Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood Indoors

Image of treated wood used in flooring-answering the question, can you use pressure treated wood indoors?

Pressure treatment of wood involves the infusion of chemicals into the wood under high pressure in pressurized tanks. Even so, a lot of people keep asking us this question, can you use pressure treated wood indoors?

Well, the simple answer is yes. You can use pressure treated wood indoors. However, do not use it for the application that involves foodstuff, such as in the making of cutting boards, kitchen table tops, countertops, and the likes.

Treating wood using chemicals under high pressure remains one of the very best ways to preserve wood from rodents and other microorganisms. A lot of care is necessary when using such lumber, especially in the interior environment.

Why is Wood Pressure Treated?

It is quite easy to identify the pressure treated wood because these woods have a greenish tint or coloration, a property common to treated lumber.

This chemical treated process began in the early 20th century as a way of according extra protection to the woods that were used outdoors. Different wood companies realized that forcing chemicals into the wood pores was one way of giving them prolonged life. These chemicals resisted destructive actions by insects, rodents, and microorganisms. The chemicals in the treatment of wood today are less lethal compared to the ones in the past. However, precautionary measures are still crucial to prevent possible health hazards.

Why Use Pressure Treated Wood Indoors?

Well, it makes a lot of sense to use pressure treated lumber indoors, especially if you are from a region that experiences high levels of humidity or on structures located in parts of the house that are highly humid like the bathroom cabinets and ceilings. As we have mentioned earlier, treated wood can withstand moisture, and that makes them appropriate for use in the making of structures such as bathtub caddy or shower benches. These woods provide a cheaper alternative to traditional indoor wood applications.

Also, your area could be prone to termite infestation; this is a reason enough for you use to consider using pressure treated wood indoors.

Ways of Using Pressure Treated Wood Indoors

After several expert consultations and consideration, we have come with several practical and safe ways of using pressure treated wood indoors. Some of these ways include:

Wall Panelling

If you are looking to do wall paneling, especially in your basement, then consider using pressure treated wood. It will offer both water and mold resistance to your interior wall paneling. Besides, this product is easy to install and finish, to improve the appearance as well as preventing coming into contact with the “treatment chemicals” in these woods, we recommend that you paint or stain your pressure treated wood. There are deck stains and deck sealers for pressure treated wood that you can use in the process.


Flooring is one of the best areas that you can use the pressure treated lumber. These woods have a reputation for resisting molds and moisture, so it will be great to use them on floors of areas such as bathrooms due to increased moisture levels in such areas. To stay safer from the chemicals in the woods, you can consider tiling, using a laminate or a carpet on top to seal the threat of chemicals.

Sill Plates

Sill plates are usually attached to the lower parts of the door or wall and help in anchoring home to the foundation and are a moisture barrier. These treated wood perform better as sill plates, especially on the underneath of exterior doors. These woods are compatible with carbon steel fasteners; they do not need any special handling and, above all, prevent decay and insect infestation.

Framing Material

When it comes to building and construction, most woodworkers prefer wood types like pine, cedar, as well as spruce. However, if you are looking to frame basements, then consider using pressure treated wood. Basements are mostly humid, and that what makes treated lumber suitable for framing in such an area. When used as a base plate in the framing of the walls, these woods can resist the growth of molds, mildew, and even moisture, unlike the typical softwoods. 

As Furniture

You can use pressure treated wood in the making of furniture like kitchen tables and chairs, areas with high humidity. If you use them in the kitchen, for example, they will likely come into contact with utensils and so much more. So that you don’t take chances with the possible chemicals in the woods, we do recommend that you add a top coat like paint or stain to the surface of your treated wood.

NOTE: DO NOT use pressure treated wood in the construction of countertops or chopping boards as they can contaminate food.

Is Pressure Treated Lumber Toxic?

In the past, wood treatment companies used chromate copper arsenate (CCA) in the pressure treatment of wood. CCA is an extremely toxic chemical that caused different health conditions. 

Two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency prohibited the use of CCA in wood treatment. It lead to the use of new chemicals called alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ), copper azole (CA), or micronized copper azole (MCA), which poses no health risks to humans pets but to insects such as termites.

Are there any Dangers in Using Pressure Treated Wood Indoors?

Well, there are no dangers when you choose to use pressure treated wood in your indoor projects. First, it is because the modern pressure treated wood uses chemicals that are less toxic to humans as well as the environment. 

Second, there can only be complications when you burn pressure treated woodTherefore, avoid by all means throwing any type of wood inside your burning place without confirming its nature. Burning woods with toxic substances such as arsenic can cause serious health complications when you inhale its fumes.

The Conclusion

Much as it might look unconventional, a decision to use pressure treated wood at home is not a bad one whatsoever. It’s more beneficial than it seems. The woods are great when it comes to resisting sun, moisture, and high traffic areas making them suitable for use on making bathroom floors, wall panellings, and sill plates.

Can you use pressure treated wood indoors? 

Yes, it is okay to use treated wood for your indoor projects.

The video below answers the question on whether or not you can use pressure treated wood indoors

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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