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How to prevent wood from warping

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on


Wood is one of the most commonly used materials in both interior and exterior design. It’s strong and durable, it looks great and certainly adds value to a property. In fact, timber features are very much sought after nowadays. However, before going all-out on timber acquisition frenzy, you need to be aware of the problems that wood and wooden furniture can present and how you can avoid them.

Unfortunately, wood is prone to warping and splitting over time if it’s not treated properly. If you understand how to treat the wood though, you shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to prolonging its lifespan and getting the most for your money.

The way that you treat wood depends entirely on its use. Outdoor wood for example, should be treated completely differently to wood that’s situated indoors because warping is a much bigger issue for wood that’s regularly exposed to the elements.

Outdoor wood

Wooden windows

Warping is a huge problem for wood kept out in the open air and with the cost of many kinds of timber-based installation being pretty steep it’s in your best interest to protect your investment. When a wooden decking or window pane is first installed it will be sealed and treated against the elements. Although the wood will generally last for years with no further maintenance at all, eventually the elements will take over and the wood will warp and rot.

If however, you make a conscious effort to re-seal the wood each year after its initial installation it’ll continue to repel water and resist other inclement weather conditions and therefore last much longer. Be aware though that some woods – tropical woods in particular – shouldn’t ever need to be sealed as they experience a wide range of conditions in their natural habitat which makes treating unnecessary, so it’s a good idea to ask an expert before ploughing ahead.

Indoor wood

ESL desk

Indoors it’s much easier to care for wooden furniture, floors and other additions which means that they’re much more likely to last for generations. A real hardwood floor will add significant value to any home and as well as looking great it requires minimal maintenance if looked after properly. This is the same for real wood furniture, which, if looked after in the right way using the correct products, will last for years; just take a look at our aftercare page if you’re unsure.

Because indoor wood isn’t exposed to the same conditions as outdoor wood – i.e. rain and direct sunlight – it doesn’t necessarily require the same treatment. A lot of new wooden floors are already protected by an extremely strong layer of urethane, whereas older wooden floors are often covered with a strong wax layer. Although these protective layers will last years it’s essential to re-apply them every now and again.

Wood Stain

In order to be able to ensure that you protect your floor and furniture properly it’s imperative that you know exactly what product has been used to protect them previously. If you’re not sure then a professional should be able to tell you – it's paramount that you match this product when you come to cover it again.

By following these steps you should be able to enjoy your wooden decking, floors and furniture for years to come.

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