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Brooks Bros Timber

A passion for timber

from River Thames timber porter to one of today’s leading UK timber suppliers, through a combination of family values, targeted ambition, international reputation and balanced foresight.
sawn hardwoods from around the world, speciality timbers like FSC EcoTeak: Non-Burma origin™, clear grade softwoods, structural hardwoods, joinery redwoods, hardwoods and softwoods for flooring and decking, sheet materials and laminated timber.
through our state-of-the-art machining facilities (our 20 moulders, fully automated flooring line, 10 finishing lines, sanding machines, optimising cross-cuts and a laminating press) that process your timber just the way you want it.
through our approach to responsible sourcing and timber’s sustainability.

The company

From timber porters on the River Thames the company’s reputation for quality and service, formed in the South East of England, has spread and today Brooks Bros is one of the UK’s leading timber suppliers.

Throughout its more than fifty years of development, Brooks Bros has remained fiercely independent, combining family values with single-minded (but broad based) ambition to meet the demands of customers both large and small across the full spectrum of traditional and new timber products.
It’s been a rich mix of international reputation and foresight that has created a force in the industry that sits comfortably alongside corporate competitors.

Today, Brooks Bros offers a nationwide service from five flourishing ‘customer service and distribution sites’ strategically located in the South (Danbury and Maldon) serving the South of England, the Midlands (Nottingham) serving the Midlands and South Yorkshire, the North West (Skelmersdale) serving the North West, Yorkshire, Shropshire and North Wales and the North East (Washington) serving the North East and Scotland.

These sites offer timber storage, ordering and selection services, added value machining and finishing services. Customer service is based on the knowledge and understanding of a 250 strong workforce and a combined fleet of some 40 vehicles that maintains an efficient nationwide distribution service.

The Complete Timber Service

This is the ‘staple diet’ of Brooks Bros: we stock more than 50 species, which is one of the broadest ranges available today from a UK supplier. These include certified and source-verified American, European and tropical hardwoods, structural hardwoods, clear grade softwoods, construction grade timbers and EcoTeak of non-Burma origin that are all sourced to the Timber Trade Federation’s ‘Responsible Purchasing Policy’.

Brooks Bros also offers standard and bespoke laminated timbers as well as its Brookstech range of laminated door, window and stair components – all with high dimensional stability, superb defect-free quality, reduced waste advantages and FSC certification.

Year on year it has been the company’s policy to enhance the quality and variety of its timber stocks.
To most customers this is ‘key’ and Brooks Bros’ understanding of added value is apparent in its ongoing and continuous investment in the latest timber technology.

Through this belief Brooks Bros can ‘boast’ more and more unrivalled technical operations, like finishing (five finishing lines), foil and veneer wrapping, kiln drying (through 19 modern kilns), preservative and flame retardant treatment, laminating, machining, moulding, sawing, tool making…the list goes on.
Mouldings have always featured strongly in the Brooks Bros product ‘portfolio’ and today a wide range of window, door, joinery, decking and picture-framing profiles is always available either ex-stock (like imported Shorea/Meranti hardwood stocks), or can be produced to ‘spec’.

Another Brooks Bros strength is its timber flooring with over 50,000m² of solid wood and engineered flooring collectively held in stock as well as state-of-the-art mill facilities offering bespoke flooring. Then there are the finishing touches like skirtings, architraves and Oak doors to match the flooring. To see and feel the flooring ‘for real’ visit one of our showrooms at Maldon or Nottingham.

Completing its timber products line you can add Brooks Bros timber decking and architectural cladding, an expanding range of panel products and feature doors.

A Quality Service

Brooks Bros service is based on the quality standard ISO 9001:2008 that commits us to a number of requirements in order to achieve customer satisfaction including continual improvement of our stated quality management procedures.

Across our five sites we have a workforce of experienced, understanding and dedicated people: many specialists in specific aspects of the timber industry.

On the road or from our sales desks our representatives and sales people are always available to discuss specific needs. In the background we rely on dedicated teams of ‘hands on’ operatives. This workforce, around 250 all told is the backbone of the company…the attention each person gives to every aspect of every enquiry is first class and expert.

All in all this, we believe, provides our customers with a service that is second to none.

