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What Is The Difference Between Hardwood And Softwood Gates

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  • Softwood, Hardwood, Gates
  • Posted date:
  • 02-05-2022
What Is The Difference Between Hardwood And Softwood Gates

Do you need help deciding between hardwood and softwood gates for your home? We look at the main differences between hardwood and softwood gates including the price, weather resistance and maintenance requirements.

Softwood or Hardwood for your Gates?

Wood is classified into two types: hardwood and softwood, however, the designations do not necessarily correspond to the true hardness or softness of the wood.

Softwoods are made from evergreen (coniferous) trees that have needles and cones and keep them all year; they are also known as gymnosperms.

Some examples are cedar, cypress, fir, pine, and spruce. Hardwoods are deciduous trees with wide leaves that shed their leaves in the autumn; they are called angiosperms since their seeds are encased in fruits or pods. Some examples are ash, beech, birch, iroko, mahogany, maple, oak, teak, and walnut.

Slow growing Scandinavian kiln dried softwood is often creamy white with hints of yellow and/or red. Softwood is a less expensive choice, although it is less durable than Iroko hardwood.

We sell softwood pedestrian and 5 Bar gates that have been pressure treated, giving them a green tint. This will naturally tarnish to silver over time.

They have been pressure treated to the UC4 standard. UC4 is often used for wood in ground contact, thus it is treated to the greatest extent. Although the gates are pressure treated, we recommend that they be treated regularly to extend their life.

What Is The Difference Between Hardwood And Softwood Gates?


The majority of hardwood gates are constructed of Iroko, a responsibly sourced kiln dried African hardwood that is often yellow to golden to medium brown, with the colour tending to deepen over time.

Iroko is an extremely durable hardwood that is both robust and resistant to rot. If left untreated, the wood will eventually be silver but will be susceptible to watermarks. Although Iroko is a hardwood, we recommend treating it to protect it and increase the life of the gate.

Wood is a naturally occurring material. It's a hygroscopic material, which means it gathers and emits water on its own to keep its environment in balance.

As a result, as it ages, it becomes more prone to movement and weathering. Small fractures (shakes) and warping from over-drying are prevalent throughout the drying process. Nature is at work, and it is not to be misunderstood.

Unless there are extreme circumstances, this is usually safe and will go away as humidity levels rise.

Remember, there are many types of hardwood and softwood to choose from that come in all shapes, sizes, heights and strengths. Make sure to choose the right wood for your requirements today; our experts can provide strong, durable wood straight to your home.

Feel free to discuss your fencing and decking needs, our experts are considered the best around and are here to pay attention to the specific kind of wood you're looking for and can rectify any damage inside and out. In fact, our experts can deliver the exact wood you've required.

It's detrimental to utilise the right type of wood for its subject matter - get in touch today and find out what type of wood matches your needs.

Weatherproofing treatment must be sprayed regularly to guarantee that the wood keeps its protection and lives a long time; regardless of the amount of maintenance, hardwoods outlast softwoods in terms of service life. If you're interested, our fencing and decking contracts can keep you personally posted.

When choosing types of softwood, it's advisable to not buy highly flammable wood with a faulty nature. Whatever your reason for selecting a wooden fence, you must first pick the proper sort of wood. So, what is the ideal wood?


Cedar has a high rot resistance and natural oils that repel insects. It might be a good solution if you are on a tight budget for money.

Cedar that has been stained or painted will not turn grey and will endure longer. Staining helps to retain the natural beauty of the wood, while sealant application can give UV radiation and moisture protection.


Redwood is a common wood used in the manufacture of wooden fences and gates. It is pricey, but the quality, workmanship, and beauty more than make up for it. It is inherently pest and rot-resistant. As a result, it's often regarded as the best fence material.

Both of these woods are softwoods; softwoods grow faster, making it easier to replace those that are chopped down. As a result, they are a more economical and sustainable timber alternative than hardwoods. Softwood can be expected to survive for up to 6 decades if properly treated and maintained.

Routine wood fence maintenance is essential for preserving the fence's appearance and the life of the wood. A fence should be stained and darkened every two to three years to maintain its appearance and performance. This benefits both the wood and your privacy.

However, softwoods can split and be divided easier than hardwood due to their coniferous nature. Therefore, if you decide to choose softwood fencing or decking, it will need regular maintenance and sealant moreover hardwood.

Our team can help you in replacing and installing your fencing, gates and decking throughout England, simply go ahead and get in touch.

