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FAQ: What is Planed Timber?

Timber Knowledge
06 June 2023 min read

When buying timber online, or through any avenue, you will be presented with a number of options...

The kind of wood is of course the most obvious choice you will need to make, but many timber suppliers will also allow you to choose between a selection of finishes or the specific size of your chosen wood.

Cut-to-size timber is incredibly useful, as it not only minimises waste and left over material, but also less work is required to make it suit your purpose. As a supplier of timber ourselves we strive to make things as convenient for our customers as possible, which is why all of our timber is not only available cut-to-size, but also planed all round.


What Does 'Planed All Round Timber' Mean?

Planed All Round (PAR) means that all of the wood's surfaces have been 'planed' - or brought to a uniform level - and each side is smooth and ready to be worked or presented. Not all lumber dealers offer this, as planing all round is not always convenient, which is why there are also other, lesser services available, such as planed both sides, planed single edge and rough sawn:
  • Planed Both Sides (PBS) – Two out of the four sides are planed, leaving the other two rough
  • Planed Single Edge (PSE) – Only one of the sides is planed; three are rough
  • Rough Sawn – None of the sides are planed; the wood is as rough as when it had just been sawn
If the project you want the wood for is going to be on display or easily seen by others, then you will want the sides to be planed, as rough edges are not aesthetically pleasing and are generous when it comes to giving out splinters. We would suggest not using wood with rough sides unless it is being used under flooring or out of sight in the attic; as other than being cheap it has no benefits.

Planed timber on the other hand is ideal for fencing, building frames, fabricating animal hutches, and just about anything else which can be made from wood, is likely to be seen and is intended for regular use. Most DIY practitioners will prefer to use planed all round timber, as it's not only pleasing to the eye, but can go anywhere, is safer to work with and can be started working on right away; without having to be planed manually.