The wood-water interactions of modified beech wood ( Fagus sylvatica L.) were studied. Specimens were thermally modified at 180 (TM 1 ), 200 (TM 2 ) and 220 °C (TM 3 ), acetylated (Acet), and melamine formaldehyde (MF) resin (Mel) modified. Afterwards, the water vapour characteristics, i.e. water vapour sorption isotherms, equilibrium moisture content (EMC), dimensional stability of specimens conditioned at 30, 65 and 90% RH and liquid water characteristics, i.e. water absorption, maximum moisture content (MC), leachability and swelling kinetics, were determined and the results compared with reference (Ref) specimens. From the results, it is evident that the scale of wood-water interactions was highly dependent on the thermal modification temperature and type of chemical modification. The water vapour isotherms of thermally modified wood decreased, whereas more severe treatment exhibited more distinct reduction. The EMC values of the Mel and TM 1 specimens decreased only at high RH, whereas the most significant decrease, within the whole range of observation, was found in the Acet group. The maximum MC reduction was achieved by acetylation. As a consequence of swelling reduction, dimensional stability expressed as anti-swelling efficiency (ASE) was considerably improved. A relatively high initial linear-phase swelling rate was found for the Ref specimens, whereas modified wood exhibited comparatively slow and gradual swelling.