Types of Wood: Guide to Choose the Best Wood for Your Furniture
We understand the dilemma of choosing that perfect piece of chair. Trust us, when you have no or little knowledge about that wooden finish upholstery you always wanted to have. Or when are you are left stranded in between choosing the price and durability. Choosing handmade furniture is also not that easy.
To go for the best wood suited for your dream home depends on where you live, the features you want, its durability in a given climate and maintenance. But, what exactly is the best kind of timber to give your house that warm look?
Before we delve further, let us have a quick understanding of-
- Solid Wood: The parent of hard and soft wood
Solid Wood is not simple solid wood. It is any wooden material that does not have hollow spaces in them. It holds immense strength and is not prone to diseases or degradation. Solid woods can be categorised into hard and soft wood to segregate specifically.
Furniture manufacturers in India often come up with a range of varieties to choose from. Solid Wood covers all these varieties. The reason being our country is geographically much diverse in terms of its flora. Ergo, solid wood is the most preferred material when it comes to furnishing a house in India.
Now that we have understood Solid Wood, it’s important to know that ‘Wood Solids’ is not the same as solid wood. That is an artistic nomenclature which does not mean solid wood in any manner. Wood Solid can be identified by visible cracks, being non-repairable and is not durable enough. It is more of a fancy term and is used for decorative purposes.
- Hardwood: No it’s not all hard and durable!
Contrary to the popular and ignorant belief, hardwoods are not the supreme species of hardwood found in nature. It simply means that it comes from ‘deciduous trees’. These species of trees sheds its leaves annually. It may be harder or softer than the softwood depending on its geographical location and innate built. They are mostly used as furniture or a wooden veneer.
Point to note: Majorly hardwood is used in making luxury furniture.
- Softwood: The real hero in the furniture industry
This is the most widely used furniture wood. In fact, this kind of wood is preferred to make most of the things required to furnish a house. Whether it’s a cabinet, the kitchen cupboards, or something else softwood makes its presence advertently. Custom wood furniture décor owes largely to softwood.
It comes from ‘coniferous trees’ that are evergreen.
“80% of the total timber usage in households is softwood.”
Why you should prefer Solid Wood?
1- It is all natural. Doesn’t contain chemicals and adhesives which can wear off with time.
2- It has a longer durability
3- It is easy to maintain
4- Its damages can be easily fixed
5- It is more fire resistant
6- It is recyclable i.e it can be converted to other forms of furniture after it has been used once
Hard woods: Mahogany, Walnut, Oak, Maple, Cherry, Birch
Soft Woods: Pine, Sal, Red Cedar, Redwood, Juniper, Yew
Fact to Remember: There are some points which differentiate these two kinds of wood used by us. “Say, for example, hardwood has darker shades of red and is a bit expensive. It also grows slowly.”
Soft Wood, on the other hand, grows easily, has tints of yellow or red and is not tad expensive, unlike its counterpart.
Recommended: Why to Choose Wooden Furniture for Your Home?
Important: Teakwood is mostly used nowadays for making durable furniture in India. A teakwood furniture manufacturer will bank more on the availability and usage of teak because it has a lot to offer. It is being widely used for making outdoor furniture, boat decks, veneer for indoor furnishings, indoor flooring and for cutting boards.
Based on the trends, usability, ergonomics, and availability, furniture suppliers in India utilise the following kinds of trees-
Mahogany: Popular for use in making veneer
Oak: Used as fuel wood, agricultural implements and flooring
Teak: Veneer, Carvings, Turnings, Boat exteriors
Rosewood: Panelling, Luxury furniture, Veneers
Pine: Source for turpentine this wood is used in panelling, flooring and window frame making
In our country, the availability, social customs, climate, and preference for the traditional way of décor appeals on a large scale.
Types of ‘manufactured woods’: The other side of the door
Plywood: Made of layers of veneer bonded together to give durability and strength
Veneer: Made by cutting the circumference of a tree, this wood is thin and durable at the same time. It is used for panels, making parts of furniture, and parquet floors. These are thin wooden sheets, size ranging between 3mm and above.
Medium Density Fibreboard: Prepared by residuals of hard or soft wood in a defibrator, it is used for making cabinets, wall panels, and storage units
Medium Density Particle Board: Made of wood chips and shavings bonded together with the resin used as an alternative to plywood
Read more: Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Teak Shower Bench
In choosing the furniture that works best for your home is dependent on your budget, the kind of climate you live in, and your taste of interiors (or exterior for that matter).
However, having a little knowledge beforehand is no harm. Choosing the right kind of wood is not only an investment but also a promise to be a connoisseur in your own dwelling.
Have more to add? Let us know in the comments below.