Hardwood vs Softwood – Sapele or Accoya Doors and Windows

Hardwood vs Softwood – Sapele or Accoya Doors and Windows

At Rural Timber, we combine traditional craftmanship with modern technology to create timber doors, window frames, conservatories and other items that are designed to last. Oak has traditionally been a popular choice for bespoke doors and windows as it is a strong, durable and beautiful hardwood. Whilst we commonly use sustainably sourced Oak, we have also seen an increased demand in other renewable, sustained hardwoods and softwoods, which have their own benefits.

Hardwood or softwood?

Generally speaking, timber can be separated into two categories, hardwood and softwood. However, these terms are misleading as some hardwoods are soft and some softwoods are hard. The difference between these two types of wood is their cellular structure:

  • Hardwoods contain 4 different types of cell – this gives them a high level of strength and durability, as well as very aesthetically pleasing grains.
  • Softwoods contain 2 types of cell – this means that they are much easier to work with and have better thermal retention properties.

Sapele doors and windows

Sapele is a hardwood and is one of Europe’s most desired woods for handcrafted window frames and doors. Sustainably sourced, it also has a number of benefits of other popular, but less sustainable hardwoods. For example, it is harder than Red Oak and more durable than Mahogany. Reddish brown in appearance, Sapele is well suited to a transparent coating, making the most of its natural grains.

Sapele timber lacks permeability, so there is no requirement for preservation treatment. This makes it an ideal wood for use in crafting doors or window frames as it is a highly durable and low maintenance wood.

Accoya doors and windows

Accoya is a sustainably grown softwood that has been modified at the molecular level in process called acetylation. This process is completely non-toxic, and it prevents wood from bonding with water, helping to increase its durability and stability in different weather conditions – products made from Accoya are unlikely to distort as a result of hot or cold weather conditions. In addition to having a working life span of 60 years or more, Accoya has fantastic insulating properties, making it an extremely well-suited timber for bespoke wooden windows and doors.

If you are looking for environmentally friendly, sustainable and unique timber doors or windows for your property, Sapele or Accoya are both great choices. At Rural Timber, all wood is carefully sourced and selected, and treated with water-based paints and stains to prevent warping, so you can rest assured that our products are non-toxic and recyclable.

If you are unsure whether hardwood or softwood timber is the best solution for your property, simply call us on 01905 841199 to discuss the project you have in mind.