Best Wood Types for Shou Sugi Ban

Shou Sugi Ban is taking contemporary architecture by storm. This 18th-century wood preservation technique, also known as Yakisugi, has resurfaced (quite literally) from the ashes and is taking over the world of exterior design. Its sleek polished look is undeniable. Burnt wood is so versatile that it can also be used on furniture and interior paneling.

But what is Shou Sugi Ban? This ancient technique entails burning timber to enhance its color, unveiling its natural beauty. At the same time, it also makes the wood resilient to the natural elements, vermin, and decay. Yakisugi boards are the perfect way to add style and finesse to your furnishing and exteriors. Let’s explore the best timber to use for this method.

Shou Sugi Ban wood types

How to Pick the Best Wood for Shou Sugi Ban

In ancient Japan, the preferred material for wood charring was cedar (sugi), a porous softwood. Cedar is resilient and can perfectly withstand the burning process, making it an excellent material for exterior applications. Its longevity is incredibly unmatched. “How so?” you might ask. The fact that ancient Japanese structures built using Yakisugi panels are still standing to date is proof enough. They have endured the test of time.

However, modern manufacturers have experimented with numerous wood varieties that share similar characteristics with cedar. To find suitable Shou Sugi Ban wood types, you will need to keep in mind their final use.

Know Your Timber

Some timber varieties perform better in exterior applications, while others are far more suitable for furniture and interior use. Nonetheless, find below some of the most popular and diverse timber types you can use for all your building and decor projects.

  • Accoya

Accoya® timber plank

This high-performance timber is perfect for either interior and exterior applications. Charred Accoya is obtained by processing pine wood, which entails subjecting the raw timber into an acetylation process to improve its endurance and magnify its natural properties. This procedure turns the pine tree’s softwood into hardwood by inhibiting the wood’s water absorption capabilities and preventing it from rotting, helping your timber remain intact for up to 50 years.

  • Pine

Pine timber plank

This sturdy, shock-resistant softwood can also be used in its natural state. Pine is a lightweight, straight-grained material that’s less prone to shrinking and swelling. It is not only perfect for creating furniture pieces, but it will also make your decks stand out. Its molecular structure makes it a great candidate for the burning process. You can trust that Shou Sugi Ban pine boards will give you outstanding results every single time.

  • Larch

Larch timber plank

Charred larch has exceptional results on both outdoors and indoor projects. During the burning process, larch timber produces beautiful patterns without compromising durability and resistance. Most developers and homeowners prefer to use it on facades and decks.

  • Spruce

Spruce timber plank

Its hardness and resistance have earned spruce the most popular timber for construction in Europe. This type of wood has similar properties to those found in pine. Shou Sugi Ban spruce has a beautiful greyish hue due to the light color of the wood when in its natural state.

Treatment and Lifespan

To increase your charred timber boards’ longevity, it’s imperative that you give it a healthy coat of natural oil after installation. You should repeat this process every 10 to 15 years for added durability. When properly taken care of, your charred wood’s lifespan can reach more than a hundred years. Isn’t this just incredible?

Manufacturers advise their clients to varnish their Shou Sugi Ban boards with a sealant to protect them from further damage by heavy rains and harsh UV rays. Doing so will save you on maintenance resources such as time and money, and keep your boards looking great for a more extended amount of time.

Your Quality Wood Charring Solution

Degmeda provides quality Shou Sugi Ban suitable for all your cladding, flooring, decking, and fencing projects. You will find charred Accoya, larch, pine, spruce, and the traditional cedar timber varieties in our catalog to suit your needs. We also provide wood charring services and worldwide shipping. Visit for more information.