The Battle of Timber vs Lumber : Which is Better?

    difference between timber and lumber

    In general, both timber and lumber are the terms used to refer to wood. While lumber has been processed or cut into specific dimensions to make beams, planks, boards or other similar items intended to be used for construction and other wood applications, timber is felled but not processed yet. The major difference between lumber and timber (timber vs lumber) is geographical, i.e. the different terms are used in different locations. We’ll learn more differences between timber and lumber in this article.

    White Knight Consulting Ltd. is a UK based manufacturer, wholesaler & exporter of wood and timber that supplies wood to its customers in many countries around the world. As a wood consulting firm, we also provide consulting services in selecting the right wood for a project and importing it to whatever location in the world.

    What is Timber?


    Timber is a term that is simply used to refer to felled trees, i.e. the trees that have been cut down but not yet processed. It is a term most commonly used in the United Kingdom and some other commonwealth nations, including New Zealand and Australia.

    Timber is also sometimes, in some locations, used to refer to wood that is still a part of the tree, i.e. has not yet been cut down and processed. For example, you may often hear woodworkers using the term “timber” to refer to trees or forests.

    According to English language dictionaries, the word timber is defined as “wood prepared for use in building and carpentry.” This is the most common meaning of timber as we see it today. All types of processed and sawn wood, such as planks, beams, boards, battens, decking, and scantlings can be generally called timber.

    Timber is also used to refer to freshly sawn wood, which may need to be treated with chemicals, heating, etc. to increase its durability and resistance.

    What is Lumber?


    Lumber is a term most commonly used to refer to wood that has been sawn, i.e. felled, processed and cut into specific dimensions, and is ready to use. The term is used for a number of products, including decking, cladding, timber boards, construction timber, and furniture timber.

    The term lumber is used in almost all parts of the world, except for the UK, Australia and some other countries that still use the word “timber” to refer to processed wood.

    According to some directories, the word lumber means “timber sawn into rough planks or otherwise partly prepared.” In other words, it is a type of sawn timber that is yet unfinished or not yet fully prepared for use.

    Lumber is also sometimes used to refer to furniture or other household items that haven’t been used for some time or are lying useless in a store.

    Lumber, same as timber, can be broadly divided into two types: softwood lumber and hardwood lumber. Softwood lumber comes from conifer or evergreen trees such as pine, fir, redwood, cedar, and spruce. Hardwood lumber is produced from deciduous trees, i.e. trees that lose their leaves around the year. Examples include oak, ash, mahogany, maple, and walnut.

    Timber Vs Lumber : How is one Different from Another?

    The terms lumber and timber are very often used interchangeably, most commonly to refer to processed or sawn wood that is prepared to use in construction and other wood projects.

    Timber and lumber may not, however, always refer to the same thing. There are a number of small but important differences between timber and lumber, such as:


    Lumber is often referred to as wood that has been sawn and processed into planks and other dimensional products.

    Timber, on the other hand, is defined as a standing wood or log that has not been processed yet. Some sources also define timber as unfelled trees or raw wood that are ready to turn into lumber or planks.


    Timber is most usually in the form of tree logs or wood that has its bark intact. Or a piece of bark-covered wood. The texture of the wood may not be clearly visible in timber.

    Lumber is a piece of wood that is barkless, dried and processed and is ready to use in a project. Wood texture is clearly visible in lumber. Lumber looks aesthetically appealing.


    The word timber is said to have first originated in the seventh century.

    Lumber has been in use since the 16th century and is believed to have originated in Italy.


    Timber is not ready to use in its current condition and must be debarked, sawn and processed before it is commercially sold and/or used.

    Lumber is already cut into specific sizes and dimensions as required for particular projects and is usually ready for use at the time when it is sold.


    Timber or logs are used for firewood and to make paper pulp, and charcoal, among other things.

    Lumber is a commercially-ready wood that is used for all kinds of purposes and wood projects, ranging from construction and building structures to furniture making, cabinets, flooring, decking, musical instruments, plywood, veneer, boatbuilding and much more.

    Timber vs Lumber : Which is the Better Choice?

    Timber is a term that can be used to refer to wood that is cut from its root but not yet processed into lumber or wood that is still rooted and not yet cut. Forests and wood plantations, in general, can be called timber. Lumber is felled wood that has been processed and is ready for sale or use.

    Timber still has its bark attached to it, which is why it is also commonly known as a log. Lumber is a wood that has already lost its bark or has been sawn and processed.

    However, timber and lumber may often be used interchangeably. This is because people in the United Kingdom and Australia use the word timber to describe wooden boards and planks, while people in the United States and other parts of the world use the word lumber to describe sawn wooden planks, boards, etc. The distinction between timber and lumber can lead to confusion but is worth understanding in the context of wood and its various uses.

    Lumber is processed wood that is commonly used in construction. It can be rough or smooth finished. All commercial wood items such as plywood, veneer and boards are made from lumber.

    Timber is raw wood that retains its bark. It comes in various sizes depending on the tree from which it is taken. Timber is used for firewood, pulpwood, boat making and many other industries.

    If you are looking to buy high-quality lumber boards or timber in the UK, contact White Knight Consulting Ltd the best wood supplier which sells genuine wood products at wholesale prices.

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