When it comes to furniture, there are a variety of different types of wood available on the market. Each type of wood has its own unique characteristics in terms of color, density, grain, and finish. Choosing the right wood for your furniture is essential as it helps determine the exact price of your unit and will be a deciding factor when you want to restore, resell, or dispose of furniture. Although you can use any type of wood to make furniture, not all woods are created equal.
That's why it's important to choose carefully. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most popular types of wood used for furniture and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
Hardwoodcomes from angiosperms such as maple, oak, and walnut. These trees lose their leaves every year (deciduous or broad-leaved trees) and grow slowly, resulting in denser wood fibers (tracheal fibers and libriform fibers).
An interesting fact about hardwood is that some types of hardwood cannot float in water - for example, black ironwood is perhaps the hardest and heaviest wood that sinks in water. Hardwood is revered for its varied natural colors, styles, and perforation plate patterns. It is also used to make furniture but not all types of hardwood are ideal for making furniture.
Softwoodcomes from gymnosperms which are evergreen trees that contain seeds such as pine, fir, cedar, juniper, redwood, and yew.
Because most evergreen trees tend to be less dense than deciduous trees, they're easier to cut down and they also grow tall and straight making it easy to cut long straight wooden boards. Softwood usually consists of tracheids and wooden stripes but lacks vessels - since there are no containers softwood is also referred to as non-porous wood. The lack of containers allows softwoods to absorb adhesives quickly resulting in a better finish. Softwood is commonly used in building materials such as structural frames, exterior and interior wall cladding, accessories, floor coverings, formwork, and scaffolding among others.
It is also used in the paper and cardboard industry. It comes with loose grain higher sap content and a lighter color but has poor fire resistance. Its thin and light structure makes it the best wood for furniture.
Mahoganyis one of the most popular tropical hardwood trees.
Mahogany wood is prized for its beauty durability and color. It is relatively free of gaps and bags making it a popular choice for furniture.
Walnut (Black Walnut)is one of the most popular woods for furniture in the US. Dimensional stability shock resistance strength properties and rich coloration are the reasons for its popularity.
Oak is native to the Northern Hemisphere with about 600 species of oak both deciduous and perennial. Oak wood is extremely strong heavy and durable as well as resistant to fungal attacks making it an ideal choice for furniture.
Ashtrees are medium to large trees that grow in most parts of the world. Ashwood feels soft to the touch making it durable tough and flexible with excellent nailing screw fastening and gluing properties - carpenters love to work with ash wood however it produces a distinctive and moderately unpleasant odor while working on it.
Birch trees are widespread in the Northern Hemisphere although it is closely related to Oakwood it is much more difficult Birch plywood is probably the most commonly used as it is hard stable affordable and easily available.
Mapletrees are mostly native to Asia but they are also found in Europe North Africa and North America Maple wood is sturdy break-resistant and durable can be cleaned with a damp cloth making it ideal for kitchen furniture.
Cherrywood comes from cherry trees Cherry wood has an intense color a soft grain and flexibility making it a popular choice for furniture makers It also vaporizes easily making it ideal for use in curved designs.
Beechtrees are deciduous and native to temperate zones in Europe Asia and North America Beech wood is very durable and resistant to abrasion and shocks because beech vapor bends as easily as ash carpenters love to work with this wood It also gives an elegant and dated look to the furniture however it is not dishwasher safe.
Teak trees are tropical hardwood trees native to India Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand Teak wood is one of the hardest and most durable natural woods It is resistant to rot sunlight rain frost and snow making it suitable for construction and outdoor furniture however it's expensive and sometimes hard to find.