Solid vs Faux Wood Beams


Which Beams are Best?

If you’ve fallen in love with the look of solid wooden beams crisscrossing a ceiling or lending rustic charm to a room, you’re not alone. Wooden beams are everywhere in today’s home designs.

At Cochran’s, we get a lot of questions about our reclaimed or custom finished beams. In this post, we’ll try to answer some of them, and help you decide whether solid or faux wood is the right choice for your project. When you’re ready to move forward, be sure to visit our newest division of Cochran’s Lumber, Sawmill Designs.

When is it best to use solid wood beams?

If you are using the beams for actual structural support, you’ll need solid wood and you should select a wood that is both durable and flexible. Keep in mind that solid wood beams are very heavy, and putting them up is definitely a job for professionals.

Esthetically, nothing matches the look and feel of wood. If you’re building a home in an authentically older style or renovating a historic home, only wooden beams will work.

Are there a lot of choices in wooden beams?

At Cochran’s, we specialize in classic American woods and we have a huge variety available. Choose from hand-hewn beams, which have a strikingly rustic look created by the axes used to cut them, or sawn wood, which has a cleaner look and feel. Either one will enhance your ceilings and give them the feel of the centuries-old character.

Don’t feel limited to just a rustic or distressed look. With Cochran’s huge selection of wood choices and custom finishing, we can create beams that have a sleek, modern look or a clean, traditional one. Whatever you envision, we have—or can make–the beam that will bring that vision to life.


Is reclaimed wood strong enough to be used as a support element?

We don’t recommend it as the wood could have been exposed to infestation, dry rot, or other problems, so using it for structural support is risky. Instead, pay homage to its history by using it as a beautifully distressed accent piece.

What if I need to keep a structural beam in place but want it to look more like wood?

That’s not a problem, as Cochran’s talented team can craft a custom box beam or hollow beam that will cover it with the wood look of your choice. Box beams are also a great way to hide pipes, electrical wiring, and other elements that don’t match your overall décor.

Custom reclaimed barn beams Cochran's Lumber Part 4

Where else can you use wood beams?

Let your imagination answer this one, or look to our showroom for some inspiration. Any place you use them, you’ll be showcasing the deep, ingrained beauty of a classic American wood like Southern pine, mountain cherry, maple, or walnut. You can’t go wrong when you’re highlighting the beauty of these traditional American woods and you’ll naturally want to make them a focal point.

When should I opt for faux beams?

As the demand for recycled wood rises, most consumers are turning to faux beams as an easy-to-find alternative. Faux wood is lighter, easier to install, and maintenance-free but it has one disadvantage: it’s not strong enough to actually be a support material. The good news is, modern homes don’t typically have the need for structural beams anymore.

JHallHomes2-Barn-Door by Cochrans Lumber

Contact Cochran’s Newest Division

Sawmill Designs Inc, a division of Cochran’s Lumber, is a family-owned and operated company that has been providing our clients with distinctive reclaimed and new wood products for over 40 years. From box beams, barn doors, to reclaimed barn wood siding, each piece is handcrafted by the same artisan craftsmen.

We invite you to experience the Sawmill Design difference – superior, American made wood products made by craftsmen dedicated to excellence and quality. Real wood products made by real wood experts.

Visit our showroom today and discover why Cochran’s is fast becoming a favorite among the most discriminating homeowners, builders, and designers. Our friendly staff and talented artisans are waiting to help make your beam dreams come true.


Cochran’s Lumber and Millwork is proud to be the leading provider of spectacular floors for homes, offices, and retail spaces across America! Our newly redesigned showroom was thoughtfully designed to make the selection of flooring and finishes exciting and simple. We feature a variety of new and reclaimed flooring products and many new and unique finishes.

We are proud to offer an inviting space where customers can come and get a clear vision of the many types of hardwood flooring options that we offer, and feel comfortable at the same time.

Visit our showroom today in historic Berryville, VA (only 50 miles west of Washington D.C) or give us a call at 1(877) 297-8331.