AbstractStudies on the durability and dimensional stability of a series of hardwoods and softwoods after thermal modification in vegetable oils and in steam atmospheres have been performed. Mass loss after exposure to Coniophora puteana (BAM Ebw.15) for 16 weeks was very low for European birch, European aspen, Norway spruce, and Scots pine thermally modified in a linseed oil product with preservative (for 1 hour at 200 oC). Fairly low mass losses were obtained for wood thermally modified in linseed-, tung- and rapeseed oil, and losses were related to the wood species. Low mass loss during rot test was also found for Norway spruce and Scots pine modified in saturated steam at 180 oC. Water absorption of pine and aspen was reduced by the thermal treatments and the extent of reduction was dependent on wood species and thermal modification method. Thermally modified aspen was stable during cycling climate tests, whereas pine showed considerable cracking when modified under superheated steam conditions (Thermo D). At lower modification temperature (180 oC) an increase in mass after modification in rapeseed oil of spruce, aspen and sapwood as well as heartwood of pine was observed, whereas at high temperature (240 oC) a mass loss could be found. Oil absorption in room tempered oil after thermal modification in oil was high for the more permeable aspen and pine (sapwood).