Timber has been one of the most common and well-used materials in the field of construction, renovation, home improvement and interior design. It is a natural material even in the final form as opposed to aluminium, tiles, and even glass. There are endless possibilities of usage, provides strength (still being used as structural elements like roof trusses), sustainable (bio-degradable) and undoubtedly pretty on its own. Not difficult to imagine, considering how people still love it on their flooring, doors and cabinets.
To get good quality timber products require time (a mature Tropical wood like teak, chengal takes 40-50 years to grow), and it is fair to say that usage has far exceeded supply over the past 2-3 decades, even in Malaysia and Singapore. With the emergence of younger aged timber, thus affecting over quality, home owners have been, not so quietly, opting for faux-timber options when refurbishing or building their homes.
Supply issues of quality timber products have also definitely drove the price up and sway home owners the other way. Below are couple of other reasons too, depending on application.
Faux-timber replacement: Laminate flooring, composite timber decking
Pros of faux-timber replacement: Cheaper, constant new products, maintenance
Cons of faux-timber replacement: Aesthetics (repeated patterns as they’re printed), future product replacement (discontinuation),
2. Windows & doors
Faux-timber replacement: Aluminium frame in timber prints
Pros: Price, durability
Cons: Maintenance for rust, less options for design
3. Cabinet doors
Faux-timber replacement: Laminates, aluminium doors (Alloy kitchen)
Pros: Durable, not susceptible to weathering, color selection, less prone to sagging due to weight
Cons: Price, ease of denting on impact
I think at the end of the day, it just depend on your priorities. There is no right or wrong, win or lose. It’s not a zero sum game.