trees and wood known as cedars. When the strength and appearance of the exposed wood beams are essential requirements, cedar is the only savior and perfect fit for this.

It is widely used for landscape, park, and garden structures. It offers moderate strength and softness which makes it unique and most important it is an easily workable construction material.

Advantages of Cedar Timber

  • It is weather resistant.
  • Cedar gives a natural wood look.
  • Cedar is light in weight.
  • It works easily.
  • It is dimensionally stable.
  • Cedar has long-time durability.
  • Cedar has exceptional resistance to insects and decay.
  • It is smooth to the touch.
  • It has a high quality of consistency.
  • It exhibits fairly prominent growth.
  • Cedar shows high resistance to warping and twisting.
  • Cedar helps to reduce noise in specific areas.
  • It is sustainable.
  • It is used in cladding, decking, roofing, and fencing.

Disadvantages of Cedar Timber

  • Cedar dust may be an irritant.
  • Cedar has low strength.
  • Cedar can cause splintering during some operations.

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4. Cherry Timber

Cherry timber is well known as a tree plantation type of wood. There are many forms of cherry timber; but, black cherry timber is a major source of native cherries and the only commercial value.

It is mostly found in Eastern United Nations. The prime quality of cherry timber is that its grains are generally straight. It is one of the sources of hardwood. Cherry timber generally offers medium density and is moderately durable.

It is mostly used for small pieces of furniture’s-veneers, handles, cabinets, scientific instruments, etc.

Advantages of Cherry Timber

  • Cherry’s types of timber is firm and strong.
  • It has a fine and uniform texture.
  • It works well and finishes smoothly.
  • Cherry timber can contain pith flecks and gum pockets.
  • It has good workability.
  • Cherry timber can easily machine, nail, and glue.
  • It is a good timber for turning and carving.
  • It has good bending properties.
  • It has low stiffness.
  • Cherry types of timber is shock resistant.
  • The best feature is it is used for high-end applications like furniture, cabinet making. Boat making and musical instruments.

Disadvantages of Cherry Timber

  • It is highly prized.
  • Cherry timber is sensitive to UV.
  • It can tear on cross-grain.
  • Cherry timber doesn’t have a grand dimension.
  • If stained, it gives blotchy results.
  • The sawdust of cherry timber has been associated with respiratory effects such as wheezing.

5. Mahogany Timber

It has high-quality types of wood. It is utilized commercially in almost every continent. Mahogany is majorly used in the furniture and cabinet-building industry.

It is used to form plywood and all kinds of trim. It has hard grain. It is one of the softer wood among the hardwoods that are commonly in use.

Mahogany is a moderate natural luster. Its color get darkened with age and the texture is medium and uniform. The price of mahogany timber comes in the medium range.

Advantages of Mahogany Timber

  • Mahogany types of wood are very stable.
  • It is resistant to termites.
  • It is very easy to work with tools in mahogany timber.
  • It cuts and machines easily.
  • Mahogany timber sandy very easily.
  • It turns glues, stains, and finishes well.
  • It can bend without splintering or shattering.
  • It possesses a slightly flexible quality.
  • It resists warping and twists for many years.
  • It is long-lasting, strong, and beautiful.
  • It contains high density.
  • Each piece of timber is long.
  • It is majorly used for veneers, musical instruments, carving, etc.

Disadvantages of Mahogany Timber

  • Mahogany timber is vulnerable to insects.
  • When mahogany timber gets in touch with water, a strong mahogany color comes up.
  • Slight dulling of cutters can occur in this timber.
  • Mahogany timber includes respiratory irritation in the eye, and skin which includes boil, nausea, dizziness, asthma-type symptoms, etc.
  • It can tear out or chip during machining.
  • It is reported as a “sensitizer”.
  • When mahogany timber gets in touch with water, a strong mahogany color comes up.
  • Slight dulling of cutters can occur in this timber.
  • Mahogany timber includes respiratory irritation in the eye, and skin which includes boil, nausea, dizziness, asthma-type symptoms, etc.
  • It is vulnerable.

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6. Oak Timber

Oak timber is processed from Oak trees. One of the oldest timber used for construction from the last thousands of years. Oak types of wood have straight gain.

It is mostly used for light construction work where no heavy loads are to be carried by timber. It is generally used for homeware, wine barrels, firewood, etc.

