Beyond the Visual Impact: The Ancient Practice of Charring Wood Surfaces

wood surface
Charred wood surfaces are the new home trend currently taking home design market by storm. Utilising fire for construction might appear like an illogical move, but burnt timber cladding can enhance the outcome of a project aesthetically and structurally.

A Heated Process

The process of burning timber is rather elementary. They basically burn the boards on both sides until it reaches the preferred volume of char. The carbon exterior will then discharge the moisture found inside the timber as steam and gas. Once they have cooled the boards, they will wash and brush off the char to alter the look of the wood. Lastly, they will cover the board with the buyer’s chosen natural oil or they can just leave it unvarnished.

Warm Beginnings

During the 1700s, Japanese began the process of charring the surface of wood building materials. They named the method burnt cedar or shou sugi ban because Japanese builders customarily used cedar aside from cypress. During recent years, the Japanese chose plastic and other resources for constructions that led to the decline of the process in the country.

The Fiery and Ecofriendly Method

Nevertheless, more architects are now looking for ecologically sound practices since the dawn of passive solar and LEED certification that brought mainstream architectural worries. They believe that utilising charred wood for building is a practical ecological decision, especially because the natural manufacturing method only needs wood and fire. This is a way to avoid the severe chemicals utilised in pressure-treated wood.

Moreover, shou sugi ban produces a highly durable building material that can last for 80 years. Wood that has dealt with fire is ironically fire resistant and insect resilient, too.  When it comes to its aesthetic look, the shou sugi ban can resemble a dark stain or include a surface with a texture same as alligator skin. Its finish is dependent on the degree of fire exposure and the volume of char cleaned off after the method.

It is not a surprise why burnt cedar method is getting more and more famous each day. Its durability and aesthetic appeal drove the adoration of the market.