18 Feb

What’s the difference between timber and lumber?

Timber and lumber are often grouped together with one another and this, for the most part, is not wrong; the two are fairly synonymous of one another. There is, however, a difference between timber and lumber which separate these two terms.

Wood is the product yielded once a tree has been felled, but it is then turned into what can be referred to as either timber or lumber, depending on a few factors. In general, timber and lumber can both be used to refer to the wood at any stage following its tree’s felling.

This could include:

  • the felled tree itself
  • the processed wood product which will be used in construction
  • wood pulp that for use in paper production

Here, we explain the differences between the two terms and how to distinguish which is which:


In the UK and Australia, this term is used not only for the felled tree, but also for sawn wood products or boards that will be used for construction purposes.


The product of timber cut into boards tends to be referred to as ‘lumber’ in the United States and Canada. If, however, the boards and sawn wood products are of five inches diameter or greater, they can be referred to as ‘timbers’.

This shows that the use of one term over the other is dictated, predominantly, by geographical factors and terms, with different areas of the world referring to this product differently.


Here at Hitchcock & King, we are proud to provide a number of high quality building materials and timber products to customers throughout Fulham, London and the nearby areas. We have built our business on the principles of stock availability, quality products at competitive prices, fast delivery and great customer service; four factors which set us apart from our competitors.

To find out more about any of the products we offer, or for any other enquiry, get in touch with our friendly team today and we’ll be happy to help, no matter the type or scale of your project.