Project considerations timber species for walls panelling & interior cladding

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Choosing an appropriate timber species type is crucial when it comes to interior wall paneling and cladding. Your choice of wood not only influences aesthetic appeal but also affects aspects such as durability and upkeep needs. The excess of available timber species makes this selection process challenging. Every species possesses distinct qualities and features that must be taken into account.

This article delves into these various factors that should be considered when deciding on timber wall panels and interior cladding.
Before looking at individual species, it’s important to outline three main considerations you need to evaluate your needs.

Consideration One – Sustainability

Timber is renowned for its sustainability, and this is a core reason why it’s a widely used material in construction. Among the various types of timber, softwoods like pine are particularly notable for their robustness, rapid growth, and recyclability, making them excellent for various construction purposes. While their soft nature and high moisture content make them unsuitable for outdoor use, where they are prone to rapid deterioration and cracking, they can be effective for interior wall panelling applications.

Hardwoods, in contrast to softwoods, grow slowly, which contributes to their durability and strength but also results in less sustainability. The slow growth of hardwoods necessitates considerable resources, including energy, water, and labor. Despite this, their long-lasting nature makes them a more favorable choice for applications like internal panels and cladding for unmatched lastability. The choice between softwoods and hardwoods therefore becomes a balance between immediate sustainability and long-term durability and this is something you will need to reconcile with your own requirements.

Consideration Two – Treatment Requirements

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The process of treating timber is a significant aspect of manufacturing cladding and panel materials, presenting both a considerable expense and the potential for generating harmful byproducts. Treatment plays an essential role in enhancing the durability of timber, as it expels moisture and forms a protective layer that resists rot, insect damage, and dirt penetration. However, it’s noteworthy that not all timber species require such treatment.

Certain timber types usually don’t require additional treatment. These species include Western red cedar, European oak, sweet chestnut, larch, and Douglas fir. Opting for these naturally resilient species brings dual benefits. Firstly, it significantly cuts down production costs by bypassing the treatment process. Secondly, it reduces the environmental impact associated with the use of chemicals and extensive processing in timber treatment. This aspect is particularly appealing to builders, architects, and customers who prioritize environmental considerations in their building materials.

Consideration Three – Timber Durability


Durability stands as a pivotal factor when selecting timber for projects, as you want to ensure it lasts. The inherent durability of the timber itself plays a crucial role in its longevity. The more inherently durable the timber, the better it withstands weathering and environmental challenges such as moisture. A durable timber species can significantly extend the lifespan of wall panelling products, often by decades, making it a key factor in the selection process for long-lasting, hard-wearing cladding materials.

The Best Timber Species for Interior Panels and Cladding

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For internal wall and cladding applications, a variety of tree species are particularly well-suited, each with unique features and aesthetic appeal. Among the most popular choices are:

Spotted Gum: This Australian hardwood is a favorite for its rich earthy colors and high oil content. While commonly used in decking, spotted gum also offers stunning visual appeal as an panel and cladding material.

Ironbark: Ideal for those who favor deeper hues, ironbark cladding boasts a deep reddish color that transitions to a silvery grey over time. This dramatic color change, coupled with its excellent performance in hot, sunny climates, makes it a sought-after choice.

Western Red Cedar: Known worldwide, western red cedar combines rich earthy tones with the classic blonde grain of cedar. This timber is highly stable and effective at repelling various insects, making it a reliable option for maintaining pest-free cladding.

Blackbutt: A popular choice for hardwood cladding, blackbutt is recognized for its neutral tones and the way it naturally weathers and blends into its environment. It’s versatile and suitable for a wide range of settings.

Hemlock: As the lightest-colored timber on this list, hemlock is known for its vibrant, bright appearance. It’s an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor cladding, offering great affordability and a lightweight finish perfect for cladding purposes.

Each of these species brings its distinct aesthetic and functional qualities, providing diverse options for those looking to select the ideal timber for their cladding needs.

*The text provided by the company and reviewed by the PA Editorial Team.

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