Specifying metals for use with timber

Date Published

21 August 2022

Document Type




This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) describes tried and tested principles and practices for minimising the risk of corrosion, with signposts to more detailed sources that are listed at the end. It also provides specifiers and designers with examples of where the risk of the corrosion of metals by timber is most likely to be encountered.

This WIS does not include consideration of modified woods, for which the Supply > Manufacturer;and/or distributor should be consulted.


How does timber corrode metal?
Commonly used timbers and the correct specification of metals
Commonly used metals and specifying correctly with timber
General principles/checklist

Key Information

The risk of corrosion of metal by timber may be minimised through correct specification, design, storage, construction and maintenance.

Corrosion of metal by timber is an electro-chemical reaction involving oxidation at the metal surface, in the presence of moisture, which is accelerated significantly by acetic acid in the timber.

It is important to consider weathering and location when specifying metals for use with timber.

The manufacturers of metal components should be consulted when specifying metal for use with timber if there may be a risk of corrosion.

Case studies

Inn The Park is a new restaurant in St James’ Park, the oldest of London’s Royal Parks. The brief from the client, the Royal Parks Agency (RPA), was ‘to create a high quality and low-profile building which must nevertheless advertise its presence.’

The new building is the headquarters of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, which covers an area of over 700 square miles to the north and west of Balloch.