Types of Wood
There are thousands of different species of trees in the world and each has its own characteristics and qualities Most importantly it will be stronger or weaker than other species, more or less durable etc. These factors determine what type of wood to use for different applications, whether it’s a six bed hospital ward or a piece of furniture you’re about to put your backside on.
This article aims to list some popular timber species used for commercial products, including strength properties (toughness properties), uses and examples where applicable. This list may not be exhaustive, but it will provide a good overview of the most popular species and their characteristics.
It is found in India. This tree takes 7 decades to reach maturity, and can live for more than 200 years. When the trees are felled they are replaced by planting new saplings so that there is no shortage or over-cutting.
Light Oak (Quercus Alba)
This type of oak originates from Europe; it has a fine grain, texture and shape and must be worked with great care as its may splinter easily if improperly handled. It was used extensively for construction prior to WWII when doors, furniture, floors etc were all fashioned from this type of oak. In addition to the fine grain and texture, it is also resistant to decay.
Red Oak (Quercus Rubra)
This belongs to the red-oak family which has a strong hard wood, with a coarse grain and dark brown coloration when fresh cut but turns gray upon weathering; due to its resistance to decay and hardness it was used extensively for construction purposes prior to WWII as well as for flooring before the introduction of laminates. This type of oak can be found in North America along its eastern coast from Canada down into Florida. This tree takes 50 years to reach maturity, grows extremely tall, reaches heights up 90 feet, and grows an average trunk diameter of over 2 feet.
Chestnut (Castanea Sativa)
A superb hard wood, with a coarse grain that is yellowish in coloration and turns into a beautiful dark seal brown when polished; due to the amount of resin it contains this wood is resistant to rot and has excellent resistance tonail and screw penetration. This type of tree was popular before WWII but has since fallen out of favor as many trees have been over-cut to the point that they are becoming endangered; it grows from Central Europe through Asia roughly between 30 degrees north latitude and 40 degrees south latitude; eating its nuts can cause chestnut blight which was responsible for nearly wiping out entire populations in America during the 1930s.
Oak (Quercus Spp.)
This name is applied to a number of types of oak, technically it refers to any tree in the genus Quercus hence its popularity throughout the world; apart from being used extensively for building and furniture making this type of oak can be used for flooring as well. It takes 50 years to reach maturity, grows extremely tall, reaches heights up 90 feet, and grows an average trunk diameter of over 2 feet.
Maple has two varieties, hard and soft maple. The former variety is light brown in coloration with fine grain while the latter is nearly white with coarse grain. If left unfinished, both turn gray in color over time; both are excellent furniture, flooring, and cabinetry choices. Maple is found in the northern hemisphere with its largest populations in North America and Eastern Russia.
Beech Wood (Fagus)
This type of wood grows mainly in Central Europe and Western Asia; it has a coarse texture with interlocking grain that tends to be pinkish or yellowish brown in coloration which darkens over time if left unfinished; due to its resistance to decay this type of wood was used extensively for construction prior to WWII as well as for doors frames etc. It takes 50 years to reach maturity, can grow up 90 feet tall and have an average trunk diameter of over 2 feet.
The variety of oaks falls into two categories, red and white oak. The former has a coarse grain with deep chocolate coloration while the latter has a fine grain and yellowish brown coloration; both varieties are widely used for furniture making but they can also be used to great effect in flooring. Oak trees grow from Central Europe through Asia roughly between 30 degrees north and 40 degrees south.
Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia Latifolia)
This is one of the most popular types of wood due to its beautiful appearance when polished, its resiliency to decay as well as its superior hardness that makes it resistant to abrasion either by fingernail or hard use; this type of wood was used extensively in furniture making before WWII to the point where its over-exploitation caused it to become endangered. It grows from India through Asia as far north as Japan and China; this type of wood can endure up to 40% shrinkage when exposed to moisture but it is also one of the most easily worked woods with a silky feel.
This variety of wood is found in Africa and Central America; it has a grain that tends to be straight with creamy white coloration that darkens with time. Features such as a deep lustre, tight growth rings and natural oils make this wood highly sought after for use in furniture making; however it requires care so that these natural oils do not damage the surface.
Cedar (Cedrus Deodara)
Also known as Himalayan cedar this variety of wood is found in the Hindu Kush mountain range and can survive in areas that have harsh winters; it has been used extensively for building purposes since its natural fragrance ensures that pests are kept away from homes hence serving as a good choice for furniture. Himalayan cedar also contains oils which protect against fungal decay hence making it great for use outdoors hence explaining why it has been used for constructing ships.
The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what type of wood you use, as long as the quality speaks for itself in the end product. This means your furniture should not only be built to last but also look good and feel comfortable, regardless of its material composition. Whether you choose solid American walnut or pine from a sustainable forest farm near your home, we can help you design beautiful pieces with style and substance at an affordable price point without sacrificing craftsmanship or quality materials.