Pressure Treated Lumber

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Durable pressure treated lumber for outdoor projects

Pressure treated lumber is the most widely used lumber in construction but also for home projects. Made from soft wood like pine, the lumber is treated with several chemicals making it durable and less susceptible to rot, insect infestation, fungus, and water damage. Perfect suitable and durable for any projects you might have planned!   

With a great variety of sizes and lengths available, pressured treated lumber is an economical and durable wood suitable for outdoor construction.

The types of lumber

Depending on the tree’s character, it’s placed in one of the two categories, softwood or hardwood.

Hardwood lumber

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, meaning trees that shed their leaves in the fall to later grow new ones in the spring. Hardwood trees generally grows slower that softwood trees, making their wood denser and harder. There are a great number of hardwood trees but only around 200 that is used for lumber, with the most popular types including oak, maple, hickory, mahogany and walnut.

As this wood is usually more expensive, it’s used in fine woodworking, hardwood floor and cabinetry designs.

Softwood lumber

Softwoods come from coniferous trees, meaning evergreen trees that don’t shed their needle leaves based on the season. Also here there is a great variety of tree sorts but only 25% of them are used to make lumber from. The most common softwoods are cedar, fir and pine.

Because this type of tree grows faster than hardwood, making them cheaper, and specifically Pine is the most widely accessible and used lumber in construction

Softwood is easily dented and absorbs and looses moisture much more easy than hardwood, meaning that the lumber should be treated if it will be exposed to moist or the elements.

Treated lumber

Softwood lumber that will be exposed to the elements should be treated to make it more durable and less susceptible to rot, insect infestation, fungus, and water damage. Pressure treated wood is treated for outdoor and in ground use, making it a great option for your any demanding project.

How pressure treated lumber is made

The pressure treating process is quite straight forward, the lumber is stacked and place in a sealed tank, or cylinder. The air is then vacuumed out, making the wood pores to open. The treatment chemicals are then pumped into the chamber and under great pressure, the chemicals are pushed into the wood through its cell structure.

When the treatment has been completed, the lumber is moved to a drying dock where its left to dry. It’s then shipped to the supplier for further delivery.

As these chemicals can be classified as pesticides, you should be careful to not burn pressure treated wood but it’s also advised to clean your hands after being in contact with it.

Lumber sizes

When buying lumber, you have different sizes and lengths available and it’s important to know the difference between nominal and actual measurements.

The nominal measurement refers to the lumber’s original dimensions before they are trimmed, and the actual measurement of lumber is the measurement after being cut, dried and planed smooth. This means that when buying a 2x4 inch lumber it is not actually 2x4 inch but 1-1/2 x 3-1/2 inch. This is only applicable on the width of the boards, when it comes to the length the measurement mentioned is the actual one.

Lumber come in many standard sizes: 1x2, 1x3, 1x4, 1x6, 1x8, 1x10, 1x12, 2x2, 2x3 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, 2x12, 3x4, 3x6, 3x8, 3x10, 4x4, 4x6, 4x8 and 6x6. The most used lumber come in the lengths 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22 feet.

Plywood

Plywood is made by layering thin pieces of wood veneer, they are then glued together to a lightweight but strong wood sheet. The part that makes it so strong is that the layers are laid with the grain running at right angles to each other. The cross-graining reduces shrinkage, expansion, splitting, creates stability and guarantees that the panel keeps a consistent strength in all directions. 

Most of the plywood are made from softwood but there are versions that combines soft and hardwood.

Because of its versatility and sustainability, plywood is perfect for many projects and has become the building material of choice for carpenters, contractors and DIYers alike.