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What Is The Difference Between Timber and Lumber

What Is The Difference Between Timber and Lumber

We're a third-generation importer and supplier of timber and lumber products. It was founded in 1957. People frequently inquire about the distinctions between timber, lumber, and wood, and we often see and hear them. There are geographical differences in how the terms are used, which can be a source of disagreement. The difference between lumber and timber varies greatly depending on where you live. Timber relates to sawn wood and also processed wood products. We use it for home construction, cladding, decking, and furniture production in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. The term "lumber" refers to trees that have been felled.

What is Timber?

Timber, in one sense, refers to wood that has not been harvested; that is, wood that is still in the condition of an undisturbed upright tree with roots firmly planted in the ground. The transformation into different processed forms of wood products begins once the tree has been chopped down and removed from its root structure.

A second meaning of the word "timber" is a wood that still has its original bark. It is sometimes desirable to keep the wood in its original state and aspect for design aesthetics. As a result, instead of being sawn to precise measurements, timbers may maintain more of the size fluctuations that represent their growth patterns. Many people have a misconception that timers and lumber are the same. However, there is a difference between timber and lumber.

Another meaning of the word "wood" that brings it closer to lumber is identifying timber by its dimensional features. In contrast to smaller sizes of sawn wood, one definition deems timbers to be no less than 5 inches in diameter. Additional treatments, such as creosoting or chemical treatment, may be applied to timber. We do it to preserve their ability to withstand environmental exposure and avoid rot. 

What is Lumber?

Lumber is a phrase that refers to varying lengths of wood that are used as building materials. The pieces of timber are cut longitudinally from the trunks of trees. They are recognized by having square or rectangular cross-sections, in contrast to poles or pilings, which have round cross-sections. Wood or fuel from growing trees is known as "lumber."

Lumber is divided into two types: softwood and hardwood. Fir, pine, spruce, redwood, and cedar are examples of evergreen or coniferous trees that produce softwood lumber. These woods are classified as such because they can be easily damaged with your fingertips. Because it retains and loses moisture more easily than hardwoods, you must take care of it to preserve the wood's reliability. This wood is light, soft, and easy to work with.

Hardwood lumber is made from deciduous trees such as ash, maple, oak, hickory, teak, birch, walnut, and mahogany. Except for balsa wood, many hardwoods are tougher and less easily dented than softwoods. Balsa wood is the lightest and softest form of hardwood, and it requires a warm climate with adequate drainage and plenty of rain. One of the benefits of balsa wood is that it provides effective sound and heat insulation.

Where do timber and lumber come from?

It's only a coincidence that both wood and lumber end in ‘-mber’ etymologically. Timber is derived from an Old English word that meant "home, building material, wood, trees" at one time. The term lumber is derived from the verb lumber, which means to move clumsily or awkwardly, like carrying a heavy object (like planks of wood).

The Difference Between Timber and Lumber

These two names are used interchangeably in many areas around the world. There are, however, some areas that establish the difference between timber and lumber.



Timber is defined as a tree or erect wood that has not been processed into lumber.

On the other hand,  lumber is a piece of wood that has been laid down or processed.

Several people refer to timber as a piece of bark-covered wood.

A barkless piece of dry processed wood is referred to as lumber.

The term lumber was first used in the 16th century and is thought to have originated in Italy.

Timber has its roots that date back to the seventh century.

Before wood can be sold commercially, it must generally be finished.

Lumber is frequently supplied with precise measurements and is almost usually ready for use in construction and furniture construction. 

Timber is used to make pulpwood, charcoal, and is burned for take-up and furling, among other things.

Lumber is used for a variety of purposes, the most common of which is construction.


Timber refers to wood that is still rooted in the earth, whereas lumber refers to wood that is no longer attached to the ground. The term "timber" refers to wood that has retained its bark, whereas "lumber" refers to wood that has lost its peel. Timber is the term used in the United Kingdom and Australia to describe wooden boards, whereas lumber is used in the United States and Canada to describe wooden boards.

Visit Florida Lumber to find a plethora of choices of Lumber, Plywood, building materials, and much more.

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