What Timber?

Take a look through the different woods and see that European oak (quercus robur) is the superior hardwood for conservatory design.

What Timber

Cured Oak

(Quercus robur)

Cured oak is the term given to oak when it has been naturally dried in the open air over the four seasons. This naturally process provides superior quality hard wood which is then suitable for all climates. The oak tree is known for its strength and durability. There are many medieval building hewn from oak that stand strong and sturdy today whereas lesser woods would have rotted away in a few decades

Friends of the earth risk status: NONE

Red Meranti

Known as the poor mans mahogany, Meranti is a cheap wood imported from the coastal regions of Africa. It has become increasingly popular in the UK in the last decade for mass produced windows and doors.

Although classified as a hardwood, it is extremely soft and if knocked can be easily damaged.

Friends of the Earth risk status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

African Sapele

Another import from Africa but better quality than Meranti. This is the common wood used by many conservatory manufacturers and is moderately durable. It is not a naturally beautiful wood and requires a dark stain to hide the colour variance or painting. It is however a good wood if the budget does not allow cured oak, teak or a genuine mahogany.

Friend of the Earth risk status: VULNERABLE AT RISK OF EXTINCTION


Commonly marketed as an oak look-a-like this light wood originates from the ivory coast, It is used by reputable manufactures. Its lightness and softness makes it easy to use in manufacture and installation. However, most idigbo conservatories are painted due to the wood staining that can occur.

Friend of the Earth risk status: VULNERABLE AT RISK OF EXTINCTION

Cedar – Red Western

Cedar is a softwood and therefore not suitable for people looking for the long term durability of a hardwood conservatory. However, properly treated it is one of the better softwoods and many conservatories each year are manufactured from this wood. It is a very light and soft and therefore easy to build and install for DIY constructions.

Friend of the Earth risk status: NO RISK

Pine – Scottish

Pine is a commonly used material for conservatory production and is favoured by builders because the raw material is cheap, the wood is easy to work with and install. Pine is a softwood and is not as durable as hardwoods like oak which will last for centuries. To ensure a longer life for your pine conservatory it must be regularly painted every couple of years with micro-porous paint.

Friend of the Earth risk status: NO RISK

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