Our experts can provide long lasting, traditional wood in all shapes and sizes while giving you expert advice. If you're looking to install modern hinges or hinges in general, it's best to have them measured and applied to hardwood due to their durable strength. Manufactured hardwood is always, secure and suitable for many years, and can be harmlessly stained in many different shades.

If you're looking to have top rails fitted, softwood is the best economical option that has great durability. Slow-grown, kiln-dried Scandinavian softwood with a creamy white colour with a tinge of yellow and/or red. Softwood is a less expensive choice, although it is less durable than Iroko.

Additionally, when it comes to softwoods when Copperwood is originally placed, it has a green tinge (this is due to the preservative), but the colour will change as the wood ages. The oil used has a distinct odour that might remain from a few weeks to a few months.

It is harmless to smell and touch, but it can be hazardous if consumed, especially by animals.

When installing joints, this is extremely critical. A structure of stiles and rails is used to construct mortice and tenon jointed gates.

Choose a gate with a solid head/top rail to avoid exposing the end grain of the tongue and groove boardings, or palings, to the elements; end grain is notorious for absorbing moisture and splitting in the sunlight, regardless of how well you coat the gate in whatever paint or stain you eventually use.

What’s the Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood?

Wood is commonly classified into two types: hardwoods and softwoods. These are the woods we utilise to make our custom garden gates, side gates, and driveway gates.

However, there is more to distinguishing softwoods from hardwoods than merely the hardness of the wood. Softwoods are derived from evergreen trees, which are also known as 'coniferous' trees. These are trees that keep their needles and cones throughout the year, regardless of the weather or season. Pin, Fir, Spruce, Cedar, and Cypress trees are classic examples of softwood, evergreen trees.

Hardwoods, on the other hand, are derived from broad-leaved trees, which are often referred to as 'deciduous' trees. These are trees that change with the seasons, shedding their leaves in fall, remaining naked in winter, and blooming anew in spring.

Oak, Maple, Mahogany, Iroko, Birch, Beech, Ash, Teak, and Walnut are just a few of the trees whose seeds are enclosed in fruits or pods. Softwood gates are noted for their efficiency and economy, whilst hardwood gates are known for their durability and endurance.

Hardwood is derived from deciduous trees, which are trees that change with the seasons, losing their leaves in fall and blooming again in spring. Deciduous trees reproduce by storing their seeds in fruits or pods, such as acorns, conkers, or apples.

Oak, Ash, Elm, Birch, Beech, Maple, Mahogany, and Teak are common examples. Softwood is derived from coniferous trees, which are evergreen trees with needles rather than leaves. Coniferous plants drop their seeds without a casing, thus the seeds fall 'naked.' Pine, Larch, Spruce, Douglas Fir, and Cedar are some common examples.

Due to variations in how trees reproduce and grow, there are physical distinctions between the timbers; softwood is more flexible, while hardwood is heavier.

Hardwood and softwood woods are both ideals for gates and fences, although they differ in price, durability, mobility, and density. Less durable softwoods like pine and spruce are frequently treated with preservatives, and all softwoods should be treated and coated for outdoor usage to extend their longevity.

Hardwood is slow grown and not prone to small splits as easily as softwood is. However, softwood is a more economical option for those who want to preserve nature.

Softwood trees - also called gymnosperms - can be grown all year round to the finest quality and are ensured to keep your fencing and decking installation smooth, seamless and protected for all customers.

There are four different types of gymnosperms, examples include Cycadophyta, Ginkgophyta, Gnetophyta and Pinophyta. However, to tell the difference between the two kinds of wood derives from their leaf supply - hardwood trees are broad leaved whereas softwood trees are not. 

What’s the Price Difference?

Softwoods are often less expensive than hardwoods. Hardwoods are made from slow-growing trees, whereas softwood is made from trees that grow quickly and are abundant in Europe.

Hardwoods are typically imported from all over the world, which adds to the overall cost. Softwood gates are far less expensive than their hardwood counterparts; nevertheless, softwood is not as durable as hardwood in almost all circumstances; there are exceptions to this rule, such as balsa, a hardwood used in model-making.

If you properly care for your product, you should receive many years of enjoyment out of a softwood gate, but a gate will last considerably longer if properly cared for, or if it's made from very durable hardwood. Hardwood garden gates, on the other hand, are less prone to wood expansion when the humidity rises than their softwood counterparts.

Weather Resistance, Maintenance and Lifespan

The weather in your area can be dependent on the life of sealing materials. If you reside in an area that is usually wet, windy, or sunny, you may need to reseal more frequently than usual.

