Kiln Drying – Why & How

Kiln dried timber in Gabon

If you’re interested in buying kiln dried timber but wish to find out more about the process of kiln drying first, you’ve come to the right place. This post explores what kiln drying is, why kiln drying is carried out, and how kiln drying is completed as a process. Read on to find out more.

What is kiln drying?

Kiln drying is the process of drying out a material such as timber or sand in a kiln. More specifically, kiln drying reduces the moisture content of a material prior to its use. Kiln drying is an alternative method to air drying, which is a traditional method of drying that takes longer to complete. Wood that has been dried in a kiln is referred to as kiln-dried lumber.

Why is kiln drying done?

Wood and other materials are kiln dried in order to improve the consistency of that material’s qualities. For instance, once lumber has been kiln dried, it is less likely to reabsorb moisture going forward, such as whilst being outside in damp weather. This makes it a more reliable material for construction or similar industries, especially during the latter months of the year.

Kiln drying also offers the advantage of killing off any insects that may reside within the lumber, resulting in a safer material to be used whenever needed. This makes it a safe choice of lumber to handle, whether that be by construction experts, a manufacturing company’s employees, or a wholesaler’s customers.

How is kiln drying done?

Kiln drying lumber is a relatively easy process. The first step is to stack pre-cut wood into the kiln, wherein numerous factors such as air circulation, temperature, and relative humidity are easily controllable. A kiln is akin to a huge oven. From there, these controllable factors are changed accordingly in order to reach a target level of moisture. This is a precise and relatively slow process so so as to avoid any drying defects.

The amount of time that it takes to kiln dry a piece of lumber depends on various aspects, including the type of lumber and the intended level of retained moisture. As a rule of thumb, kiln drying lumber can take between a few hours and a few days. When kiln drying logs, a kiln can reach temperatures of up to 70°C.

Choose Woodbois for your lumber needs

If you need kiln-dried lumber that has been sustainably sourced, such as a range of African hardwoods, look no further than Woodbois. We are a sustainable forestry company employing local workers from within the community, selling our timber products to wholesalers and manufacturers around the globe.

In addition to lumber products, Woodbois also sells a range of veneer and blockboard products. We are certified by EU, UK and US bodies to ensure transparency and honesty regarding the sustainability of our products.


Woodbois Ltd, listed on the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange, is involved in the production, processing, manufacture and supply of sustainable African hardwood and hardwood products.

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