Kiln-dried lumber and fire-treated wood are two different processes used to reduce moisture content in wood, but they serve distinct purposes and involve different methods, as described below.
Process: Kiln-drying involves placing the wood in a large oven or kiln where temperature, humidity, and air circulation are controlled.
Purpose: The primary goal is to reduce the moisture content of the wood to a level suitable for various applications, typically around 6-8%. This helps prevent the warping, twisting, and cracking of the wood.
Benefits: Kiln-dried lumber is known for its stability, reduced risk of fungal growth, and improved strength. It is commonly used in construction, furniture making, and woodworking.
Process: Heat treatment involves subjecting the wood to high temperatures without oxygen (essentially baking the wood). This process is also known as “thermally modified wood.”
Purpose: The main purpose of heat treatment is not primarily to reduce moisture content but to alter the wood’s physical and chemical properties. It makes the wood more resistant to decay, insects, and fungal attacks.
Benefits: Heat-treated lumber, or fire-treated wood is often used for outdoor applications where resistance to decay and insects is essential. It may have a darker color due to the chemical changes that occur during the process. However, it may not necessarily have the low moisture content of kiln-dried lumber.
Kiln-dried and heat-treated lumber is sold with a grade stamp that details where it was made, how it was dried and treated, and how it complies with heat treatment codes.
In summary, while kiln-dried and heat-treated lumber involves processes to enhance wood quality, the primary focus differs. Kiln-dried lumber aims at moisture reduction for stability, while heat-treated lumber is treated to resist decay and insects. The choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the intended use.
About Curtis Lumber & Plywood
Curtis Lumber & Plywood, founded in 1957, is an independently owned and operated wholesale lumber dealer exclusively serving premier lumber retailers throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States.
Based in Northern Virginia, we specialize in fire-retardant and preservative-treated lumber and plywood for indoor and outdoor applications. If you are a lumber retailer with questions about plywood or treated wood products or need to order by the trailer load, unit, or piece, contact Curtis Lumber & Plywood at 703-552-5778.