Let’s be honest, not many of us are experts when it comes to different types of wood for furniture. However, when you start to buy furniture, it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by the many types of woods and their properties. You definitely want to make the best informed decision, so let’s take a look at the major types of wood for furniture.
Common Terms to Know
Before diving into the specific types of woods and their properties, it’s important to ensure we’re all speaking the same language. With that in mind, here are some common key terms when evaluating wood for furniture.
Hardwood. This refers to types of wood that come from trees that lose their leaves annually. It is often denser and more durable. Hardwood also has a wide variety of colours.
Softwood. Softwood comes from evergreen trees. Softwood is often great for those wanting a rustic look. It can also be stained to achieve a variety of colours.
Solid wood. As the name suggests, solid wood refers to furniture crafted completely out of wood. It is more durable than veneer.
Veneer. Veneer refers to furniture where a thin layer of wood is attached to an inner substance such as fiber board. This is often more affordable than solid wood. Used mostly for making table tops, cabinets, Storage beds, etc.
Wood Stains. You can think of this as a type of “paint” that is used to change the appearance of wood to a specific colour like Mahogany, Walnut, etc
Understanding Types of Wood for Furniture
Before purchasing furniture, it is important to understand the features and properties of different types of wood. This can help you decide what types of wood should be used in furniture making and the benefits of each kind. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular, all of which are used with Bluedot Design’s products.
Reclaimed Teak Wood
Teakwood is a type of hardwood that grows in tropical environments. It was typically harvested from old growth trees that are over 200 years old, which provide it with excellent durability. However, teakwood is fairly rare in nature now; thus, furniture makers often use reclaimed teakwood which is taken from other structures no longer in use.
Since teakwood was often used in shipbuilding, a lot of reclaimed teakwood comes from ships and nautical structures. It’s durability makes it an excellent choice for long-lasting pieces of furniture. Using reclaimed sources provides customers with an environmentally-conscious method to get beautiful pieces of furniture while contributing to sustainability. Teakwood is also weather resistant, meaning it works well in any climate.
This is a very dense and strong hardwood that is average in terms of cost. It is excellent for bending, which makes it a perfect choice for making curved furniture. It is a light-coloured wood that is highly favoured for its attractiveness. You will find that it can have a range in tints from beige to a lighter brown with a natural variety that provides furniture with a unique feel.
In addition to its flexibility for furniture making, the biggest strength of ash is its excellent durability. It is often used in industries where furniture takes a lot of stress such as restaurants. Many people compare it in appearance to oak although ash is slightly stronger.
Another hardwood, beech is a family of 11 species that can be found throughout Asia and North America as well as in parts of Europe. It tends to be popular in furniture for a number of reasons. First, it is very strong and quite resistant to impacts. Additionally, it has a tight grain and relatively light colour which can add light and warmth to rooms.
Like ash, beech is also quite effective as a bendable wood, which makes it a frequent choice for furniture. It does absorb moisture, so it isn’t the best choice for environments with high humidity. Many people love beech because it works well for applying wood stains, meaning it can be used to mimic much more expensive types of wood.
Oak is a hardwood that has over 200 different species around the world. It is a popular choice for furniture for many reasons. One is due to its grain which has circular patterns and contours. Oak is used a lot in veneers due to its strength and appearance. Additionally, oak is a very heavy wood. This gives it a feeling of substance but can make solid wood oak furniture difficult to move.
When shopping for furniture made with oak, you will typically see either red oak or white oak. The former has a reddish tinge while the latter is more greyish in nature. Since oak is extremely resistant to scratches and damage, oak furniture can last for generations.
A hardwood native to southeast Asia, mango wood is loved by furniture makers because it is relatively durable, incredible versatile, and very affordable. It is also highly water resistant, making it a great choice for humid areas. While the grain is quite dense which gives strength, it is easy to use for hand-crafted furniture.
The use of mango wood for furniture making is also a sustainable, environmentally friendly practice as these trees grow quickly. In terms of colour, mango wood has a golden-brown look that will get a bit darker as it ages. It is perhaps one of the most versatile types, great for virtually any type of furniture.
Sheesham is a hardwood tree that is quite popular for furniture making. Like mango wood, it is also incredibly sustainable as it is fast growing. The color of pieces made with Sheesham varies from a golden-brown to a deeper reddish-brown. It also tends to have the presence of dark, natural streaks which adds to its appearance.
Sheesham wood is very pliable, yet its interlocked grains add strength to the final pieces of furniture made from it. This type of wood is particularly good for items that take significant use such as tables, sofas, and chairs. It is often used with larger pieces because it is a fairly lightweight wood.
Where Can I Find Quality Wood Furniture?
Now that you have a basic understanding of the features of many popular types of wood for furniture, you may be interested in adding to your home’s aesthetic with natural wood furniture. While there are many great places to purchase quality furniture, we would love for you to view the beautiful pieces in our online store, which hosts a wide variety of design centric pieces to make your home, office, or business look amazing and welcoming!