Types of Wood and Their Uses

The natural beauty and long-lasting nature of wood can bring warmth and beauty to our everyday décor of the home. Wood comes from the varieties of trees. Furniture made of wood is one of the few things in the world that all people can own. Different types of wood have different properties, colour, texture and strength.

Also Read: 10 Tips to Buy Furniture for Your Home

There are different types of wood that can be used for furniture. There are mainly two types of wood:

 (A) Softwood:

It comes from the coniferous trees. These trees are also known as evergreen trees and leaves of trees do not fall till the new one is grown. These types of wood grow in cold climates. There are different types of softwood which are given below:

01. Pine:

Pine is a soft, white or light yellow wood which is light in weight, straight grained. It resists shrinkage, swelling and warping. In India, it is grown in the western Himalayas.

Courtesy - Pixabay


It is used in all kind of furniture, both indoor as well as outdoor. It is also used to make patterns, door and window frames and paving materials. Knotty pine is often used for decorative effect.

Also Read: What is a Wood Veneer?

02. Ash:

Ash is a hard, heavy, ring porous wood. It has a prominent grain that looks like oak, and a white to light brown colour.

Courtesy - Pixabay


Ash is widely used for structural frames and steam bent furniture pieces. It is often less expensive than other comparable hardwood.

03. Beech:

Beech is a hard, strong and heavy wood with tiny pores. This relatively inexpensive wood has reddish brown heartwood and light sapwood.

Courtesy - wood-database


Beech is often used for frames, a variety of bent and turned parts. Quarter sliced and half round cut beech veneers are commonly used.

04. Cedar:

Cedar is knotty softwood which has a red-brown colour with light streaks. Its texture is uniform and it is highly resistant to decay and insects. It is grown in Kashmir and Assam.

Courtesy - freeimages


It is a popular wood for lining drawers, chests and boxes. Simple cases and storage closets are also constructed from this wood.

05. Fir:

Fir works easy and finishes well. It is uniform in texture and non-resinous. It has low resistance to decay. In India, it is found in Himachal Pradesh.

Courtesy - Pixabay


It is used for furniture, doors, frames, windows, plywood, veneer, general millwork and interior trim.

Also Read: How is Wood Veneers Cut?

06. Spruce:

Spruce is strong and hard. It finishes well and has low resistance to decay. It has a moderate shrinkage and is light in weight. In India, it is found in Western Himalaya and Sikkim.

Courtesy - Pixabay


It is used for masts and spars for ships, aircraft, crates, boxes, general millwork and ladders.

07. Hemlock:

It is light in weight, uniformly textured. It machines well and has low resistance to decay and non-resinous. It is most commonly found in America.

Courtesy - woodsolutions


It is used in the construction of lumber, planks, doors, boards, sub flooring and crates.

(B) Hardwood:

Hardwood is a deciduous tree that has broad leaves, produce a fruit or nut and generally inactive in the winter. Here we give you different types of hardwood:

01. Teakwood:

Teakwood is the most popular type of hardwood. It is yellow to dark brown in colour which is extremely heavy, strong, durable, weather resistant, warp resistant and does not decay. Often strongly figured, teak may show straight grain pattern. It is generally found in central and southern India. It is popularly used as structural wood for wooden framed house, and also for door, window, partition, etc.

Courtesy - Pixabay


It is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture like garden benches and lounge chairs. In Indoor furniture, it is used in beds and wardrobes.

Also Read: What is a Plywood?

02. Rosewood or Shisham:

Rosewood is very hard and has a dark reddish brown colour. It is fragrant and closely grained. It is hard to work and takes a high polish. It is generally found in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mysore, Bengal, Assam and Orissa.

Courtesy - sanfoot


Used in musical instruments, piano cases, tool handles, art projects, veneers and furniture.

03. Oak:

Oak is the most widely used hardwood. Oak can be separated into two basic varieties: white and red. The red variety is also known as black oak (a reference to its bark).  Oak is a heavy, strong, light coloured hardwood.  This hardwood tree is found in the north-eastern part of India. It has a very distinct grain and finishes.

Courtesy - Pixabay


It is an excellent choice for furniture like bookshelves and cabinets, apart from outdoor furniture.

04. Maple:

Maple wood has a fine texture and great strength. It is so hard and resistant to shocks that it is often used for a pathway. Its diffuse into evenly sized pores which give the wood a fine texture and even grain. In India, you can find these trees in Ooty and other hilly regions.

Courtesy - wood-database


It is extensively used in furniture like console tables, wall shelves and bedside tables. Maple that has a curly grain is often used for violin back.

05. Mango:

Mango is dense and strong hardwood which comes with a distinctly attractive grain pattern. Its grain is unique as it embodies several tones and colours, ranging from light shades like dark brown with hints of light pink or green. It is lighter than other wood species and is water-resistant.

Courtesy - wood-database


It is best used for windows, doors, living room and bedroom furniture, nesting tables, kitchen cabinets, entertainment units and book shelves.

Also Read: Waterproof Flush Doors and its Advantages

06. Mahogany:

Mahogany is also known as Honduras mahogany. It has reddish-brown coloured. It is strong, with a uniform pore structure and poorly defined annual rings. It is an excellent carving wood and finishes well. One of its many advantages is that it does not warp, swell or shrink and does well under water, too. It is found all over India, particularly in Corbett National Park, Kaziranga National Park and Thattekkad Wildlife Sanctuary.

Courtesy - Pixabay


It most commonly used in fashioning cabinets, nested tables, dining table sets and other kinds of home furniture.

07. Cherry:

It is sometimes called fruitwood. It is light to red-brown in colour, hard, strong, warp resistant, closed grained wood. It resists warping and checking. It is easy to carve and polish. These trees are grown in the hilly regions of Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

Courtesy - wood-database


It works well when used for decorative carving and for making solid furniture like cabinets, shelves and tables.

08. Walnut:

Walnut is one of the most versatile and popular wood types with a very fine texture. The wood is light to dark chocolate brown in colour with a straight grain in the trunk. Walnut is strong, hard and durable, without being excessively heavy, warp resistant. It has excellent woodworking qualities and takes finishes well. In India, it is found in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

Courtesy - realsimple


It is an ideal wood choice for crafting dining table sets, coffee tables, etc.

Thus, there are many types of wood available. You can choose depending on what you want. And once you have it, do enjoy using it but care for it too.

Also Read:

15 Different Types of Flooring Materials
7 Tips to Remove Colour Stains from the Wooden Furniture
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