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Lignia: A ‘hardwood’ made from softwood


As new modified lumber sources emerge in the marketplace due to sustainability concerns, one the options is Lignia, a material made from sustainable stocks of fast-growing softwoods from FSC-managed plantations. Aside from furniture and cabinetry, its strength and durability make it suitable for flooring, decking, siding and other outdoor applications, says the company.

Manufactured in Wales, Lignia was introduced to the U.S. in 2019. The modification process starts with plantation-grown radiata pine (Pinus radiata) that is made into a material featuring the properties of hardwoods, ultimately leading to a reduction in harvesting slow-growing hardwood trees.

“What we do is we take very fast growing FSC well-managed plantation softwood and put it through our process which delivers a hardwood once the process is completed. It has the hardness of hardwoods such as red oak, hard maple and in some cases, teak. It’s a sustainable hardwood that has a beautiful, honey-brown rich color,” says product manager Lisa Ayala.

Lignia is a modified, sustainable timber product boasting strength and durability, says the company.

Lignia is a modified, sustainable timber product boasting strength and durability, says the company.

Lignia comes with a 50-year warranty against rot and fungal decay in above-ground applications. Ayala says accelerated tests have proven certain fungi and rot won’t attach itself as it does to other woods. A variety of glues and finishes including stains, varnishes, paint and more can be safely used on it as well.

“Lignia isn’t as dry as some of the other wood modifications, so there’s around five to eight percent moisture content. Often when the moisture is less than five percent, some of these coatings won’t adhere very well because the wood is too dry. We seem to be in a nice spot where it’s not too moist and not too dry and works really well with glues and coatings,” says Ayala.

The company also offers Lignia Fire, which has the same look and performance of Lignia with a fire retardancy rating, and quartersawn Lignia Yacht for boat decking that resembles teak.

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This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue.

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