A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Best Wood for Furniture
Wood is the most commonly used material for making furniture. Its beauty, durability, and workability make wood furniture the preferred choice for homes, irrespective of décor type. However, not all wood furniture is the same. The type of wood used to make a piece of furniture is the deciding factor as to its performance, appearance and price. That is why choosing the right wood is crucial. But, with so many varieties available, choosing the best one might be confusing.
The experts at Divano Furniture in Mississauga have come up with this guide to the type and characteristics of woods commonly used to make furniture to help you decide which will be suitable for your home.
Wood Furniture: A Guide to Choosing the Best Wood
The types of wood used to make furniture are broadly divided into two categories: hardwood and softwood.
Hardwood comes from broad-leaved trees (deciduous trees that drop their leaves every year) with dense wood, whereas softwood comes from coniferous trees (those that have needles and don’t produce seeds). As the name suggests, hardwood is generally stronger than softwood and can withstand years of wear and tear. It is expensive, however, because it comes from slow-growing trees. Also, hardwood is darker in colour. Each wood type has unique characteristics that give each finished piece a distinguished look and feel.
Here are the features of popular wood types used for making furniture.
Pine is a softwood with a pale finish that is affordable and lightweight. It is one of the basic types used for modern wood furniture. Its colour varies from cream to yellow brown, with close grains and clearly marked growth rings. If you are looking for furniture that matches existing pieces in your home, pine is a great choice because it blends well with other woods. However, it is not durable and is prone to scratches and dents. It does, however, resist shrinking and swelling.
Cherry is one of the most valued hardwoods and is used to make fine custom wood furniture. Its rich colour, smooth grain and flexibility make it a popular choice for wood furniture manufacturers. Its colour varies from light brown to dark reddish brown. It can be easily shaped to create curved designs in chairs and tables, and polishes well. Cherry is a popular choice for making Shaker-style tables and cabinets but is expensive and can darken with age.
Cedar is a softwood used primarily to make chests and closets. This type of wood has a distinct aroma that effectively repels insects. In fact, the smell of cedar is so strong that it is used to make cedarwood essential oil. This light red wood with light streaks and knots with closed grains gives an attractive appearance to finished wood furniture. If you choose cedar, rest assured that it won’t decay, even if left unfinished on the inside. It is a budget-friendly choice and needs only a clear surface finish, not staining or bleaching.
Mahogany is a traditional favourite for making fine furniture. It is one of the most expensive wood types and is prized for its colour, durability and beauty. Mahogany varies in colour from a medium brown to a deep brown, depending on its age. It is also used extensively in veneers. The grain of this wood is very distinctive and appealing. If you are looking for solid wood furniture, mahogany is your best bet.
Maple is a strong, dense hardwood that is heavier and more durable than other wood types. This creamy white wood is perfect for creating sturdy wood furniture that can withstand years of wear and tear. It is moisture resistant and usually has straight grains. Plus, maple is easy to maintain (it can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth), making it perfect for kitchen furniture.
Oak comes in two types: red oak has a swirling, water-like pattern; white oak has a tiger-stripe grain with yellow rays and flecks. Red oak is generally less expensive than white. Oak is remarkably strong, durable and heavy, as well as resistant to fungal attacks and warping. It is a popular choice for making solid wood furniture.
The type of wood used to make furniture determines how much it will cost and how long it will last. We hope this post helped you learn about the types of wood used to make furniture so you can decide which will work best in your home. Once you choose, you can easily buy high-end wooden furniture to match your requirements. If you want professional assistance, visit our furniture store on Dundas Street West in Mississauga.