Hard, soft, solid, industrial. Get to know the different types of wood to make furniture design and choose the most convenient option for your home.
Wood is one of the most widely used materials for its nobility and for the warmth it brings to objects and environments. There are different varieties with very different characteristics and carpenters know well which one to use for each need. Find out what types of furniture wood are and what they are recommended for.
Types of wood for furniture
The first classification has to do with a key aspect of this material: its hardness. In this sense, woods are divided into two large groups: hard and soft. This classification does not imply that one is better than another, but rather that they have differences in terms of color, density, grain and finish, with which they are appropriate for certain uses and are not recommended for some others.
1. Hard woods
They are obtained from angiosperm trees, which are broad-leaved varieties and are easy to identify because they have flowers and fruits that they drop every year, producing seeds. Some examples are: mahogany, oak, walnut, olive, cherry, elm, etc.
Hard woods are often much darker in color than soft woods.
2. Soft woods
Softwoods come especially from conifers like cedar, fir, and pine and tend to be somewhat yellow or reddish. Because most of these types of trees grow fast and straight, their woods are generally less expensive than hard ones.
An important fact: the fact of being soft does not mean that they are weaker than the hard ones to make furniture. The classification of wood is not made on the basis of weight or density but, as we said, on the basis of plant reproduction.
Best wood for furniture
When talking about the different options for furniture, one of the most valued alternatives is natural solid woods, which are those that are obtained directly from the tree. Beyond cutting and sanding, they generally do not go through any type of industrial manufacturing process.
On the contrary, industrial woods do go through a fairly complex manufacturing process and usually have chemical compounds to improve their performance.
Choosing the right wood is essential, as that will determine the quality and finish of the furniture. It will also be a deciding factor when you want to restore or resell a piece of furniture. To choose well and avoid frustrations, we will tell you which types of furniture wood are the most popular for their different properties.
Oak is undoubtedly one of the most popular hardwoods out there and has a well-earned reputation because it is very strong and heavy. It is known for having beautiful open grain markings, which give it a very natural look. It is the ideal material if you want a piece of furniture that will last for many years.
Oak trees are native to the northern hemisphere and, although there are around 600 species of oak, both deciduous and evergreen, this type of wood can be divided into two groups, linked to two tones:
- White oak, which is gray / brown in color.
- Red oak, which is very similar but with a prominent reddish tint.
Thanks to this variety, oak allows any type of finish, by which both rustic and more traditional oak furniture can be made.
Highly resistant and durable, this type of hardwood is especially used to make classic-style kitchen and dining room furniture. This is so since the chestnut resists scratches, bumps and dents. This means that it will not be damaged when cutlery or other utensils hit the table with too much force. It is very durable and can withstand heavy use.
Another reason for being a favorite is that it is a smooth wood that does not have unsightly grain and knot patterns. If you are thinking of a dining room set, chestnut combines with almost all decorations and, over the years, it becomes darker and more resistant.
They are tropical hardwood trees native to India, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand. Teak is becoming increasingly rare as the years go by, but it is the staple for fine outdoor and colonial-style furniture.
It is highly resistant to the elements and the passage of time since its hardness and consistency are the fundamental characteristics of this type of wood. This is so thanks to the fact that it has an antiseptic resin that makes it resistant to attack by various organisms, such as termites or fungi.
To the eye, it has an oily feel and a golden brown color. Another plus point is that, as it is a very noble material, its appearance improves over the years.
This type of softwood, in all the varieties of pines that exist, is very easy to work and, since most varieties are relatively soft, it is even suitable for carving. It can be stripped, stained and waxed, which will allow you to make furniture in almost any shape.
It is ideal for youth beds or wardrobes. In addition, as its tone is neutral, it is easy to integrate a pine furniture with any other element you have in your house. It is a cheap and very versatile material. The only downside is that pine wood is easily marked by bumps or scratches .