Specifying metals for use with timber

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

Oasis Farm Waterloo is an urban farm, tucked away in the heart of London, next to Waterloo Station, just to the south of Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.

Acharacle is a small and remote community on the south-west tip of Loch Shiel, some 40 miles west of Fort William. For many years the village had campaigned for a new primary school and community space to replace the old Victorian buildings, which were becoming difficult and expensive to maintain.