The Different Types of Wood Used in Sash Windows

Sash windows are a classic feature of many period homes, especially Georgian and Victorian ones. They consist of two or more frames, or sashes, that slide up and down or side to side to open and close the window. Sash windows can add charm, character and value to your property, but they also require careful maintenance and repair to keep them in good condition.

Sash Windows

One of the most important aspects of sash windows is the type of wood they are made of. The choice of wood can affect the durability, appearance, performance and cost of your windows. There are many types of wood that can be used for sash windows, but here are some of the most common ones:

Oak Sash Windows

Oak is a popular choice for sash windows because it is strong, durable and has a beautiful natural grain. Oak can be either European or American, and can be waxed or painted to suit your preference. Oak is also resistant to rot and insect damage, making it a long-lasting option.

However, oak is also one of the heaviest woods, which can put extra strain on the sash cords and pulleys that operate the windows. Oak can also be expensive compared to other woods, and may require more frequent maintenance to prevent cracking or warping.

European Redwood

European Redwood is the most common type of wood used for modern sash windows. It is also known as Deal, Scots Pine or Baltic Pine. European Redwood is widely available, affordable and fast-growing, making it an environmentally friendly option. It is also lightweight and easy to work with.

However, European Redwood is not very resistant to rot or decay by itself, so it needs to be treated with preservatives and paints to protect it from the elements. It also tends to have more knots and imperfections than other woods, which may affect the appearance and quality of your windows.


Mahogany is a hardwood that is sometimes used for sash windows. It has a dark reddish-brown colour and a smooth texture that can create a rich and elegant look. Mahogany is also very stable and durable, and can withstand harsh weather conditions.

However, mahogany is also one of the most expensive woods, and may not be readily available in some areas. Mahogany can also fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight, so it may need regular staining or varnishing to preserve its colour.

Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir is a softwood that is often used for sash windows in North America and New Zealand. It has a light yellowish-brown colour and a straight grain that can create a clean and simple look. Douglas Fir is also a good insulator of sound, heat and energy, and has natural fire retardant properties.

However, Douglas Fir can also be prone to splitting or cracking if not properly seasoned or treated. It can also be susceptible to insect damage or fungal growth if not well maintained.

Meranti Sash Windows

Meranti is a hardwood that is grown in South East Asia. It has a variable colour and density depending on the sub-species of tree it comes from. Meranti can range from pale pink to dark red or brown, and from soft to hard. Meranti is often used for windows and doors because it is affordable, durable and resistant to decay and insects.

However, Meranti can also have some drawbacks, such as being difficult to paint or stain due to its oily nature. It can also warp or shrink if exposed to moisture or temperature changes.

As you can see, there are many types of wood that can be used for sash windows, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The best wood for your sash windows will depend on your budget, style preference, climate conditions and maintenance requirements.

Core Timber offer a bespoke design service. We can also assist with supply and install too. You can find out more about our range of sash windows here. If you would like to speak to a member of our team about your requirements, please get in touch.

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