TYPES OF WOOD: A guide to finding the best furniture wood

We often receive questions from our customers about the different types of wood - "Which wood is best for furniture?" Or "How do they differ?"

As you probably know, if you are in the process of furnishing and decorating your home, this question is not as easy to answer as it might seem at first glance. When you are looking for new wooden furniture, you want something durable, that will last a few years, and won't break right away. But to know which furniture is worth the money and which is not, you have to be able to assess its quality. When looking for quality wooden furniture, you first, must pay attention to the type of wood and know whether it is durable or not. The type of wood you choose ultimately determines the durability of the finished piece of furniture. There is a huge selection of different woods, with their respective positive and negative properties, which is why it is easy to become confused. We provide you with the most common soft and hardwoods, which are very popular in the furniture industry.

What is softwood (coniferous wood)?

As the name suggests, softwood is fairly light, "soft" wood. Trees with these wood characteristics are predominantly conifers such as cedars, firs, and pines. The wood tends to be yellowish or reddish in colour. Since most conifers grow quickly and straight, softwood is generally cheaper than hardwood.

This type of wood is often used in construction for scaffolding, roof, and wall cladding. Pine is one of the most common softwoods.

Is pine wood suitable for furniture construction?

 

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Living room with knotty pine linings

Because branch pine wood is often used in rustic wooden huts and the like, we automatically assume that pine wood is wonderfully suitable for furniture construction. However, the exact opposite is the case, because the main weakness of pine wood is its softness. Since it is a softwood, it is very prone to scratches and nicks. However, pine is quite cheap and its soft properties make it easier to work with pine wood during furniture construction. Some people find the typical look of the wood with its dark knots and light colour impressive. In the end, it's all a matter of taste - if this distinctive wood style is your thing, this is an advantage worth considering.

The most commonly used hardwoods

Hardwoods are significantly heavier, stronger, and more stable than softwoods. This type of wood is mainly used for flooring and plank coverings as well as for most of the construction of wood furniture. Most wood processors like to work with solid woods such as mahogany, maple, oak, cherry, beech, and birch. The variety of colours, textures and grains make for beautiful and unusual furniture. Just as the pine is the most widely used type of softwood, the hardwood that is predominantly used is birch, which is also one of the most economic hardwoods.

 

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Solid birch wood bed frame by Hansales.


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