Make certain that the outdoor wood stain you select has UV inhibitors, which prevent the bleaching caused by sunshine. It is also beneficial if it contains a mildew killer, which inhibits fungal development and hence adds to wood deterioration.

Weather Resistance, Maintenance and Lifespan

These treatments can rapidly decrease the rate of decay and slightly lower the price of maintenance as expected every year - making it a cheaper and more beneficial option.

Softwoods must be treated for outdoor usage and can be coated with oils, paints, and varnishes to extend their lifespan even more.

Treated softwood may be anticipated to last fifteen years or more, although hardwoods have a longer natural lifespan and can last 30 years or more if properly cared for. We utilise pressure-treated woods at Norfolk Prestige Fencing to ensure a long-lasting gate, regardless of the type of wood or style you select.

Wood is a natural material that may bend, distort, and even break over time due to temperature and humidity fluctuations; however, caring for your product by treating it with oils will extend its lifespan and postpone natural ageing and weathering.

Which is Best for the Environment?

Softwoods grow swiftly and are cultivated responsibly in Europe, making them a more ecologically responsible alternative. Hardwoods are often grown in tropical areas, take much longer to mature, and require significantly more water and energy to thrive.

However, because hardwoods survive longer and hence require less replacement, it might be argued that hardwoods are the superior choice! Whatever you select, seek for the FSC label to ensure the materials were acquired sustainably.

Which Timber Is Right For Your Gates?

Choosing the proper timber for your wooden gate is largely reliant on your demands and desires. Everyone will have somewhat different tastes, and various woods will meet a variety of demands. Softwoods are often less expensive than hardwoods, which is a trade-off for hardwoods' greater durability.

There are few exceptions to this rule, but they are uncommon. However, this is not to say that investing in a less expensive softwood gate rather than a hardwood gate would result in you shooting yourself in the foot.

Our softwood Scandinavian redwood gates may last for years if properly maintained and cared for. Softwood gates may not last as long as hardwood gates, but with proper care, they may look great and survive for years.

Which Timber Is Right For Your Gates?

Hardwoods offer a less knotty appearance than softwoods, many people like the look of hardwood gates. While this is entirely a matter of personal preference, it is worth considering how important appearance is to your gate before picking a timber.

Because of the knotting, achieving a hardwood appearance with stains on softwood is quite difficult. What is the ideal style and look for the exterior of your property, including elements such as driveway gates?

Different woods may suit better than others depending on the present colours and design of your property. Iroko, for example, is a long-lasting hardwood with hues ranging from light browns to rich, golden browns. It has a gritty texture, and many people use it to mimic the appearance and characteristics of oak.

Idigbo, on the other hand, is a lighter-coloured hardwood that ranges from pale yellows to light browns. Idigbo is known for its straight grain and gritty feel, but it also polishes extremely well, providing for some wonderful fine finishes with some bespoke work.

One of the most popular softwoods on the market is Scandinavian redwood. It has a pale yellowish-brown to reddish-brown heartwood and lighter sapwood. Many of our clients appreciate the distinct appearance, but it is important to note that it will require more regular treatment than hardwoods to ensure its lifespan and durability.

With its rich diversity of colours and a gentle modern appearance, western red cedar cladding is highly appealing; this colour naturally absorbs sunlight, and it will gradually fade to a silver colour. If the colour, is treated prior, it can still retain its original colour.

red cedar can also be supplied untreated

However, red cedar can also be supplied untreated if silver is the colour you're looking for. Due to the anatomical differences between both wood choices, softwood is often recommended for fences due to its light weight; remember timber is a fast grown, natural product with less extortionate costs.

A great gate is also a must-have for any property since it may give security, privacy, and aesthetic appeal. Metal gates and wooden gates are the two primary varieties of gates, and each has its own set of advantages and may improve your property in different ways.

Cost is a key consideration when choosing new timber gates or fences, and wooden garden gates are relatively affordable due to the cheap cost of the materials used in the gate construction. Metal gates must be fastened to a strong framework due to their weight.

This means you can't simply hang them from whatever surrounding environment you have, so if your fence isn't strong enough, you may need to add some more robust posts.

Sustainably obtained wood gates are considerably more environmentally friendly than metal gates. This is because the production of metal gates necessitates a substantial amount of energy from fossil fuels, which adds to carbon emissions. 

Are you looking for driveway gate suppliers near you? If you require wooden garden gates in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire contact us today. 

Our garden gate experts can supply and install beautiful garden gates for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.