Choosing the Right Timber for Your Hardwood Gate

If you’re looking to invest in a new gate for your garden or home, hardwood gates tick all the boxes.

For starters, they look amazing. With their sleek design and striking appearance, hardwood gates add a touch of luxury, elegance and sophistication to your outer premises. Having a hardwood gate in your garden or on your driveway will wow your friends, family and neighbours. Hardwood doesn’t just look good, though. It’s a highly durable and hard-wearing material that can withstand the conditions of good old British weather, from hot summers to harsh winters. Hardwood requires little maintenance compared to other types of wood (and gate materials) and has a long lifespan. Plus, a hardwood gate offers peace of mind. Thanks to its close-boarded design and overall sturdiness, it provides the level of security and privacy you need from a gate, whether it’s a driveway gate, a garden gate or a side gate. A hardwood gate combines aesthetics with practicality and protection!

At Village Products, we use two different types of timber to craft our fantastic range of hardwood gates: Idigbo and Iroko. Both types of wood are sourced from Africa, and both have incredible benefits. But which one’s right for your gate?

car and gate

What is Idigbo Hardwood?

Idigbo hardwood is a West African timber sourced from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Most of our hardwood gates here at Village Products are made from Idigbo timber — and for good reason. Idigbo is incredibly durable. It’s strong, stiff and can take a fair amount of punishment while remaining surprisingly lightweight compared to other types of hardwood. It’s also naturally resistant to moisture, so it requires little treatment and maintenance. Visually, Idigbo has a naturally pale, yellow-to-light brown colour. However, it’s easily stainable, meaning it can be treated in a range of shades and colours — from light to dark — to suit your preference. In fact, Idigbo looks almost identical to oak when stained the same colour, making it a popular and more affordable alternative to oak.

Idigbo is an incredibly easy type of hardwood to work with, by both machine and hand tools, ensuring very clean and fine finishes. In addition to being used to make high-quality, long-lasting hardwood gates, Idigbo is also commonly used for decking, furniture and light construction.

What Is Iroko Hardwood?

Iroko shares many of the same qualities as Idigbo, but with a few differences. Also sourced from the tropical coast of West Africa, Iroko has excellent strength properties. It’s a durable, hard-wearing timber that’s naturally resistant to rot and insect attack, which is why it’s also a popular material for boat builders. Idigbo is a beautiful looking hardwood. Where Idigbo is naturally light in appearance, Iroko can vary from light brown and golden orange to darker nut brown. Its interlocked grain and somewhat irregular shading gives it a unique and striking look. However, Iroko does require a little bit more looking after than Idigbo. If left untreated for more than 12 months, Iroko timber will weather to a silver/grey shade. We recommend using Teknos, our favourite wood treatment option, or Tung Nut Oil, garden furniture oil or Danish Oil to maintain its appearance and overall health.

Due to its exclusivity, Iroko is also slightly more expensive. It costs around 10% more than the Idigbo hardwood we use.

brick gate

Which Timber Is Right For Your Hardwood Gate?

So, which type of timber should you choose for your hardwood gate: Idigbo or Iroko? It really depends on your preference of colour and appearance, how much maintenance you’re prepared to do, and your budget. It’s also worth considering what type of gate you’re getting — a garden gate, a side gate or a driveway gate? — as Iroko tends to be better suited to electric gates.

If you’d like more information about our fantastic range of hardwood gates, simply get in touch with one of our friendly and experienced wooden gate experts on 01925 967 071, or get a free quote here.