Treated lumber is a popular building material that plays a key role in the construction of many of our structures in the Pacific Northwest. In this series, our good friend and expert on pressure-treated wood, Dennis McWhirter of Exterior Wood, answers common questions about treated wood. In this episode, Dennis explains the difference between their Professional grade and Premium grade treated framing lumber.

Professional vs Premium-Grade Lumber

Professional grade pressure-treated framing lumber

When it comes to pressure-treated framing lumber, about 70-75 percent of Exterior Wood’s sales are in their “Professional” grade. Exterior Wood has tight grading standards that must be met for boards to be sold as their Professional grade pressure-treated framing lumber. The sawmills supplying the raw lumber are allowed to have up to 5 percent downfall in their grade. As standard practice, Exterior Wood pulls out additional boards that don’t meet their own quality standards. On average, 7 to 15 percent of the boards are pulled out of production because they don’t meet Exterior Wood’s quality requirements for their Professional grade. 

Professional-grade, pressure-treated framing lumber

Premium grade pressure-treated framing lumber

For those customers who want something even better, Exterior Wood developed a “Premium” grade of pressure-treated framing lumber. It’s more suited for the retail lumber yard, that has a lot of walk-in trade that tends to prefer a nicer looking product. For this grade, Exterior Wood buys an even higher grade of raw lumber, then pulls an additional 5-7 percent out of that. These boards go beyond having to pass grading standards; Premium grade boards must be straight, with no crooks or missing edge knots, and with little to no wane (where the bark used to be). For the most part, these boards are pretty much perfect for construction-type applications. We like to think our Premium grade is a cut above anything else in the marketplace.

Premium-grade, pressure-treated framing lumber

Read the first installment in our pressure-treated wood series, where we unpack how pressure-treated wood is made. Then, check out a detailed summary of manufacturing pressure-treated lumber, as well as a history of pressure-treated wood’s chemical composition. Stay tuned for the rest of this series, as Dennis answers all of your pressure-treated wood questions.