Should I choose soft or hardwood for my cladding?

You would be forgiven for thinking that the difference between hard and softwood would be the density. However, it actually refers to the bark of the tree and the process it goes through to reproduce. Depending on the type of seeds they produce will determine whether a tree species is considered hard or softwood. Hardwood trees have a seed that is normally covered, like a shell and softwood’s seeds are exposed.

So, which is the best one to use for cladding?

If you are starting a cladding project, be it for the exterior of a building or for laying decking, you are probably wondering which is the best timber to use.

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Softwood’s name is misleading as it is actually a very strong timber. It has a softer surface and is lightweight, making it easy to work with. Softwoods also absorb finishes better and make up almost 80% of all timber used. They are great for cladding as they offer a good resistance to moisture and fungi. Some species suitable for cladding projects include Siberian Larch and Canadian Red Cedar. For a Southampton Timber Merchants, visit a site like Timbco

Hardwoods can also be used for cladding, despite having a slower growth rate than softwood trees. The colour is deeper and richer but will still require treating to prevent it from fading. They can often be more expensive than softwood options, but oak is a highly popular hardwood used in all kinds of building projects.

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