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wood grain

How Mixed Wood Grain Can Offer Builders More Flexibility

How much do you know about mixed wood grain? If you’re a contractor or builder, chances are you’ve heard of it before and maybe even worked with it. But it’s often underutilized by professionals even though it’s a fantastic option for specific projects. 

Despite what some may say about mixed wood grain, it can be an incredible boon to your next project, and we say it’s time to stop sleeping on it.

What Is Wood Grain?

wood grain

The way that cell fibers are distributed throughout a piece of lumber is called wood grain. You can find wood grain everywhere: anything made from a tree will have some wood grain. 

Trees will develop a new growth ring every year — another line of their wood grain. The number of rings in a tree will change the texture and look, and the species of wood has an impact on how it presents as well. 

Because wood grains vary in color, shade, and texture, it’s good to know what grain you need for your project. Each type of lumber will have a unique look and a specific strength as well, which is essential to keep in mind when building with wood.

Mixed Grain Wood vs. Vertical Grain Wood

These types of lumber are cut from the same trees, but they’re processed differently, making each suitable for different projects. 

Clear vertical grain is cut so you can easily see the growth rings, while mixed grain will be a combination of vertical and flat grain. Modern vertical grain wood is cut perpendicular to the growth rings, while mixed grain is cut parallel to the growth rings.

Vertical grain Douglas fir will have a more uniform coloring and is quite durable. Mixed grain wood offers much more variety in shading and can give furniture or other building projects a more antique feeling. 

Both are valid, durable choices in their own right. But if you’re looking for an economical lumber option that doesn’t sacrifice quality, mixed grain wood will never disappoint.

Uses for Mixed Wood Grain

Where can you start using mixed wood grain? Anywhere you’re interested in a more natural patina rather than a polished look, you’ll want to go with mixed wood grain. 

If you’re building something that needs a rustic flair, mixed wood grain provides excellent flexibility at an unbeatable price point. It’s also one of the best structural building materials in the country and is praised for its strength-to-weight ratio.

Benefits of Mixed Wood Grain

While vertical grain wood is often considered to be the industry standard, it isn’t the proper wood grain for every job. Here are a few benefits that will have you loving working with mixed wood grain:

Cost-Effectiveness

Mixed wood grain is more affordable than vertical grain wood. The way the vertical grain is cut produces much more waste, making it a pricier product. But mixed grain is cut in a way that produces minimal waste, so there tends to be more of it at a lower price. 

Its cost-effectiveness allows contractors and builders to be bold with larger projects without having to worry too much about budget constraints.

Visual Excitement

Vertical wood grain gives off a more refined and uniform look. But if you’re looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind grain pattern, you’ll get that from mixed wood grain. The lack of consistency is part of the charm and allows you to work with the wood’s natural character, giving your project a visual interest and even a unique point of view.

Superior Sustainability

The waste from making vertical grain wood doesn’t have other uses, so it simultaneously drives up the price and makes vertical grain wood a less sustainable option. 

Cutting logs into mixed wood grain will minimize the waste, making it more eco-friendly. Vertical grain is also usually sourced from old-growth trees, whereas you can manufacture mixed grain from smaller trees and still end up with a durable, visually appealing wood grain.

Reliance Timber Can Answer Your Questions

If you have any questions about mixed wood grain and our production model, click here.