When it comes to wooden furniture, the quality of the furniture can differ depending on the type of wood that is used. Some types of wood are more durable, while others may be more prone to scratches or dents. Before you pick out a piece of wooden furniture to add to your home, make sure you know what type of wood you’re getting. Here are some of the basics when it comes to different types of wood.
- Oak: Oak is a type of wood that comes in two basic varieties. White oak has a tiger stripe-like grain with bits of yellow and is often used in Mission style furniture. Red oak can range from a pinkish red hue to a softer light brown hue. It also has a swirling pattern that resembles water. Oak is durable and usually warp-resistant, but the stain can sometimes exaggerate the grain and make the wood look two toned.
- Pine: Pine is a type of softer wood that can be yellowish or whitish with knots of brown. It’s generally used for more rustic pieces, such as farm tables. Pine is a lightweight and inexpensive option for wooden furniture that takes paint well and is shrink and swelling resistant, but since it’s a softwood, it’s prone to dents and scratches. However, if it’s properly treated for outdoor use, pine is a great option for outdoor furniture such as garden sheds and gazebos.
- Maple: Maple is a very strong wood that’s preferable for heavy use items such as cabinets and dressers. It’s affordable, durable, and long-lasting, which is important considering that in a survey of more than 2,000 consumers, more than 95% said that they “expect furniture to last for many years.” Maple is often stained to mimic a pricier wood such as cherry or mahogany. However, if it’s not sealed properly, the staining can appear blotchy and uneven.
- Cherry: For a more upscale or high end look, cherry wood can be a great option for Amish furniture and Shaker-style pieces. It’s a hardwood with a straight grain that can range in color from blond to reddish brown. It’s easily shaped and polishes well, and it even has a beautiful color when left unstained. However, it tends to be expensive, and the color can sometimes darken with age.
- Walnut: Walnut is a great option for headboards and antique-style pieces. It ranges in color from chocolate brown to a yellower hue depending on what part of the tree the wood is taken from. It’s typically used for pieces that involve intricate carving. However, it can be expensive, and some people may not prefer the range of color that can be seen on a single board.
Overall, wooden furniture can be made from many types of wood, and they all have different benefits and unique uses. Do your research before selecting a type of wood for any custom furniture needs, and don’t be afraid to ask a professional if you have any questions.