Carbonized Wood

The Far East ancient technique of wood carbonization dates from hundreds of years ago. Called Shou Sugi Ban in its native Japanese, this breathtaking method has taken the world of modern architecture by storm due to its alluring mystique. Its fame and appeal have spread across the globe thanks to the impressive quality the charring process provides and its rustic and elegant appearance.

This centenarian process is making a huge comeback thanks to the innovative work of Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori. But what is carbonized wood? What makes it such a premium material? What process does timber undergo to become carbonized? What are its properties, and in what ways can you use it? We’ll dive deep into the sophisticated world of Shou Sugi Ban and address all of your doubts. Read on!

Need advice?

Don’t also forget that you can reach and follow us on social media!

What is Carbonized Wood? 

The term carbonization might sound daunting, but what is it? In chemistry, it is the term used to define the breaking down of complex carbonaceous substances with heat. These compounds can refer to wood or agricultural residues that are rich in carbon. But, what does carbonized wood mean?

In the simplest terms, carbonization of wood is a process of heat-treating lumber. It makes the wood more resistant to the elements. Such a unique treatment allows charred timber to acquire the dark, aesthetically pleasing aspect it’s famous for. The reaction created by the heat ensures the wood can absorb less water.

The origin of carbonized timber finds its roots in a fishing village on the island of Naoshima. Those lands’ inhabitants developed a fascinating technique to combat the damage that the sea caused to the wood. Soon after, other villages started seeking this quality, which led them to perfect the wood carbonization method we all know and love. Shou Sugi Ban is over 300 years old, and it’s here to stay.

Its lessened water absorption makes timber far more resilient to biological degradation than it would otherwise be. This resistance was and still is a very coveted quality to face the adversities of weather. Such desirable quality is the cornerstone of the Shou Sugi Ban technology.

Countless other people around the world are rightfully embracing this timeless technique. It works for people who live in humid environments. However, it’s also perfect for those who simply crave to adorn their homes with the sturdy and trendy style of Shou Sugi Ban.

Carbonized wood

The Process of Wood Carbonization 

In remote times, the process of wood carbonization used to be more rudimental. It entailed burning the outer layer of the wood almost manually. Nowadays, however, the carbonization process of the boards is usually carried out with a torch. This modern approach forces the timber’s external fibers to react and burn with more precision.

Using a torch also allows the expert to heat the wood’s entire surface uniformly and with the same intensity. To achieve this, the artisan can even place the wood in a closed vessel. Burning lumber in an enclosed environment is the only way to extract the oxygen from the equation. Creating an anaerobic state is vital. It allows the wood to burn without combusting.

If the wood were to combust, it would burn away and turn into ash. This process must be carried out by trained specialists that know how to preserve the wood properly. The method of wood carbonization requires four steps.

  1. Burning: This step should take part either before its installation and never performed onto a façade or floor.
  2. Brushing: After the burning, it’s time to clean up the charred timber with a special grit. This procedure removes the top layer of carbon and gives a new shade to the wood.
  3. Treating: The wood should have a black tone by this stage. The specialist should now dress the surface with natural oil. This step will provide greater resistance and endurance.
  4. Sealing: To avoid staining and other types of damage, charred wood should receive a sealant layer. This preventive measure also helps give it the desired finish. However, this step is entirely optional.


As we mentioned before, the process of wood charring provides timber with many special properties. There are many attributes and characteristics that make this type of treatment so attractive to homeowners and contractors alike. Let’s address the main ones:

  • Color Palette: The heat-treating, in a literal sense, caramelizes the naturally occurring sugars in the wood. Therefore, the burning creates a richer color on the timber’s surface than what would result from fuming or smoking the wood.
  • Variety: Depending on how deep you burn and brush. You can even stain the wood for more color. This option adds to Shou Sugi Ban’s exquisite aesthetical appeal, making it avant-gardist, elegant, and resilient at the same time.
  • Higher Life Expectancy: The most coveted property of carbonized wood is its prolonged lifespan. It’s incredibly durable, with an estimated 80-year life expectancy if adequately maintained.
  • Water Resistance: Thanks to the combination of charred wood and oil, Shou Sugi Ban is impervious to water and mold.
  • Flame Retardant Properties:  The outermost coal layer on charred timber makes it fire resistant. This asset is excellent if you’re betting on the safety of your house for you and your family.
  • Vermin protection: The carbonization of wood is a great way to boost the insect and fungi resistance of the façade of your home. High insect defense is a very desirable quality for buildings that are further from the city and closer to nature.
  • Sustainability: Wood is a renewable resource that does not require lots of chemicals and whose exploitation is measurably cleaner than that of other materials.
Carbonized wood siding

Carbonized Wood Siding 

If you’re looking for inspiration on how to style the façade of your home, carbonized wood is a great way to go. Initially designed for siding or cladding, we can see it more and more in interior design nowadays. Charred wood befits people that want to bring an avant-garde look and premium texture to their homes. As we mentioned before, this kind of finish is excellent to bring elegance into your house as well as resilience.

Back to exteriors, carbonized wood siding is a terrific choice. Your façad is the area that has the most contact with the outside world and the elements. This higher exposure makes siding the part of the building that requires the highest quality standards. Because of its impermeability, flame retardant properties, and insect and fungal resistance, carbonized wood siding is a convenient option for façade cladding.

