Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood Indoors? Pros, Cons, & FAQ
Pressure-treated wood is inexpensive and easy to work with, which is something most people love. It has many different applications, and although most people use it outdoors, you can also safely use it indoors.
There are many misconceptions about how pressure-treated wood is not suitable for indoor use due to the wood’s treatment. However, as long as you use it for items that don’t get in contact with food, you can use pressure-treated wood for various indoor projects.
What Is Pressure-Treated Wood?
Pressure-treated wood is lumber that has undergone a treatment process where manufacturers place it in a pressure chamber filled with preservative chemicals. Although many people believe this wood type is toxic, it shouldn’t negatively affect humans.
Still, due to a considerable amount of chemicals, you shouldn’t use pressure-treated wood for areas where your kids and pets can reach it.
Types of Pressure-Treated Wood
Borate wood is pressure treated with mineral salt solutions based on water. The salt aims to protect the wood from insects, mold, and mildew while keeping the color of the wood. If the wood is left in constantly wet conditions, it washes the treatment out of the wood.
Alkaline copper quaternary
ACQ wood is treated with eco-friendly solutions that contain ammonium alkyl and copper in it and don’t change the color of the wood. While the ACQ is safe for the environment, it shouldn’t come into contact with food.
Noncombustible wood is another type of pressure-treated wood. While it is pressure-treated, it is not suitable or convenient for residential use.
Benefits of Pressure-Treated Wood
Pressure-treated wood has many benefits, so you should try it out for your next indoor project. Below are the most significant advantages this wood type brings:
- Easily workable
- It comes in various sizes
Disadvantages of Pressure-Treated Wood
When it comes to the structure of a home, there’s no ideal material, so even pressure-treated wood has certain disadvantages, including:
- Not suitable for all applications
- Can be toxic
- It can fade with time
- Prone to splinters and cracks
Using Pressure-Treated Wood Indoors
Pressure-treated wood is an excellent material for building many items or furniture pieces found around the home, especially those constantly affected by moisture. That said, make sure never to use pressure-treated on objects that come into contact with food, such as kitchen countertops or cutting boards, as the chemicals in the wood can be toxic to humans.
Bathrooms, basements, and kitchens are often wet or moist, so building a floor to support all the moisture is necessary. Pressure-treated wood is perfect for rooms in constant battle with excess water, mold, and mildew. You can cover the pressure-treated wood flooring with any type of traditional floorings, such as tiles or laminate. This way, you provide an excellent water-resistant base underneath a regular flooring.
Using pressure-treated wood for framing basements is an excellent way to incorporate more functionality into your home. Pressure-treated wood is great for this project since it is water-resistant, so once framed, it will not warp under moisture.
Pressure-treated wood is excellent for wall paneling. Since it is water-resistant and doesn’t lose shape or stability, you can also use it for panel walls in basements. Using pressure-treated wood as wall paneling is not as good-looking as putting up regular wall paneling, so it’s recommended to paint over it. Painting over the pressure-treated lumber will also help seal the chemicals.
Since certain rooms in the house have high humidity levels, such as kitchens or bathrooms, building furniture out of pressure-treated wood can be rewarding. Using water-resistant wood to create chairs, bathroom shelves, or kitchen tables is an excellent way to create a more durable piece of furniture that will not wear out due to moisture.
Tips for Safely Using Pressure-Treated Wood
Since pressure-treated wood is treated with many different chemicals that make it resistant to water, insects, mold, and rot, it is not entirely safe to handle it without sufficient knowledge. It is essential to be informed on handling pressure-treated wood safely, and we’ve gathered some valuable tips for you to follow.
- Use a face mask or safety goggles.
- Always use gloves when handling pressure-treated wood.
- Ensure to clean and properly dispose of any wood cuttings or sawdust left since touching or inhaling these particles can be extremely dangerous.
- To make it easier to collect sawdust after working, you can either use a specialized vacuum or place a tarp under your work area.
- Thoroughly wash hands after working.
- Never work with treated wood indoors; always work in an open space with excellent air circulation.
- Dispose of the wood properly, and never burn it as their toxic fumes can contaminate the environment.
Pressure-treated wood is an excellent material to incorporate into your home, especially in rooms that deal with a lot of moisture daily. Treated wood has many benefits, such as being water-resistant, resistant to insects and termites, and very easy to work with and install. Even though the benefits are significant, treated wood can be hazardous as many chemicals are involved. If you follow all the tips outlined above, you will ensure your safety and the safety of everyone around you.
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