Two types of wood can be distinguished in interior and exterior design: European woods, also known as local woods, such as Douglas, oak or larch, and exotic woods such as itauba, ipe or teak.
In general, European woods have a lower outdoor durability than exotic woods and must be regularly maintained. They have the advantage of being a natural resource close to home and are part of an eco-responsible approach. They are less expensive and more available. This is not the case for exotic wood species, which are much more expensive and must be imported from other continents. Exotic woods are more durable outdoors, are known to be rot-proof, have very good mechanical properties and are naturally resistant to moisture, insects and fungi.
You may be wondering: which wood to choose for which use? Which type of wood to choose for my project? Indeed, it is often difficult to find your way among the different types of wood. In order to help you see things more clearly and choose the right type of wood for your project, we are going to show you the particularities of each type of wood as well as their recommended uses. You will also receive advice on how to maintain the wood species you choose.
Douglas fir is a very resistant wood. It has a low proportion of sapwood. Due to its high durability, douglas fir is generally an outdoor wood for douglas fir cladding. We also regularly find douglas terraces. Its colour is slightly pinkish when freshly laid, then tends towards a blond beige after a few weeks of outdoor exposure.
To prevent your exterior wood from turning grey, we advise you to protect your douglas fir with a saturator. For a terrace, we recommend the Terrace Wood Saturator ST600 and for a siding the Siding Saturator SB600. Please note that if your douglas fir is new, you cannot apply a protection product immediately. As the surface is usually too smooth and closed, the protective product may not penetrate and form a film on the surface. A waiting period of three weeks or brushing with hot water and black knowledge is recommended. We recommend Liquid Black Soap SN800 . Please note that some suppliers of douglas fir decking or douglas fir siding brush the wood before delivery, thus improving the wood's ability to be impregnated by a saturator.
Douglas can also be used indoors for interior design projects in claustra, furniture, railings... Its particular colour lends itself well to decoration.
This type of wood is grown in France and allows a sustainable management of our forests. The choice of wood for your project must also take into account the environmental impact. Wood species in France help to limit pollution.
Oak is a yellow-brown wood. It is mainly chosen for interior projects such as the laying of solid oak parquet or oak laminate flooring. Oak is a moisture-resistant wood, which is why it is also found in kitchens with oak worktops or in bathrooms with oak furniture. It is highly sought-after for its aesthetic appeal. It is a quality choice.
Oak is a wood that contains a lot of tannins (chemical substances that enable certain trees to protect themselves from aggression). When these substances rise to the surface of the wood, they cause yellowish or blackish stains. They can occur when water is spilt on the surface or when an oil or water-repellent protective or finishing product is applied. To avoid this problem, it is preferable to use a tannin-blocking product. We advise you to use Anti-Tanins Primer PAT400 before using your oak floor or worktop to block the tannins. Then, to protect a worktop, we recommend using Worktop Varnish VPT500.
To protect an oak floor, you can use Parquet Glazer VP500aussi appelé vernis pour parquet
Larch is a naturally light brown resinous wood with a fine grain and reddish-brown veining. This light-coloured wood species is often used for the construction of chalets as this wood grows in the mountains and mainly in the Alps for France. Most of the production comes from Siberia and Central Europe.
Larch is mostly chosen for outdoor use as well as for wood cladding, although in certain conditions it can also be laid on terraces. Indoors, this species is very popular for use as parquet flooring because it has a good resistance to punching. It is a very hard wood that can crack if the weather conditions are too dry. It is therefore not recommended for terrace projects in Mediterranean areas such as the south of France where summers are too hot and dry for this wood.
Exposed to the elements, larch is a wood that greys evenly. If you do not wish to let the Larch turn grey, we advise you to regularly apply a saturator. We advise you to choose the Siding Saturator SB600. n order to avoid mildew, which is often common on this type of wood, remember to apply a sanitizer before your saturator. We recommend Sanitizing Primer For Wood PA400 .
Indoors, a Larch parquet will be ideally protected by a parquet sealer such as the Parquet Glazer VP500 in matt and colourless version to preserve its natural wood appearance.
Teak wood is an exotic and highly sought-after species whose colour is close to brown. It is quite expensive to buy as it is relatively rare. It is therefore rarely used on terraces. Very resistant to rain, sun and insects, it is preferentially chosen for outdoor teak garden furniture or teak garden furniture. This dark wood species combines very well with metal to give a noble and trendy piece of furniture. Many garden furniture items are made of teak and metal.
We can also find it in interiors with teak furniture, tables or worktops as well as in teak bathrooms as this wood is resistant to water and humidity. Any interior design project using teak wood will guarantee aesthetic success. It is a top-of-the-range choice.
Outdoors, teak exposed to the sun turns grey over time. This effect is much appreciated by furniture owners. To maintain it, you need to clean your furniture once or twice a year with a cleaner. We recommend Wood Cleaner N100.
If you prefer the natural look and keep the original warm tones, you can apply a saturator. We advise you to choose the Garden Furniture Saturator SJ600.
Indoors, a teak table or piece of furniture must be protected from grease and kitchen stains so as not to spoil its aesthetic contribution to the room. We advise you to waterproof it with Furniture Varnish VM500 for example. In short, teak is the ideal type of wood for furniture.
Ipe wood is often reddish brown or yellowish brown in colour. It is very often chosen for ipe decking projects. It is the most durable and popular species today. Even though it is expensive, this red wood species is significantly cheaper than teak, which is why many more ipe decks are built with it than with teak. Ipé is a wood that greys evenly over time. It has a very good durability outdoors and it is not necessary to treat ipé if you like your ipé deck grey. Otherwise, to maintain its natural appearance, you can choose to protect it with a saturator that you will apply once or twice a year. We advise you to use Exotic Wood Saturator SBE600 or the Ipe Saturator SI600 to maintain the original reddish-brown colour.
It is more occasionally found in interiors with boat deck type bathroom flooring. A parquet protection that will suit it perfectly will be a parquet vitrification with Parquet Glazer VP500.
Itauba wood has a rather dull appearance with a brown colour. It has a rather greasy touch.
It is a still little known wood species. Itauba is a type of exotic wood mainly used for itauba terrace projects.
Like most exotic woods, it is not necessary to treat itauba unless you want to preserve its natural colour. In this case, we advise you to choose the Exotic Wood Saturator SBE600.
You may wish to have a summary of everything that has been said above. You may be wondering which type of wood to choose for exterior or interior use. For terrace laying, ipe, itauba or douglas fir is often used. Ipe is the ideal wood for decking because of its good value for money.
For exterior wood cladding, larch and Douglas fir are the most popular. For regions with a temperate climate, larch can be a good choice. How do I know which species to choose for wood siding? In regions that are too dry, Douglas fir is to be preferred. Teak is the preferred species for garden furniture because of its modern appearance and high resistance to external aggression. Oak is a species that is still widely used for interior fittings, even though it can be more difficult to protect oak than other woods such as larch for example.