“Engineered timber, is that like mechanically recovered meat?” This is a question I was recently asked when extolling the enormous virtues of engineered timber. It actually stopped me in my tracks for a moment and started me thinking about how we refer to modern materials and how marketers have undermined people’s confidence in some modern materials.

Engineered Timber

In the good old days there was wood, then ply wood and chipboard. They were all easy to identify and they did pretty much what they claimed to do on the tin, but as materials and technologies evolved the advent of wood veneers and, more recently, plastic veneers that really do look like wood right down to the textured finish of the grain, have entered the market. This coupled with opaque reference to ‘wood- like’ materials and the combining of natural wood, and wood imitation materials, has made it much more difficult for the uninitiated and misinformed consumer to be sure that what they are getting is exactly what they think they are getting.

I’ll admit that there have been some occasions where I have found it difficult to tell; only clues like the weight of the material would help me to discover the true nature of what I was looking at. So, my friend was not too far off in being suspicious of the terminology. It does however pose the problem of ‘how do you know when it is marketing-speak or a truly technical development, with real end user benefits, and not just a way for a business to make more profit on a poor quality product?

My advice is to always listen carefully to what is being said. If there is a lot of scientific terminology you’ve never heard of, beware and go forward with caution! Likewise, if the claims sound too good to be true they might well be and, finally, be aware of where the information is coming from. Is it just the manufacturer talking or is there independent supporting evidence available? When in doubt Google it and see what’s out there.

If my friend had whipped out his phone and searched ‘engineered timber’ he would have found that it is not the ‘turkey twizzlers’ of the timber industry but a true technological advance. I did point out, without getting too high on my horse, that Mumford & Wood has been producing the industry’s recognized benchmark in quality timber windows and doors for over 60 years, and if we were using a timber that did not support this we could never have achieved this standard and for so long.

If you want to find out more about engineered timber click the link


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