Lumber procured from British Columbia (B.C.) wood species is produced for either the structural or the appearance market.
In the appearance market, the durability, grain, colour and amount of clear lumber is important.
For the structural market, lumber grades are applied to each piece of lumber produced. This is done so the buyer knows that he or she is getting a product consistently graded to a standard.
Grades take into account the size, location of defects, and the suitability of the piece of lumber. The intent of the grading system is to provide lumber users with assurances that products meet a set criteria and performance standards. Lumber that is used for appearance purposes or for remanufacturing other products such as doors or furniture can also be sold without a grade stamp.
Structural lumber is dried to an average moisture content of 19 percent, and comes in highly standardized sizes.
Lumber that is intended for non-structural uses such as doors, furniture, millwork, etc., may be dried to lower moisture content (around 10 percent) or left unseasoned, depending on the customer’s requirements.
The coastal forests of B.C. have a wide variety of lumbers such as Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Yellow Cedar. These species offer more opportunities for a wider variety of lumber sizes, final moisture content and surface quality finishes. In addition, the lumber produced by this coastal region has a wider variety of grades, including both structural and appearance grades.