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Types of Wood Furniture- A Comparison of Wood Types

1 June 2010- Various types of wood are used for making furniture. However, there are some regular wood types for furniture that are preferred since ages over other types of wood due to their qualities of durability, beauty and the ease of working with them. Walnut, oak, mahogany, rosewood, fruitwoods, and rare wood veneers and inlays are some types of wood that had been used in the yesteryears for making furniture. With the depleting resources and resultant higher prices of these exquisite wood types, less expensive and readily available wood types such as ash, pine, gum, poplar, fir etc. gained importance for making furniture. Its not that the rare types of wood are not used today. They are used but only for very good furniture, and often in combination with the less expensive type of woods. So, before investing in any type of wood furniture that is expensive, one must know its pros and cons. In this article, a comparison of some popular types of wood has been made to fulfill this purpose but before comparing these wood types, it is better to clarify the difference between hardwood and softwood.

Types of Wood for Furniture- Hardwood v/s Softwood

Solid woods have always been the preferred type of wood for furniture. It can be categorized into two types- hardwood and softwood. All hardwoods are obtained from trees with needleless broad leaves like maple, cherry, oak, ash, walnut, and mahogany. Hardwoods are more strong and stable type of wood than softwoods. Softwoods are obtained from needle-bearing evergreen trees like pine, spruce, redwood, or cedar, and are generally used for intricately carved furniture pieces. For detailed analysis of hardwood and softwood, read Types of Wood

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Comparison of Wood Types for Furniture

The types of wood described here have been compared on the basis of qualities such as strength, stability, shock-resistance, and durability etc.

Mahogany Wood Furniture

Mahogany is a tropical wood that is considered medium-to-hard type of wood. It is indigenously found in South & Central America and Africa. Mahogany is a very strong wood and as such is an excellent type of wood for carved furniture. It has a uniform pore structure, medium grain and less defined annual rings with colors ranging from tan to reddish-brown. Mahogany furniture is good for humid climate as well as for places having frequent weather changes because it maintains its shape against swelling and shrinkage. Its durability, stability and resistance to decay makes mahogany the best type of wood for high-quality cabinetry and furniture.

Oak Wood Furniture

Oak is obtained from deciduous and evergreen trees that grow in the United States, Canada, and Europe. It is a very hard, heavy, open-grained type of wood that is found in red and white colors. Due to the prominent rings and large pores, oak has a coarse texture and prominent grain. It stains well in any color. When finishing these types of wood with open pores, stains can accumulate in the pores making those areas seem darker. This makes oak a preferable wood type for making decorative furniture.

Maple Wood Furniture

Maple is a very light-colored medium-to-hard wood type. It is abundantly found in the Eastern America. It is a tight-grained wood with evenly-sized pores that give the wood a fine texture and an even grain. Therefore, the wood furniture made with maple are smooth to the touch and take stain well. Maple is also popular for its shock resistance. Maple is highly durable and it can be finished to give an impression of walnut, cherry, or other more expensive hardwoods.

Beech Wood Furniture

Beech is a heavy, pale-colored, medium-to-hard wood type found primarily in northeast America and Canada. Beech is the type of wood that is widely used for making furniture like chairs and stools. It has a fine, tight grain and large medullar rays. These characteristics give it a look that is quite similar to maple or birch woods. Beech wood is a highly shock resistant wood and takes stains well. It is hard and strong but is not so durable as some other hardwoods are. Beech polishes well and is generally used for fabrications as well as for making furniture, toys, and wooden floors.

Pine Wood Furniture

Pine is a type of softwood and is found in many varieties all over the world. In the United States, Eastern white pine, ponderosa pine, and sugar pine are some of the types of pine wood that are used to make furniture. Pine is typically easier to work with and also holds up to humidity better than many other woods. Generally found in light-yellow color, pine wood is mainly used for making kids furniture and other furniture for family rooms, beach cottages etc. where individuality and warmth has to be introduced.

This was about types of wood furniture on the basis of wood types. Wood furniture is also categorized on the basis of its application such as living room furniture, office furniture etc. Browse through all such types of Wood Furniture!

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