A service we’re proud to say resulted in Brooks Bros being voted winners of the prestigious TTJ Hardwood Timber Trader of the Year Award for 2010. We thank all the customers and suppliers who have supported us over recent years…especially those who voted for us.
None of all the services so far described would mean much if we couldn’t ‘deliver’ what we say and offer. On the road Brooks Bros has a fleet of some 40 vehicles and any stock item can normally be delivered within 48 hours. With our sites strategically located close to motorway links we cover the UK both effectively and efficiently.

Memberships and Recognitions

Brooks Bros is a member of the Timber Trade Federation, TRADA, the British Marine Federation and the Contract Flooring Association. We have FSC UK and PEFC UK Ltd Chain of Custody certifications and support the objectives of both the TTF Forests Forever and the Wood for Good campaigns.


Using the latest CNC technology and finest tool steels, Brooks Bros’ own, skilled craftsmen guarantee the highest-quality cutters every time.
State-of-the-art mill facilities spread across our five sites, equipped with a total of 19 of the very best moulders (including Weinig Powermat 500s, 1000s and 3000s) provide fast, accurate and competitively priced profiles in hardwoods, clear softwoods, joinery quality redwoods and MDF.
We operate an optimising crosscut for high speed and accurate cutting and two beam saws that guarantee panels are cut accurately and economically.
We operate with two wide bed and twin belt machines.
Our two flooring lines – comprising automated moulding, cross cutting with ends matched and polythene wrapping – offer the complete bespoke flooring operation.


We operate five finishing lines – equipped with sanding heads and dust extraction to ensure the best possible finish – that can apply water based lacquer, stain and primer coats (from a basic sealer coat through to a fully finished product).
Perfect for picture frame and other mouldings/profiles, this two-line operation provides high quality solutions to specific customer needs by matching the colours of natural timber and other materials.
Our CNC router offers aperture, lock, hinge cutting and drilling facilities.


Laminated timber is a factory-produced material made by gluing together (under high pressure) accurately machined lamellas of solid timber. With the installation of the latest Taylor Laminating Press, we can produce laminated timber sections up to 150mm x 900mm x 4.9m. By taking material from our extensive inventory of both hardwood and softwood species (including FSC and PEFC certified) and using the most appropriate glues we have produced a variety of bespoke orders: like solid wood worktops manufactured in the ‘age old way’ – using wide boards, cut in full lengths and random widths (details available on request).
It’s stronger: because of it’s multi-layer engineered construction
It’s more stable: because its not like solid timber that tends to distort as it absorbs or expels moisture as it encounters various temperature changes: hence it is less likely to shrink or swell after installation
It creates less wastage: because it eliminates removing defects coming to you already clear of knots, splits and sapwood
It streamlines manufacture: because it is supplied in uniform sections, that can go into making the finished product the minute they are delivered, it creates a cleaner working environment
It’s reliable: because the construction ensures the quality is consistently maintained throughout
It’s ‘greener’: because it is 100% FSC certified, produces a much more efficient use of the logs and reduces the need for unnecessary raw material stock-holding

Fire Retardant and Preservative

Brooks Bros can offer the full range of fire retardant treatments in class 0 and class 1 in accordance with BS 476 parts 6 and 7.

Treatment can be applied by either a pressure impregnation process, or through an automated spray applied finishing line.

Timber preservative treatments can be applied by our in house double vacuum system or surface coated through our Universal finishing line.

Teak has an aesthetic beauty, outstanding durability and is an easy timber to work with.
Teak has been the ideal boat building, decking and construction timber for over 2,000 years.
Teak was traditionally sourced in Myanmar (previously Burma). But, with procurement of Teak direct from Myanmar banned to boat building and other industries, supply has been limited and of suspect origin.

Teak Brooks Bros (UK) now look to sourcing regulated alternatives, like FSC Recycled Teak and FSC EcoTeak: Non-Burma Origin™ (Tectona Grandis), that are legal and sustainable.

Black Walnut – Super Prime

speciality woods
As further evidence of its commitment to offering customers the very best, Brooks Bros has ‘partnered’ with Florian Legno to exclusively supply their 100% FSC® Super Prime American Black Walnut (FSC® Plantation Juglans Nigra) into the UK.

