The word timber is often used interchangeably with the words wood or lumber. Timber is any wood prepared for use in building or carpentry. Traditionally wood products have always been used and it continues to be a huge industry. Once cut, timber is graded according to any imperfections (such as small knots) and its grading decides its use. It may be treated with chemicals to prevent decay or insect infestation. There is a wide variety of timber. It is often categorised as to whether it comes from hardwood trees (such as maple or oak) or from softwoods (such as pine or ash). As a general guideline, hardwoods tend to be used for walls, ceilings and floors while softwoods are more suitable for doors, furniture and window frames. In recent years, engineered wood like plywood, when various wood strands or fibres are glued together to form a composite, has become increasingly popular in construction. Timber continues to appeal as a construction material, whatever the size of the project, because of its versatility in building and home decor. It is found in all residential, commercial and industrial projects. It also offers benefits such as low heat conductivity, tensile strength and acoustic properties.

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