Articles: Alternatives to Siberian Larch

In the current climate Siberian Larch is understandably difficult to get hold off. Which is, among other things, a huge shame because it is a great timber to work with that is ideal for cladding and decking. With rising prices for Oak and Cedar, imported Larch quickly because the timber of choice for a lot of people. Enabling you to keep costs relatively whilst still using a high quality material.

So now that this impressive timber is no longer readily available, what are your options?

Looking locally

Home grown Larch is a viable option for cladding despite it looking vastly different from its Siberian counterpart. Being more of a reddish-orange in colour with a high knot content, British Larch is a wonderful looking product that leaves a traditional finish to any building, whether sawn to a feather edged clad or machined to tongue and groove.

Sustainably sourced from UK mills, British Larch is a great place to start looking for a durable timber which is cost effective.

Anything further afield?

The timbers that spring to mind here are European Oak and Canadian Western Red Cedar. Although they are both more expensive than the Larch, they are higher quality offering better durability and a cleaner more contemporary look.

Cedar in particular is a great solution for cladding because it is light weight and highly stable so there isn’t so much moisture movement as with other timbers. Oak on the other hand would require to be treated whereas with Western Red Cedar it would only be a recommendation.

That’s all OK for cladding but what about decking?

Oak is a viable decking substitute along with an array of marine timbers including:

  • Opepe
  • Yellow-Balau
  • Cumaru
  • Itauba

This are all hardwearing and can be machine dot a profile of your choice. The advantage of using the marine timbers is that they offer natural anti-slip protection thanks to the grain of the wood.