Timber's Versatility and How to Take Advantage of It

How often have you found yourself searching for ‘cheapest timber in the UK’ on Google before you start a timber project? If you are like everyone else, you can often spend more time scrolling through the results than you do on the project itself. Timber 2 U Direct are here to change that with our quick guide on how to find the cheapest timber in the UK. We will also talk through how to ensure the products you are buying are still good for the environment, whilst keeping your costs low.

What wood do I need for my project?

The first thing to think about, before you even think about finding the cheapest timber in the UK, is what wood is going to be best for your project. There are two distinct types of wood that can be used. These are solid wood or engineered wood. Solid wood consists of hardwood and softwood. Engineered wood consists of timber like plywood and particleboard.

Cheapest timber UK: Solid Wood 

This is regarded as the best wood to use for furniture. It’s elegant and the best quality wood for any furniture project. Solid wood is the direct product from the tree.

  • Hardwoods

This is a type of solid wood that is extracted from deciduous trees. These are trees that lose their leaves. Deciduous trees take years to mature and are considered to be some of the best quality trees. Hardwood is the preferred wood for many projects, especially when creating furniture. Types of hardwood include teak, mahogany, walnut, oakmaple, and beech.

  • Softwoods

Softwood is extracted from conifer trees (cone-bearing seed plants). These trees mature for about 30 years which is a shorter time than that of hardwood trees. Softwoods are more readily available and are the cheapest woods for furniture due to their short maturing time. Although it is in the name, softwood isn’t actually soft. It gets its name from the fact the density of the wood is lighter than hardwood. Types of softwoods include pinefir, and cedar.

Cheapest Timber UK: Engineered Woods

Engineered Woods are those that are compiled of different types of timber. These types of woods are made from all parts of the trees and not just the main parts like softwoods and hardwoods. These can be used for furniture and other projects, but they are likely to be a lower quality than solid wood counterparts. 

  • Plywood 

This is a type of engineered wood that is made of 3 to 5 layers of thin lumber. They are then attached together using an adhesive. This can reduce the amount of wood you use but is not always the best to use for building wooden furniture.

  • Particleboard

Particleboard is a wood made up of wood chips. Timber is placed into a wood chipper and broken down into small tree fibres. These are then glued together with adhesive. Particleboard, the same as plywood, is not the best option for wooden furniture. It can, however, be used for other wooden projects like lining the interior of cupboards, for work surfaces and is often used in flat pack furniture.

What kind of wood is the cheapest timber in the UK?

From the example’s above, engineered wood is considered to be the cheapest. It is, however, not the best type of wood for building timber furniture. Between hardwood and softwood, softwood is the cheaper option, with pine timber being the best for furniture. This is because it is readily available and is one of the higher quality softwoods. People choose pine as it’s a wood that easily blends in with others allowing it to seamlessly fit with existing wood pieces within your home. 

What is the most expensive timber? 

The type of wood to avoid when searching for cost effective materials is any kind of hardwood. This is going to be more expensive due to the time the wood takes to mature. It isn’t as readily available as softwood is either.

If you’re still wanting to use hardwood within your project, there are slightly more affordable options available, such as; Beech, Tulipwood, Grandis and Sapele.

How do I know if the cheapest timber in the UK is good for the environment? 

When looking for good quality timber, you should keep an eye out for the FSC logo. Here at Timber 2 U Direct, all our timber comes from FSC forests. This means not only are our products high quality, but we also only source our timber from forests that meet the highest environmental and social standards. You can be confident that buying timber from us will not harm the world’s forests. We also have an environmental strategy that we stick to with every purchase we make. This ensures we are measuring and reducing our carbon footprint. We are utilising materials and reducing waste from the moment the timber journey starts in the forests, to you purchasing it for your projects.

Ready to start your project?

Now you know what the cheapest timber in the UK is, did you know you can get it from us here at Timber 2 U Direct? We are the online trading arm of Brooks Bros LTD. We offer FSC certified timber at affordable prices, with an option to order made to measure. Your order will even be directly shipped and delivered to you, so you don’t have to worry about coming to collect it! Why not take a look at our wide range of softwoods and hardwoods so you can start your project sooner rather than later. If you require any further information on choosing the correct wood for your project, or if you need more information about our FSC timber, get in touch with our friendly team today or call us on 0115 993 1111.