Product Review

A New Glass-Infused Fire-Resistant Interior Lumber

OnWood’s sodium silicate infused fire-retardant-treated-wood is a less hazardous alternative to standard products. OnWood’s future products will offer insect and rot resistance and hopefully FSC certification.

Wood building products from sustainably managed forests have lower carbon footprints and fewer environmental impacts than concrete, steel, and other structural materials. And at the end of their service life, they naturally degrade, returning carbon and nutrients to the soil. Nature would like to start that decay process early, however, so if wood is not protected, it is vulnerable to combustion, rot, and pests. That protection usually requires chemicals—many of which are hazardous to our health and the environment.

BuildingGreen has long sought alternatives to standard wood-treatment chemistries and was particularly intrigued by sodium silicate, also known as water glass. Sodium silicate is used in laundry and dishwashing detergent, wastewater treatment, manufacturing, and textiles, and is even found in those little packets used to keep consumer goods dry. It has fewer health and environmental impacts than standard wood treatment chemistries, and when added to wood under pressure, the final product is transformed into essentially a wood/glass infusion that is no longer flammable or a food source.

Published February 6, 2023

Ehrlich, B. (2023, January 18). A New Glass-Infused Fire-Resistant Interior Lumber. Retrieved from