Last month, we announced the release of real wood mantels, to accompany our existing range of real wood beams. But that's led some customers ready to start their home remodeling project to wonder: Which is right for them? Real, or going faux? Real wood beams offer a touch of additional authenticity to your home design projects. It's an interesting dilemma - which do you go for? As-good-as-the-real-thing, or the real thing? For some customers, that's a decision many have to make when choosing to add decorative wood pieces to their home. We obviously made our name with a wide selection of faux wood products - painstakingly hand-molded from real wood in high density polyurethane foam with detailed staining and coloration. The result? Stunning beams, mantels and more that are practically indistinguishable from the real thing. But we also offer the 'real thing'. These cleverly designed hollow beams are created using real virgin timber - for the look and feel of authentic reclaimed wood, but with the lightness and practicality of a faux beam. So when you've got as-good-as-the-real-thing and the real thing to choose from, which do you go for? Well, here are some thoughts to consider: Even close up, it's pretty difficult to tell the difference between faux mantels (shown here) and the real thing. They both look great. Thanks to skilled craftsmanship, both real and faux look amazing. Faux beams are are available either unfinished, or stained in rich and vivid hues that perfectly recreate the look of real wood. The 3-sided virgin timber beams and mantels are made with a level of craftsmanship that gives them the look of centuries-old reclaimed wood - but much more practical and easier to install. As a result, you can't really decide which to go for based on looks alone. Whichever you pick, you've chosen a winner. Real wood has the feel of timber. While faux wood and real wood is practically indistinguishable to look at, there is a definite difference to the feel. This is why many customers choose real wood mantels or real wood beams in places where its likely visitors will actually reach out and touch them. Faux wood is a lot more affordable. Because real wood beams are made from actual wood, there is a significant cost difference when compared to faux beams. For people looking to add a lot of wood to their home - like a ceiling full of beams - this can be a major deciding factor. When adding elements like ceiling fans, faux beams offer valuable practicality. Faux wood has design practicalities. Some of the design aesthetics of beams and mantels remain the same whether you choose real wood, or faux. The products are hollow, allowing for light weight, and ease of installation, and available three or four-sided depending on your exact needs. But because faux beams are made from high density polyurethane, there are additional practical advantages over natural wood. For a start, they're significantly lighter; which can be important when installing ceiling beams, or paying for shipping. Secondly, the polyurethene is incredibly easy to cut; more so than real wood. Pair that with added resistance to heat and moisture, and going faux is definitely the choice when adding design elements like ceiling fans or recessed lighting. When people might actually TOUCH them, there's a definite aesthetic advantage to real wood beams. But sometimes, you just can't beat the real thing. Ultimately, one reason customers sometimes pick real wood over faux is simply because it's real. While going faux offers a lot of the same advantages as real wood beams, there's something to be said for authenticity. While it might be impossible to tell the difference with just a look, a lot of homeowners still prefer knowing that their beams and mantels are genuine. For homeowners with older and historic homes, there's also an advantage to using real wood; especially when it's paired with existing wood design features. The use of real wood is historically and aesthetically accurate, and can definitely help preserve period features and retain value in homes which date back far enough. The Choice is Yours The great thing about these choices is that you're really only weighing advantages against each other - there are no downsides. Whichever product you end up with, it's going to look great; and its not a bad feeling knowing you'll pick a winner every time.