Ripped after steaming and kilning to enhance the quality and shape and improve the yield.

The Super Prime Black Walnut forests of Eastern Europe have been plantation grown ensuring adequate spacing between trees to produce wider straighter logs, which have then been managed, thinned and pruned (removing the lower branches) to reduce the number and size of knots in the log.

It has 100% FSC® environmental credentials.

It offers a super high-yield alternative to lesser grades with substantially less waste; saving on downtime when making good any defects. Most importantly, the final result is a spectacular top quality finished job.

It also offers a closer match to Walnut veneer faced material Super Prime Grade contains minimum sap, minimum knots and is selected for its wider cuttings.

1. Super Prime
27mm & 33mm thickness boards: Predominantly knot free Front face minimum 90% clear | Back face minimum 70% clear 40mm, 52mm, 65mm and 80mm thickness boards: Predominantly knot free | Front face minimum 90% clear | Back face minimum 80% clear

2. Super Prime One Face
27mm, 33mm & 40mm thickness boards only: Predominantly knot free | Front face minimum 90% clear | Back face allowing unlimited sap and colour distortion

3. Ripped to Width Strips also available on request

Top quality American Black Walnut lumber, graded to bring the best yield of clear long and wide cuttings that is ideal for high-end joinery.
Width tolerances: 75% 140mm and wider allowing maximum 25% 100mm-140mm.
Kiln tolerances to be: 27mm, 33mm and 40mm: 9-11% m/c, 52mm: 11-13% m/c, 65mm and 80mm: 14-16% m/c.

Brooks Bros Guide to Timber Grading

The NHLA (National Hardwood Lumber Association) grades cover the majority of commercial hardwood species growing in the USA. The following is a brief summary of the grades, characteristics and defects of North American hardwoods.

The FAS grade, which derives from an original grade ‘First and Seconds’, will provide the user with long, clear cuttings – best suited for high quality furniture, interior joinery and solid wood mouldings. Minimum board size is 6″ and wider and 8′ and longer. The FAS grade includes a range of boards that yield from 83.33% (ten-twelfths) to 100% clear-wood cuttings over the entire surface of the board. The clear cuttings must be a minimum size of 3″ wide by 7′ long or 4″ wide by 5′ long.

The number of these cuttings permitted depends on the size of the board, with most boards permitting one to two. The minimum width and length will vary, depending on species and whether the board is green or kiln dried. Both faces of the board must meet minimum requirements for FAS.

This grade is nearly always shipped with FAS.
The better face must meet all FAS requirements while the poor face must meet all the requirements of the Number 1 Common grade, thus ensuring the buyer with at least one FAS face. Often export shipments are assembled with an 80-20 mix (80% being the percentage of FAS boards and 20% the percentage of F1F boards). These percentages are strictly left to the individual Buyer and Seller agreement. fas face 1 f1f Note: Minimum yield 88.33% clear wood cuttings on the poor face of the board
Regional exceptions to the standard NHLA grades

Considered to be the elite of American hardwoods, Walnut is the favourite of the darker woods for fine furniture, interiors and gunstocks. Walnut grows in widely scattered stands throughout the eastern half of the United States. Historically the grading rules for FAS Walnut have been refined to encourage better use of the wood. Because of this, FAS Walnut grades allow for smaller boards, in both width and length. Natural characteristics are also admitted to a greater extent than the standard NHLA grade rules for other species. .

For a more detailed explanation and what Walnut grades and products are available contact your usual or nearest Brooks Bros Sawn Timber Sales Office.
The following photographs illustrate characteristics that occur in North American hardwoods. Some are inherent to certain species and others are generic to all. These characteristics either occur naturally in the timber or as a result of the drying process. The grades are based on the percentage of clear, defect free wood in the board.

The NHLA grading rules allow the following characteristics in clear cutting percentages for all grades and they are therefore NOT considered defects.

timber grade 1
Note: Although the NHLA grading rules do not consider these characteristics as defects for the standard grades, allowances are made within the individual species. For example, species such as Hard Maple and Ash are more desirable if there is a large portion of the board that is sapwood (white) and very little heartwood. The reverse is true when specifying species such as Cherry, Oak and Walnut. It is essential that the Buyers familiarise themselves not only with each species but the growing regions throughout the USA as well. Climate, soil and growing conditions such as hills and valleys all play an important role in the growth of a tree.

