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Discover Malvec: An alternative to Western Red Cedar

In the realm of architectural timber, the quest for sustainability and durability often leads designers and builders to explore alternatives to traditional options like Western Red Cedar. Enter our alternative, Malvec.

As we frequently hear concerns around the costs and availability with Western Red Cedar, we invested in developing an option that does not compromise on aesthetics or durability of the timber specified for a project.

Let’s delve into why Malvec stands out as a compelling alternative to Western Red Cedar for architectural applications.

In this blog we’ll look to cover the following points:

What is Malvec timber?

Malvec is thermally-modified product here at Mortlock Timber. It is typically known as Ayous, a tropical tree that is native to West and Central Africa. Ayous is an exotic timber that has a bright, creamy white to yellow look.

What is thermally-modified timber?

Thermally modified wood is timber that has been heated in temperatures greater than 190 degrees Celsius to create changes in the wood at a cellular level. These structural and chemical changes improve the timber’s durability, stability and resistance to rot and termites.

Malvec undergoes that transformative process that reveals enhanced characteristics. This includes a visually appealing shift to dark, luxurious browns.

It not only excels in aesthetics but also in durability, boasting resistance to fire, rot, and insects, with high density, stability, and strength—ideal for outdoor applications.

Why is Malvec an alternative to Western Red Cedar?

Don’t get us wrong, Western Red Cedar is an amazing timber. It is a durable soft wood that when installed as exterior cladding, the true beauty of the timber is revealed. Malvec emerges as a compelling alternative to Western red cedar for several reasons.

Firstly, it offers a more economical option compared to cedar while boasting superior durability. Western red cedar may develop certain dark and uneven discolouration when externally installed and designed to weather off.

Malvec as a thermally modified timber will avoid certain problems on externally installed surfaces that are designed to weather off.

Additionally, Malvec presents a more cost-effective solution than cedar, making it an attractive choice for those seeking both quality and affordability in their timber products.

What are the characteristics of Malvec?


Although Malvec is sourced from hardwood that comes in a pale, yellow colour, the thermal modification process makes the timber slightly darker and shifts the colour palette to a very desirable one.

Overall, the final colour of Malvec will be established by the oil and finish selected for the timber.


The timber pieces that come out of our WA facilities are essentially knot free with a smooth feel. Malvec is easily machinable and allows us at Mortlock Timber to achieve a fine-sawn finish, making it extremely viable for finishes and stains.


Although made light through the thermal modification process, Malvec is very durable and achieves a 1 -2 class durability rating according to European standards.

It has great workability that allows it to be used for custom designs, especially for exterior applications as it doesn’t not swell or shrink. Malvec however is not BAL rated.


The thermal modification process provides Malvec with transformative colours and a durable structure that make it an excellent option for exterior applications. There is an increasing demand to use this timber indoors with our Satinplank interior lining system.

The lightweight Satinplank products make it easy to install and the customisable profiles allow for effective workability. Malvec is also available in our Proplank batten system and our Trendplank cladding system.

It is important to use stainless steel fixing when using this timber product.

Malvec Satinplank – WOCA Hazelnut Coating

Brushed malvec

Brushed Malvec is an option available at Mortlock Timber that has been introduced into the product range in 2024. This option is created by using a wire brush on Malvec to create an uneven and distressed appearance. This enhances the timber’s grain by forming micro valleys in the soft grain. A gently distressed and textural finish is achieve.

Highlighting the natural timber’s beauty is incredibly important to us at Mortlock Timber and this factory-applied process accentuates Malvec’s aesthetics.

Why choose Malvec?

Thermally modified timber cladding can be an affordable option, depending on the scope of the project and the finishes required. We found that Malvec is an amazing alternative to Western red cedar at a more affordable rate. The best way to get an accurate quote for thermally modified wood pricing is to contact us directly. We can work closely with you to find the right solution for your project specifications and budget.

Get in touch today for more information regarding our architectural timber products or to request a quote. One of our friendly team members will be happy to assist you!

View our pricing and product guide

For in-depth information about the range of products we offer, please fill out the form below to download our Architectural Timber Pricing and Product Guide. Inside you will find illustrations, specifications, portfolio photo examples and a hardwood timber price guide to assist with budgeting.


    Mortlock Timber

    We are committed to bringing you timber products that add value and endure for years to come, even in heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions. We understand the value of efficiency when it comes to installation and keeping hardwood timber costs down. That’s why we’ve spent decades perfecting our designs to make them easier to handle, less wasteful and more efficient to install. This efficiency allows us to offer you premier products that are more cost-effective so that you can experience greater savings on timber wall costs, timber ceiling costs, timber cladding costs and timber decking costs.

    Download our Pricing and Product Guide for our complete hardwood timber price list including timber decking prices, timber wall prices, timber ceiling prices and timber cladding prices.