4 benefits of using accoya timber for windows and doors
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Since 2007, the joinery world has been transformed by a game changing high-performance modified timber product called Accoya®. Over the years, we’ve come to appreciate this genuinely amazing timber and the benefits for customers needing new or replacement timber windows or doors. That’s why Accoya® is one of our favourite joinery timbers and why we want to share its benefits with you. Read on to discover more…
What is Accoya wood?
We love the way Accys Technologies, the manufacturers of Accoya, introduce their product by asking whether Accoya is an IKEA product, a Japanese dish or a species of tree? By the sound of it, Accoya could be any one of them, though probably more likely the latter given that we’re talking timber.
Actually, as Accys explains, there’s no such tree species as ‘Accoya’. The word – clearly the inspired brainchild of a clever marketer – is a brand name for an advanced high-performance modified timber. It’s typically based on FSC® certified sustainably grown Pinus radiata, of the family Pinaceae. This may be more familiar to you as Monterey pine, insignis pine or radiate pine.
After about 30 years’ growth in sustainable managed forests, the manufacturers of Accoya harvest the timber. Then they treat it with a proprietary acetylation process (using acetic acid) to form Accoya acetylated wood. This, to dramatically simplify the complex wood technology science effectively turns softwood into a high-performance hardwood by stopping the wood’s cells from absorbing water.
Is Accoya any good?
The answer has to be ‘yes’. Ask around the joinery trade in South West England, or further afield, and we think you’ll find strong consensus about the benefits of Accoya. Okay, so, the Accoya price may be a bit more than traditional timber and we have to use stainless steel fasteners when we work with it. But the overall view is that Accoya lives up to its maker’s claims. That’s why we’re happy to recommend its use – as does our FENSA-approved sister company, Bespoke Joinery Solutions SW in Newton Abbot.
Rest assured that we’ll always take the time to fully understand your property maintenance and joinery need before recommending any product and service. If, for any reason, we don’t think that Accoya is right for you, we’ll always tell you – and explain why.
So that’s the basic information about Accoya wood. Now, let’s consider the benefits and what they mean for your doors, casement and sliding sash windows.
The benefits of choosing Accoya timber for windows and doors
In our opinion (and arguably that of the joinery industry as a whole) the top four benefits of Accoya timber are as follows:
- HIGH STRENGTH TO WEIGHT RATIO
These apply to all kinds of internal and external joinery ranging from doors and windows (including Accoya sash windows) to Accoya cladding, decking and other structures. Let’s look at these benefits in order:
Accoya has Class 1 durability. We’ll let the manufacturer’s claims speak for themselves: ‘[Accoya® is] warranted for 50 years above ground, surpassing even teak. For use in ground and/or freshwater the wood is ‘warranted for 25 years’.
As Accys technologies say, ‘Accoya will last for decades.’ According to the manufacturer’s website, it has a 70 year minimum service life stated by the UK‘s timber Research and Development Association (TRADA).
Apparently, one of the first things customers often do with samples of Accoya is leave them in containers of water to see whether the dimensional stability claims hold true.
Because of the proprietary manufacturing process, Accoya wood has very high dimensional stability. Compare this to traditional woods with their innate tendency to swell in damp conditions and shrink when temperatures rise.
Accoya’s makers state that the product is ‘tested and trusted not to visibly swell, shrink or distort, with minimal actual movement’ – our understanding is that this tendency is reduced by around 75%. That’s great for joinery where periodic swelling and shrinkage can cause doors and windows to stick in their frames. Accoya windows and Accoya doors will perform very differently.
High strength: weight ratio
As well as increasing its stability, the Accoya manufacturing process, during which beams or planks are acetylated, substantially increases the product’s strength and hardness. It’s robust stuff!
One of the things our sister company’s joinery workshop team likes best about Accoya is how it works so well with different joinery coatings. Best of all for customers is the way coatings can last longer on Accoya wood, which reduces long-term maintenance. Teamed with their professional Teknos paint system, it’s a winning combination.
Other benefits of Accoya®
Where to start? How about with the enhanced thermal insulation of Accoya that’s so important for timber doors and windows.
It’s a great-looking product too, whether we feature its innate colouring or apply oil, stain, lacquer or paint in any of 1625 RAL Design colours – or your favourite Farrow & Ball shade!
As mentioned earlier, Accoya is made with FSC-certified sustainable timber, the manufacturing process is non-toxic and Accoya is readily recyclable. Because of this, we – and you – can choose Accoya with confidence, knowing we’re all doing right by the environment.
What does this mean for me?
Add up all of the above and you’ve got a durable, high-performance product that looks great and is environmentally friendly. Windows and doors will typically last longer, perform better throughout their life, need lower maintenance and be readily recycled if needed at the end of their (long) service life. What’s not to like?
As with doors or any other joinery product made with this high-performance building material, Accoya windows cost a bit more, but we genuinely believe the benefits outweigh this for many customers.
Where can I discover more about Accoya®?
Whether you are thinking about a stunning new Accoya front door or some durable Accoya wood windows, you can discover more about Accoya® and its manufacturer Accsys Technologies here or talk to us about choosing Accoya sash windows, casement windows or doors.
Call today on 01803 249140 or email us