When I considered replacing my existing window frames, I realized that wood was an excellent choice, especially if I lived in a traditional-style home or a conservation area where it might be the only suitable option. However, I found it challenging to select the best type of wood for my wooden window frames due to the variety available. So, I decided to create a handy guide to help myself and others make the right choice.
At first, I thought that hardwood would be harder than softwood, but it turned out that the term “hardness” refers to the wood’s ability to withstand damage. Although hardwood isn’t necessarily harder, it is denser and heavier than softwood due to its cellular structure, making it tough and durable.
I was drawn to hardwood because of its aesthetic appeal, with a variety of stunning dark colors, shades, and intricate grain patterns. Common hardwoods include oak, mahogany, walnut, and ash. While hardwood is pricier than softwood, its strength, resilience, and beauty make it an attractive option for window frames.
As I learned more about oak, I found it to be a versatile wood that is strong, long-lasting, and durable, with gorgeous grain patterns. It’s also an excellent thermal insulator, keeping my home comfortable throughout the year. Plus, its impressive acoustic properties help block out the noise of bustling urban areas.
While oak takes a long time to grow and may be more expensive than other woods, it can last a lifetime with proper maintenance, making it a worthwhile investment for my window frames.
I discovered that oak is not only a suitable choice for traditional or older homes but also adds an elegant and timeless appeal to modern properties.
I discovered that Sapele, a tropical hardwood, works well for wooden window frames in traditional homes. Although not as durable as oak, it lasts a good 10 years or more before needing replacement, making it a more cost-effective option.
Sapele comes in lovely dark reddish-brown shades and has eye-catching grain patterns. Applying a transparent coating enhances its stunning appearance by showcasing its subtle hues. It’s also dense and robust.
I learned that softwood is less dense than hardwood and lighter in weight. Common types include yew, pine, firs, and cedars. Softwood grows much faster than hardwood, making it a more sustainable choice for wooden window frames.
Softwoods are easier to cut and offer good insulation. Despite the name, softwood is still tough and reliable, and it’s far more commonly used than hardwood since it’s more affordable and easier to work with.
Redwood is an excellent choice for window frames because it bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary styles. It has a subtle but appealing grain pattern and a warm red or brown hue – neither too dark nor too light.
Redwood’s cellular structure ensures it absorbs minimal moisture, making it naturally water-resistant. Its thermal insulation qualities are also top-notch. As one of the most durable softwoods, redwood is always a good option.
Accoya® isn’t actually a type of wood, but rather a non-toxic treatment applied to wood, usually pine. This process alters the wood’s cellular structure, giving it superior strength, water resistance, and exceptional thermal insulation. Since pine grows quickly, it’s a sustainable product as well.
Accoya® rivals oak in terms of durability and can last up to 60 years with minimal maintenance. It’s virtually impervious to rot and warping, and the treatment process preserves the natural color and wood grain, making it visually appealing.
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