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Hardwood Conservatory Key Facts

There are many options when considering building a hardwood conservatory. The types of hardwood used can significantly affect not only the aesthetics but also the longer-term durability. A cheap hardwood conservatory could last for less than ten years, whereas one built form a quality timber could last a lifetime.

Timber is naturally sensitive to the environment that it is in. A conservatory is unique in that it may have to meet contrasting climates. On one side the comfort of central heating and one the other the harsh and temperamental climate.

When you consider a hardwood conservatory there are a number of fact to reflect on ranging from the type and quality of the wood through to the preparation, type of joints and finish. These factors have a significant impact on the quality.

A good start point is to look at the tried, tested, and commonly used woods in British and American conservatories. It is estimated that excess of 90% of all timber conservatories are built from the following nine woods:


Brazilian Mahogany is exotic with reddish hues. It has graced many a stately home. Craftsmen like working with mahogany as it cuts nearly perfectly and it is a very durable woods. However the stripping of the Amazon rain forests has led to an estimated reduction of 70% of the worlds supply. Importation of Brazilian mahogany is highly regulated and the progressive influence of the green lobby may see a decline in the use of this wood in the future. Friends of the Earth are greatly concerned about the use of this hardwood.


Oak sits at the top of the pile in terms of the connoisseur of wood. Many countries built their seafaring reputations on the might of oak-built ships and many medieval oak-framed constructions still stand proud today Oak is expensive to work with given its hardness and strength and cost of raw materials. However, the attraction of an oak conservatory is unquestionable. A combination of the pronounced grain, silver rays and toughness give it unrivalled appeal. Most oak comes from Europe or America. European oak, which is slower growing and has a tighter grain, is the best.


Idigbo is an oak substitute. When stained, to the non-expert it looks similar to oak, but that is where the similarity ends. It is farmed in Ghana and the Ivory Coast and is a reasonable material for conservatories, It is used being extensively by reputable manufacturers as it is a cheap option and easy to work.

Iroco (Teak)

Iroco is a good choice of hardwood, but is relatively expensive. It comes from Burma and has a reddish brown colour. It is extremely hard. Like oak, it will last for decades if not centuries. Iroko is full of natural resin so special care has to be taken in choosing stains.

Sapele and Meranti

These are the most basic hardwoods used in conservatory production. Meranti is farmed in areas like Indonesia. Sapele is found in areas of Africa. Some supplier’s claim these are ‘mahogany’. Whereas they come from the mahogany family the difference between Brazilian mahogany and these substitutes is like comparing oak with pine. However, if theses timbers are properly treated they will last better than softwoods. Conservatories found in the large stores are normally manufactured from this wood.


With the restrictions with Brazilian mahogany, some manufacturers have switched to Utile. It is a good hardwood with a medium to dark red. It is more expensive that Meranti and Sapele, but also comes from Africa.

If you are looking for a hardwood conservatory, bear these facts in mind.

About the Author: By visiting the author's website at you will find useful information for about oak hardwood conservatories.

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