29 Mar

How Is Timber Graded?

Any timber that is to be used in construction must be graded in terms of its strength and stiffness. Timber grading is a process through which timbers with similar structural properties are sorted into different groupings. Though there are, naturally, significant overlaps in properties in the groups, there are still noticeable and verified differences which can make some types more suitable for certain tasks than others.

Timber Merchants

Timber varieties

When timber is to be used within the construction industry, it must be suitable for the project’s end use. The two main types of timber that tend to be used in construction work are kiln dried timber and unseasoned timber, due to their respective qualities which lend themselves to construction work.

Some developers or project workers favour softwood timber, though, on account of its environmentally friendly aspects, such as its status as a renewable resource, its low carbon footprint due to its ease of production and its major potential for re-use or recycling at the end of its life.

Timber grading process

The timber grading procedure can be carried out in a variety of ways, including:

  • Visual stress grading
  • Machine stress grading
  • Machine proof grading

Machine grading

The process, when machine graded, is a lengthy one, with the timber needing to meet various requirements and pass various tests. When it has passed the tests, the timber is then given a grade stamp which identifies the following facts about the timber:

  • Grade
  • Producer
  • Identification number
  • Condition

Visual grading

This same stamp will be used when visual grading takes place, with each piece of timber needing a stamp to be marked onto the timber to notify anyone coming into contact with it or planning to use it such as a user or inspector to assess its quality.

Here at Hitchcock & King, we have been the proud providers of first class timber and building materials for customers throughout London for over 40 years. Offering high quality products at competitive prices, we have a reputation for excellence, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require any of the products we offer for your next construction project. Our friendly team of experts will be more than happy to help with any enquiries you may have, and will help get your project off the ground in no time at all and at a great price.