What is CLS timber and what DIY projects is it good for?

Man measuring timber stud work inside house
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What is CLS timber? As you might guess from its name it is a type of timber, but the initials identify what type of timber. CLS stands for Canadian Lumber Standard and is commonly a softwood such as pine, fir, or spruce.

The name refers to a standard and process that the timber goes through to get a specific type of  finish. Unsurprisingly, the name comes from the fact that it was originally manufactured in Canada. But, nowadays you will find that most CLS timber sold in the UK will have come from Europe or Scandinavia.

Due to its strength when finished it is a popular choice to build a stud wall, partition walls or timber framed houses. Here we look at the characteristics, uses and cost of CLS timber.    

What is CLS timber and what are its characteristics? 

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.