If asked what they consider to be the best timber for external windows and doors, the majority of British homeowners would possibly say oak. The much-loved native British tree is well-known for creating a hard, sturdy and long-lasting timber. And when freshly machined and coated, there is certainly no doubt that it is a really beautiful wood.
For centuries, oak has been used as a building material and there are countless old buildings across the UK where interior oak beams have survived hundreds of years. However, despite all of this, oak is not actually the best material to use for external windows and doors, or any other outside joinery.
Although oak has a very good rot resistance, it is notorious for movement and it can be very difficult to maintain that beautiful golden colour over time. Tannins within the timber cause discolouration, and movement within the wood means that it needs re-sealing and coating frequently.
So many homeowners ask if there a timber that looks as good as oak and doesn’t need as much maintenance when used for external windows and doors? Yes there is and it’s called Accoya.
Accoya is a modified wood product, which uses a non-toxic formula to create a product which rivals the performance of the best hardwoods, while being highly sustainable and ethically sourced at the same time.
One of many the advantages of Accoya is that it is much less prone to shrinking and swelling with changes in humidity than other types of wood, and therefore doesn’t suffer from the movement issues of oak.
And because it is a much more stable timber, it requires far less maintenance than other timbers and does not need to be re-coated as often.
Though Accoya is naturally a lighter colour than oak and has a different grain pattern it can be stained to match the colour of oak such that from any distance it is hard to tell the difference.
An additional benefit of Accoya is that it has significantly better insulation properties than oak, so using Accoya means much warmer rooms, with lower heating bills as well.
On top of all this, Accoya will actually last much longer than oak windows and doors. The results of standard long term tests on the rot resistance of different types of wood show that Accoya outlasts oak and other popular timbers for outdoor use as well.
So if you want long lasting high performance windows and doors windows that have the appearance of oak without its problems, then Accoya is undoubtedly the best solution for homeowners.
Inspired by design? Visit Accoya’s new blog to view a selection of project stories.