Innovation is a near-constant in the materials industry, with novel products popping up on a regular basis. That said, the typical direction of said innovation is toward a more technologically-heavy built world, with highly processed assemblies eclipsing the more traditional methods of building. For that reason, it’s always a bit exciting when we find out about a product that simply reimagines the organic materials we know and love, such as with the modified-wood products from Lunawood.
Though Lunawood only recently came onto our radar, they’ve been producing their building materials lineup for a bit over 20 years. The business was founded on the unique idea to treat raw lumber with intense heat and steam in order to change the functional properties of the wood itself. At their factory in Finland, they take Scandinavian Spruce and Pine, mill the trees to dimensional lumber, put them through a steaming and heating process at up to 212°C, and finally plane the treated wood down to final usable dimensions. Thanks to this unique process, the Thermowood products take on a very unique set of characteristics, giving it a measurable leg up over traditional lumber.
One of the key benefits to the Thermowood modification is the dimensional stability it gains, meaning the lumber will not change shape after its final milling, despite changes in weather and age. This is a great asset for outdoors usage, where warping and cracking can turn a beautiful project into something quite shabby in only a few harsh seasons. This also ties in to the material’s moisture resistance, as it is less prone to rot and rapid aging due to very wet climates. This should be welcomed news to anyone building up here in the Pacific Northwest, as we’re no strangers to wetter climes.
Aesthetically, Thermowood is essentially the same as the raw versions of its base materials, though the aging process gives the treated wood a more silvery hue. Since this can be planned for, it should make for a nice aging profile as a building sees the years tick by.
One of the nicest details of Lunawood’s product lineup is the total lack of chemical additives, meaning the product you get is purely the wood as it was cut, just with enhanced properties. Unlike many other treated products, you can rest assured that your finished project will be safe for you, your family, and the environment.