Timber prices: a breakdown of timber cost factors


Whether it’s for flooring or structural applications, choosing the right timber is an important part of any job. Timber prices are affected by a number of cost factors. These will mainly depend on whether you want a hard wood or soft wood, its grade, whether it’s engineered or solid, as well as whether it’s sawn, treated or untreated. The most expensive choice may be the most resilient, but might not offer the aesthetics you’re after.

It’s worth considering exactly what type of timber suits your project and where it will be used before you buy. That way you can be sure you’re getting good value for the supplies you need.

What are you building?

Timber prices largely vary depending on the type and size that you need for the job. So what are you building? Large, structural projects such as wall framing and floor joists require sturdier, sawn timber. They don’t necessarily need to be treated if they won’t be outside, but you should pay attention to the structural grading of the timber. This will have an effect on the price, but it’s important to get the right grade for the work.

Similarly, if you’re debating between softwood and hardwood, consider the project in hand. Hardwood might be more expensive, but for some projects softwood just won’t cut it. Furniture is a great example of this, as it needs to be hard wearing and long lasting, so hardwood is ultimately a better choice.

Where is it going?

Another big cost factor of timber prices concerns the placement of your project. If you’re building a fence, shed or decking in your garden you will need to use treated timber. With outdoor projects, you’ll need to protect timber against moisture, rot and insect damage. Treated timber tends to be more expensive than untreated timber, but if you want your project to last it’s the smart choice.

For indoor projects, timber prices will depend mainly on what room you’re building in and the amount of timber you’ll need. Real wood flooring, for example, looks great in any home, but it’s more expensive than other flooring options. There can also be a big difference in price between solid wood and engineered wood options. Before you choose make sure the material is suitable, as solid wood flooring shouldn’t be laid in kitchens or bathrooms because of the high moisture content in these rooms.

timber prices

Do you have design preferences?  

Lastly, think about your personal tastes and design preferences when choosing timber. Timber prices vary heavily from one type of wood to another. If you have a type in mind, you need to think about how suitable it is for your needs.

Oak or Mahogany furniture might seem more appealing, but they can be very expensive. This might be fine for smaller projects or bigger budgets, but if you need to make your money go further, consider other types of wood. You can still get great results from less expensive hardwoods like Poplar or Maple.

Take a look at our full range of timber to find the right material for you. For more information on the different types of timber for every project, check out our Buyer’s Guide for timber.