Solid wood or solid timber? Here's everything you need to know about woods and the differences between them  

Living & building with the most sustainable raw material in the world. Wood appeals to us aesthetically and also provides a pleasant indoor climate, solid wood, solid timber or real wood- we explain the differences 

Wood species
Author: Viola Haderlein

Solid wood, solid wood, real wood, what are the differences? With around 500 Types of woodYou can often see the differences around the world, or rather the differences ForestNot anymore for the trees. Therefore we bring light into the wood jungle: Why wood with positive LCAare the best choice and what names and processing types there are, here is an overview:

Solid wood, solid timber, real wood - These are the differences

  1. Solid wood
  2. Solid wood
  3. Real wood
  4. Waste wood
  5. Recycled wood

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In Europe alone, we count 20-30 types of wood, including hardwoods such as oak, beech, birch, as well as fruitwood and softwoods such as pine, spruce and Douglas fir. The complete recovery and processing of the entire wood material of a tree differentiates between solid wood, solid wood, real wood and wood materials.

1. Solid wood

The most natural form of appearance is solid wood, which is sawn from a continuous piece of tree trunk. This keeps the naturally grown grain. Wooden boards and furniture made of solid wood have no knotholes or cracks. Because solid wood “works” due to temperature and moisture influences, it also requires complex processing, which is often reflected in the price.

2. Solid timber

Solid wood consists of wooden parts of the same size, assembled and glued. This type of processing also removes damaged areas. Solid woods are therefore suitable for kitchen worktops and interior fittings, as they react less to fluctuations in moisture and temperature and are also cheaper than solid wood.

3. Real wood

At first glance, real wood hardly differs from solid and solid wood. However, it only appears to be made of wood: the optically visible surface turns out to be a thin layer of veneer that is glued to a plywood panel. Real wood is therefore cheap, significantly less durable and hardly resilient.

4. Wood waste

A felled tree is processed 100%. When solid and solid wood is extracted, there is enough residual material from branches or smaller logs to preserve wood-based materials and process them into plywood or MDF boards. Even the smallest residues such as wood shavings are fed as pellets for energy production or paper production.

5. Recycled wood

An important aspect of the circular economy is the recycling of used materials and products. In order to save resources, waste wood is transformed into paper or small furniture as far as possible.

Criteria for sustainable wood

  • Certified woods FSC & Co.
  • Wood from Europe
  • Protection of the rainforest
  • Natural chain of materials

Around 3 billion cubic meters of wood are degraded in Germany every year. For the protection of the filigree forest ecosystem and the limited extent to which wood resources are available, there are strict guidelines for forestry. European forests have traditionally been managed sustainably: This means that at least one new tree is reforested for each one that is felled. That is why you usually choose wood products from sustainable cultivation.

No other material is so environmentally friendly. Wood is therefore a guarantee for a resource-efficient circular economy with short transport routes, responsible processing and low-pollution disposal. But not every wood is ecologically justifiable. The following criteria help you choose sustainable wood.

Certified woods

The FSC, PEFC and Naturland seals of quality are a sure sign of organic wood from responsible forestry. Participating wood manufacturers must adhere to strict requirements for nature and animal protection as well as social justice. Certified woods with these seals are harmless.

Depending on the type of FSC label, it can be seen whether the product comes from FSC-certified forestry ("FSC 100%"), only recycling material ("FSC Recycled") or a mixture that also uses wood from other controlled sources was used ("FSC Mix"). In the latter case, only companies whose processed amount of wood consists of at least 70% FSC-certified or approved recycling material may label their entire production with FSC Mix. The remaining 30% must meet the requirements of "Controlled Wood".


Wood from Europe

Local types of wood such as oak, beech and stone pine guarantee compliance with strict environmental standards and short transport routes. This reduces CO2 production.

Protection of the rainforest

Tropical wood is attractive and robust. Woods such as teak, mahogany or acacia are often plantation wood from so-called overexploitation. They are mainly used for outdoor furniture or boat building. But the deforestation of these tropical woods threatens the ecosystem of the rainforest, Deforestation of the tropical jungle therefore kills over 100 animal species every day. Even with the strict international requirements of the FSC, compliance with environmental standards can hardly be guaranteed here, which is why you should avoid tropical wood if possible.

Natural chain of materials

Pay attention to a surface treatment with natural oils, wood wax as well ecru, To protect health and the indoor climate, the upholstery fabrics for upholstered furniture should also be eco-certified.

Wood for future generations

Those who choose wood make a valuable contribution to climate protection. The renewable raw material is the only building material that binds the greenhouse gas CO2. Wood from sustainable forestry ensures the survival of our forest landscape and secures the livelihood of future generations. Because we need trees like the air we breathe.


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