As previously stated, the NHLA rules are the framework to starting the trading process. For further details on characteristics found in individual species please contact your usual or nearest Brooks Bros Sawn Timber Sales Office.

The NHLA grading rules do not allow the following characteristics in the clear cuttings for all grades and they therefore ARE considered defects.


EUTR stands for European Union Timber Regulation and became law on 3rd March 2013.

All EU member states will be required to enforce a robust due diligence tracking system to screen out imports of illegal timber into the EU.

Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd welcomes and supports the introduction of EUTR and is totally committed to making it part of its existing and already stringent purchasing policy.

As a major UK (and therefore European) importer Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd must ensure that all timbers/timber products purchased, that then enter the EU, comply with the regulations laid out for products listed in the EUTR legislation.

In brief the EUTR separates into four categories. The two relevant to Brooks Bros (UK) being Operator/Importer (Brooks Bros) and Trader (Our Customers).

eutr infographic

As an Operator/Importer (Brooks Bros): EUTR requires us to implement a due diligence system to prevent the placement of illegally harvested timber on the EU Market. This minimum must include:
Access to information on volume, species, scientific name, country of harvest, sub-national region of harvest and concession of harvest.
Access to information on the sources of timber products: name and contact details of suppliers and compliance with applicable forest legislation in the country of harvest.
Risk Assessment on the basis of the information gathered.
Risk Mitigation if a high risk is identified during the risk assessment process. This means that Brooks Bros (UK) Ltd might need to gather further information on the species, the sub-national region of harvest and the concession of harvest in order to avoid purchasing and placing illegally harvested timber on the EU.
As a Trader (you, our customer): EUTR requires you to keep records of whom you buy the timber from (your supplier/importer) in the EU and whom you sell it to (your customer).
Can I buy timber with a EUTR certificate?
NO. EUTR is not a certification scheme and the competent authorities in the EU member states will not issue a certificate on specific shipments or suppliers.

If I am FSC certified do I then need to prepare for EUTR?
YES. Being certified is not sufficient, however you can use certifications in your due diligence process.

I only buy European grown timber – do I need to worry about EUTR?
YES. But, because the risk of the timber being illegal is most likely low, your due diligence can be very simple.
EUTR comes into force on 3rd March 2013.

FLEGT or CITES licenses are considered to comply with EUTR requirements, thus no further due diligence is needed.

FSC, PEFC and other certifications do not currently have EUTR recognition. Certifications can be used to mitigate risk in the due diligence process making such process less complicated.
Responsible Purchasing

Over recent years the Brooks Bros (UK) buying policy has been proactively influenced by the environmental responsibility of trading in timber. Where possible, product is sourced from proven and sustainable forests, and through this Brooks Bros (UK) has attained the highest levels of independent accreditation.

Timber Trade Federation: As a member of the Timber Trade Federation Brooks Bros (UK) is a signatory to its Responsible Purchasing Policy. This is the most creditable tool referred to by numerous organisations, including the UK government and Olympic administrators. It is a management tool used to improve performance to obtain legal and sustainable timber.
Brooks Bros (UK) has fully implemented this systematic approach to collecting information on all its sources…developing a preferential suppliers list. Target setting and independent auditing guarantees a continuous improvement in volumes of legal and sustainable timber.

FSC: Brooks Bros is committed to supplying certified timber products where chain of custody can be verified and holds full Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody certification.
The same applies to recycled timbers – the FSC Recycled Label guarantees reclaimed timber is sourced from100% genuine post-consumer waste.

PEFC: Our Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) scheme certifications provides assurance to purchasers that we are promoting the sustainable management of forests.

CPET: Brooks Bros (UK) follows closely UK Government Central Point of Expertise on Timber Procurement Category A evidence (CPET) guidelines, that only ‘legal’ or ‘legal and sustainable’ timber can be specified for government contracts.

Others: Chain of custody guarantees for CSA (Canadian Standards Authority), MTCS (Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme) and SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified products are achieved through BM TRADA’s Forest Products Chain of Custody Certification.