SpaceCraft | Working with timber


Working with Timber

by Ellen Wundersitz, March 2019

We love working with timber.

In fact, you may have noticed that we very frequently feature either solid timber or timber veneer in the spaces we design because timber adds warmth, texture and a natural earthiness that is difficult to replicate in man made materials.

However there are some situations where timber will not be suitable if you want to achieve uniformity of colour, a fault free material or a material which is unaffected by climate.

If any of the above is applicable, then timber is not for you!

Timber is still thought of as the most natural and prestigious material for furniture and joinery construction. There is no man-made process that can duplicate the natural variations in colour and texture, that makes timber stand apart.

So if you are keen to incorporate timber in your space, you will want to bear in mind that:

  • Timber products can vary immensely in colour and do not conform to a colour chart.
  • Timber can have tones of black, red, brown, grey, white, blue or green within the one length of timber.
  • Timber is not fault free. It can have burls, gum vein, knot holes and the grain can vary considerably.
  • Timber is susceptible to climate. It expands in moist situations and contracts in dry conditions. Consequently, timber can be subject to warping and bowing, so flexibility with respect to additional tolerances and allowances needs to be taken into account.

Timber veneer is a thin slice of wood, made by rotary cutting or slicing of the log. Veneers are generally 0.4mm to 1mm slices that are laid up onto a substrate, typically on MDF or particle board. The laying of veneer onto substrate means you can achieve greater stability, whilst still achieving a similar look to solid timbers. However, timber veneers will still exhibit characteristics as per timber with natural variations in colour and grain.

So how does this play out in construction of joinery?

When framework is used for doors and drawer fronts this allows for natural movement within the fronts, hence reducing the risk of bowing and warping. To see more images of framed timber kitchen doors, check out Gail &Rob’s kitchen, click here.

However, if you are after a modern, clean and streamlined timber door/drawer front, then you will likely not want frame style doors.

In the event that your preference is for timber drawer fronts and doors with no framework, we always recommend use of support brackets to the back of doors, because the potential for bowing and warping is far greater. Check out Sharon & Paul’s kitchen to see more images of frameless timber doors by clicking here.

However, you still need to be aware that being a natural product, we cannot foresee how the timber will perform, so even with the inclusion of support brackets, there is still a chance that the timber will move. So we encourage you to consider this carefully and if you are unsure, call us for a chat and we can explain further or better yet, we can show you some examples of the kitchens we have produced that feature timber or timber veneer.

Are you interested in accessing our renovation planning resources?