Can American Hardwoods Be Used Outdoors?
Wood News|July - August 2020
It’s a common question in markets where American hardwoods are less known and it is especially relevant where indoor-outdoor living is so important, such as in India.
Roderick Wiles

However, before answering, I always ask my own series of questions first, as ‘outdoors’ can be interpreted in many different ways. One side of a front door is outdoors and the same is true for window frames, while soffits are also outdoors.

But in all these cases, there is likely to be some cover from full exposure to sun and rain and also no ground contact. In these cases, the species of wood used is far less important than the design.

Minimising direct exposure to the elements, reducing water and ground contact and allowing for expansion and contraction must all be considered. It is all too easy to rule out using a particular species of wood in a particular application, when actually the design itself might be the issue.

Furthermore, weather-proofing treatments can also be applied, which will enhance the timber’s durability. American white oak, for example, is often used to make windows and doors, with some manufacturers in Europe using it throughout their entire product range.

Indian examples

There is at least one example in India of a manufacturer doing the same thing. Based in Gurugram, Artius Interior Products has been making wooden window and door systems since 2011 for villas and bungalows all over the country, offering glued-laminated American white oak frames as part of their product range.

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