Wooden gates have been around for over a hundred years and, during this time, they have played an important role in every kind of property, whether residential or commercial.
When solid boarded, they provide total privacy whilst offering a natural material that is just as great for aesthetics. Though there is also a place for plastic or steel, neither of them can sit as comfortably in a rural area as a set of wooden gates, making them a top choice of property owners all over.
With the right design, they most certainly have a place in the 21st century. A full range of contemporary gates are entering the market and we have plenty of popular designs on our website, as well as a large portfolio of traditional styles. The organic grain of the wood tells a story, where other materials struggle to do so, such as the flaming of the grain and the different shades found in Iroko, Cedar and Oak.
Plus, staining your wooden gates adds a new dimension to the timber, allowing it to settle into your surrounding colour scheme. Staining seems to bring a different aspect of the wood out, whilst embracing the natural properties of living materials.
Make a statement with a pair of softwood or hardwood gates. You can even use our guide to different types of timber, below, to choose the right material for you.
Iroko is a popular choice of hardwood here at Mitech, and we find that it carries some of the best properties as a constructional timber. A tropical hardwood, Iroko is found in Africa, and whilst we focus on mild yellow stock for our gates, it can come in various shades. It is an extremely hard-wearing timber and when oiled and left to go ‘park bench silver’, looks simply stunning. Conversely, it can be stained to a medium Oak colour as a cheaper alternative to Oak.
Sapele is one to watch in gate manufacturing. When used outside, it tends to soak up excessive amounts of water, as it is kiln down to roughly 8 to 10% in moisture content. Related to the Mahogany family, it is similar in colour to this material, but is somewhat cheaper and also comes from Africa. It has a very close grain, so it takes to paint very well and provides a high finish. When we use Sapele for gate manufacturing, we can paint or stain the material to match your theme or environment.
The grain of this material can be temperamental and a little irregular, causing it to fur up on machining, but the colouring is usually uniform throughout. However, Idigbo is not as readily available or as ‘mainstream’ as woods like Iroko. Therefore, the price may be higher. It is viewed as a more exclusive timber, but, due to its yellowish colour, it is an acquired taste. When Idigbo is used, it is important to watch out for its violent reaction to ferrous metals. Instead, stainless steel should be used for all fixings and hinge wear.
Accoya is a modified softwood, and it is ideal for gate making. With an outstanding Class 1 durability, it can last 50 years above ground, even out-performing Teak. It is also perfect for coating in paint or stain, and, being UV-resistant, it shows less degradation when used with translucent stains. Another advantage is that Accoya is naturally indigestible to a wide range of insects, including termites, leaving your gate in top condition for longer. Additionally, all Accoya comes from sustainable sources, making it an all-round perfect timber for your wooden driveway gates.
Pine is one of the most inexpensive timbers used in the joinery trade. Imported from Sweden, Norway and Finland, there are many uses for Pine as it is so cost-efficient. When making quality gates in Pine though be aware you will need to treat them with care. Pressure impregnation is often the perfect solution to getting years of use from outdoor softwood products. However, making bespoke quality gates in one-off sizes and designs for our customers means the chance of pressure impregnating the wood goes out of the window. Instead, our advice would be to use hardwood gates unless you simply want a quick fix solution.
For further advice and support though feel free to contact Mitech Joinery through our website.