Advantages of Oak Timber

  • Oak timber is exceedingly strong.
  • It is durable.
  • It has a long-living nature.
  • Oak timber is used for cladding.
  • Oak timber is resistant to fungal attacks.
  • It takes glue, nails, and screws well.
  • It is lighter in weight.
  • Oak timber is resistant to decay.
  • It is workable with machines or hand tools.

Disadvantages of Oak Timber

  • Oak timber is heavy.
  • It is hard.
  • It has low moisture content.
  • Oak timber is unsuitable for external use.
  • It is resistance to acid content is low.
  • Oak timber reacts with iron, galvanized, or copper nails.

7. Walnut

It is one of the premium timber. It is the most popular and specialist timber for house construction. It has a straight grain, but it can be irregular. Walnut timber is widely used for decorative purposes.

It is available in a variety of designs for the interior. It comes with a moderate natural luster and is moderately durable. It has medium density.

Advantages of Walnut Timber

  • Walnut gives a vivid highlight to the grain.
  • It offers easiness while using machine and hand tools.
  • Walnut timber is good for turning and carving.
  • The right glues and polishes can be successfully done in walnut timber.
  • It stains and finishes well.
  • Walnut timber responds well to steam bending.
  • It has good dimensional stability.
  • It is shocking resistance.
  • It has a fine texture.
  • Overall walnut has good strength.
  • It has low stiffness.

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Disadvantages of Walnut Timber

  •  Walnut is hard.
  • It has been reported as a “sensitizer”.
  • It includes eye and skin irritation.
  • It has high prices for domestic species.
  • It is susceptible to insect attack. Planer tear-out can sometimes be a problem in walnut timber.
  • It has a faint, mild odor while being worked.
  • It has a medium maintenance movement.
  • Walnut timber has difficulty treating acid content.
  • Walnut timber finds the problem with density.
  • It is not termite resistant.
  • It is hard.

8. Fir Timber

Fir is one of the most popular and widely used timber species. It has major use and premium product for a wide range of applications. Fir is a softwood species and it has a very straight grain.

Fir becomes one of the standard timber species for timber farming. It is generally used for tin housing, framing, flooring, lining fascias, bargeboards, and pergolas.

Advantages of Fir Timber

  • Fir timber ranges in color.
  • For machines and turns well.
  • Fir is moderately durable.
  • It is permeable.
  • It Is moderately resistant to decay.
  • Fir timber has a low shock resistance.
  • It has good strength.
  • Fir can be satisfactorily bonded using the standard procedure.

Disadvantages of Fir Timber

  • Fir timber lacks tensile strength.
  • It is extremely difficult to treat.
  • Fir timber is very stiff.


Types of Timber Used in ConstructionDescription
SoftwoodDerived from coniferous trees, softwood like pine, spruce, and fir is commonly used for framing, decking, and structural applications.
HardwoodComes from deciduous trees, with oak, mahogany, and maple being popular choices for high-quality furniture, flooring, and joinery.
Engineered WoodMan-made wood products, such as plywood, MDF, and particleboard, composed of layers or particles, offer enhanced stability and versatility.
PlywoodConstructed with thin layers (plies) of wood glued together with grains perpendicular to each other, providing strength and flexibility.
MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard)Made from wood fibers and resin, MDF is dense and smooth, often used for cabinetry, furniture, and interior applications.
ParticleboardComposed of wood particles compressed with resin, particleboard is an economical option for furniture and other applications.
Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)Engineered wood product made by bonding multiple layers of thin wood veneers, offering strength and stability for structural use.
Glulam (Glued Laminated Timber)Consists of layers of timber bonded together with adhesives, creating large, strong structural members used in beams and columns.
Treated TimberTreated with preservatives to resist decay and insects, treated timber is suitable for outdoor applications like decks and fencing.
Timber CladdingTimber boards used for external cladding, providing both functional protection and aesthetic appeal to buildings.


In conclusion, the various types of timber used in construction and it offer a versatile and sustainable material choice for building any construction project, mainly the two types of wood available in market namely hardwood and softwood.

Hardwood such as oak, mahogany and it gives good aesthetic appeal and durability, and softwood such as spruce wood, pine and many more are widely used due to their cost-effectiveness and availability, engineered wood product including laminated timber and plywood timber, it offers enhanced stability and strength.

Timber’s natural properties such as its thermal insulation capabilities, and strength-to-weight ratio, its make it desirable material.

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