More and more in vogue, carbonized black wood seems to be the most coveted finish for charred wall cladding. People are daring to think out of the box in terms of architecture and embracing bolder looks. Go for a carbonized black wood texture with a vertical siding for a trendy and sophisticated look for your household.

With a professionally done carbonized wood siding, you can count on your home standing out when comparing it to others on your block. The beauty and tradition of Shou Sugi Ban will set the trend for timeless style and elegance.


The rustic luxury of carbonized wood is practically unparalleled. For this reason, ever since Fujimori gave notoriety to the ancient technique by showing its apparent simplicity, countless architects have adopted it in their work. This renaissance has created a ripple effect of wood charring’s innovations and compositions in exterior and interior design.

Many architectural masterpieces that pay tribute to the beauty of carbonization have emerged in the past decade. There are numerous remarkable projects to mention. One shining example is the renowned Forest Retreat, designed in 2013 by Uhlik architekti. Another one is the notorious Villa Meijendel, organized by the Dutch office VVKH architecten in 2016. These projects have been reinventing traditional techniques, bringing a new breath of life to them.

Carbonized wood deck

Carbonized Wood Flooring 

As well as befitting wall cladding, carbonized wood is fantastic for flooring. There are many options that you can choose from: the sky’s the limit! There’s a wide array of finishes, woods, and colors to cater to your personal style and preferences. Charred wood renders for floors that are long-lasting, affordable, and stylish as well as an expression of your refined taste.

There are many reasons why carbonized wood flooring is a fantastic option for your home. Going for such a bold yet classic choice is an excellent investment. This home improvement likely to increase the value of your house. On top of that, you’ll enjoy the benefits of living in a beautifully designed architectural jewel.

Wood is, at the same time, a timeless material and a durable product. If appropriately maintained, a wood floor should last you decades. The upkeep isn’t too much of a hassle, and it is easy to redecorate. You can stain the wood or change it with faux finishes and inlays. Easy redecoration is an excellent perk for those who like to stay in tune with trends.

Controlling the color in carbonized wood is definitely a challenge. Nonetheless, we believe the beauty and resilience this process creates trumps this challenge. Topical stain techniques without wood charring are no match for the genuine richness and natural look of carbonized timber.

Carbonized wood flooring is also a very sustainable option. Wood production releases fewer pollutants than concrete and steel production does and requires far fewer chemicals. It is also much easier to clean than other floors and is ideal for people who have allergies!

Carbonized wood fence

Carbonized Wood Fence and Deck 

The outer area of your home is just as important as the indoor spaces, if not more. Whether it’s to keep beloved pets inside or unwanted visitors out, fences have always been the go-to for ensuring privacy and safety. With the vast array of colors, textures, and finishes possible within the realm of carbonized wood, you’re sure to find something reliable and elegant.

Sturdiness and resilience are vital for fences and decks. Carbonized wood is a durable material that is sure to keep your loved ones secure. Safety first, but this doesn’t mean you have to lose out on style. Using carbonized black wood is the ultimate way to revamp the classic white picket fence style into a fresh, avant-gardist enclosure.

The same goes for decks. These versatile and beautiful spaces are where you and your loved ones enjoy all kinds of activities. There’s nothing better than reading a book on a sunny day or having drinks with friends on your deck. However, it’s paramount that the deck is sturdy enough to sustain you and your family throughout time.

Carbonized wood is an excellent pick to ensure your deck is sturdy as well as elegant. Fashionable yet insect-resistant and waterproof, charred timber is the perfect alternative for everything outdoors.

Benefits of Carbonized Wood

Carbonized wood does come with a wide array of benefits and other perks. Let us describe you the most notable and unique benefits of wooden exterior boards of Japanese style.


Due to the fact they are treated with fire, these boards are hardly affected by even the harshest environmental conditions.


By being resistant to fire, carbonized wood façade cladding boards are a much safer decorative option when compared to regular wood.


The style has been around and trendy for 4 centuries. To say that it is still elegant and relevant is an understatement. The look of these wood boards will remain in style for years to come. Few come close to this supreme blend of luxury and high-quality design


The wood processing technique Yakisugi (or the way we do it) is entirely natural.


Degmeda is a company that encourages and promotes responsible forestry. We make high-quality wood and timber goods without abusing the environment. This means that premium carbonized wood cladding boards are made from sustainable resources

Contact us now

Don’t also forget that you can reach and follow us on social media!

Degmeda - Reliable Manufacturer

Degmeda is a top carbonized wood manufacturer that offers timeless wood charring solutions. The way we go about providing top solutions is by giving a new breath to traditional burning techniques. We’re honing in on the power of the elements and ancient wisdom to provide the highest quality products.  Here at Degmeda, we specialize in wood preservation with fire and harnessing the power of the traditional art of the carbonization of wood. We provide premium charred wood products with unique design solutions, following and enhancing the uniqueness of nature. We have mastered the wood charring technique Shou Sugi Ban, and have developed rich, quality products for siding, decking, fencing, and more. 

Paying tribute to the Japanese savoir-faire that originated in Naoshima, we aim to bring coziness and style to people’s homes. To cater to your needs and wants, we provide many different kinds of wood to choose from. We stock and supply Accoya, pine, spruce, Siberian larch, and cedar. We have an eco-conscious approach to sourcing our timber, that’s why we have a sustainable mark of responsible forestry.  On top of providing and preparing our own timber, we offer the charring services of your choice. We aim to help you build the house of your dreams. Our experts will help you envision projects, find solutions to your inquiries, and help carry out tasks you already have in mind.