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Flooring 100

Jan 04, 2023

Lumber Textures Defined

Tags: Circle Sawn Lumber

Lumber comes with the benefit of versatility. One of the simplest ways to create intrigue with lumber products is by using different textures. Circle sawn, band sawn, S4S and hand hewn are four common types of lumber surface textures. Find the one that suits your project or style best. Here are a few of our favorites to explore.

Circle Sawn

Circle sawn is a rough texture, lending itself well to mountain modern design applications. Authentic circle sawn products are a rarity nowadays, which is why Marks Lumber’s products are so special. The large, circular blade of the saw leaves irregular circle shapes on the surface of the lumber, creating a one-of-a-kind Montana look that can’t be replicated. That said, it also pairs well with industrial, contemporary, and farmhouse designs. Marks Lumber’s flooring, siding, and timbers all boast an authentic circle sawn texture, so you can achieve a unique look all throughout your home.

Band Sawn

Band sawn is another rough-sawn texture. However, you’ll find a more uniform pattern left by a single band saw blade. This type of saw has a thin toothed blade that’s stretched between two or more wheels to cut the material. It’s fine but sharp, cutting with precision. Band saws hit the sweet spot between a table saw (stability) and a jig saw (maneuverability). The look is different enough from circle sawn that you can achieve a very distinct effect when you choose one texture over another. At Marks Lumber, you can special order band sawn boards or opt for one side band sawn and one side circle sawn.


S4S is a planed lumber texture. A plane, in this case, doesn’t have wings. It’s actually a finely honed blade that shaves off thin slivers of wood, removing the marks left behind by the circle saw or band saw. To make this type of lumber, the wood is sent through a planer, leaving the surface smooth on all four sides—which gives it its nickname, S4S. This lends to a more typical polished look, which especially shows through in the details. These boards can be used for a variety of different applications, and are often the most common texture people think of when discussing lumber products.

Hand Hewn

Hand hewn lumber is wood that has been cut or shaped with hard blows of a heavy cutting tool, like an ax, adze, or chisel. Starting with a raw log, the woodworker will often make cuts equally spaced down the length of the log, hewing out one slice at a time to leave a flat side behind. Then the process repeats three more times before a single piece has been milled. The workmanship and skill involved brings an element of luxury and bespoke craft that elevates any design. However, you can still incorporate that rustic feel in the roughness of the tool marks. Hand hewn material is often considered a specialty product, since it is such a labor intensive process.

When it comes time to pick your lumber texture, there is no right or wrong choice. The texture you choose is all about finding what works best for your own personal style. Contact Marks Lumber today for personalized recommendations and advice to help you build the home, barn, outdoor furniture or craftsman pieces of your dreams. Get in touch to fill your lumber needs.

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