There are many types of woods used for furniture construction, and each has its own characteristics and benefits. When choosing furniture, it’s important to know if the material it’s made from is fit for purpose. This article provides you with a rundown of the main woods used in solid wood furniture.
Solid Wood Furniture in Toronto – Types of Wood
- Beech – Beech is a widely-used wood for furniture. The tree itself develops rather slowly, only reaching peak condition after it’s at least one hundred years old. It’s inexpensive, but can be stained to give the appearance of a pricier wood such as mahogany or maple. Without treatment, it can warp and bend easily.
- Pine – Pine is a strong, creamy-coloured softwood with a broad grain and one of the most common woods used in furniture building. It’s lightweight and inexpensive, and takes finishes well. This makes it a good choice for children’s furniture, which may need painting. Without paint, it has a rustic appearance. The main downside of pine is that it can be easily dented or scratched.
- Oak – Oak is strong, hard and heavy, but undoubtedly beautiful due to its colour and grain. There are two types; white oak and red oak. White oak has a darker, almost greyish tinge and is suitable for outdoor use because it’s resistant to rot. Red oak should strictly be used for indoor furniture, as it’s more porous. For this reason, it’s the cheaper option of the two.
- Maple – Maple is a hardwood which had great durability. This makes it a good choice for building solid wood furniture like cabinets and dressers. It has a light, creamy white colour, but can be stained to look darker. It must be sealed before any staining or finishing, otherwise the end result may appear blotchy and messy.
- Birch – Birch is a hardwood with a close grain similar to that of maple, but with a coarser texture. Its colour is a light yellow or brown. It’s usually used in the manufacture of plywood and cabinets, but is also good for veneers. It’s heavy, hard, and more expensive than some of the other woods on this list. However, it’s not the most durable wood out there. If exposed to weather, it’s susceptible to rot or insect infestation, so it’s best used for indoor furniture.
- Cherry – Cherry is a hardwood known for its beautifully dark red shade. Its grain is straight and fine, which means it doesn’t need any filler. Its naturally dark colour means that it doesn’t require staining, but it takes polish well to accentuate the tone. As expected, this is one of the more expensive types of wood on the market. It’s therefore used to build finer, more upmarket solid wood furniture.
- Walnut – Walnut is a hardwood usually used for dining tables and headboards because it can be easily carved with intricate designs. The colour depends on where it’s taken from on the tree. If from the centre, the wood is a rich brown, but if from the outside, it has a more yellowish shade. This can sometimes mean that one piece has different colour variations. In terms of cost, walnut is on the more expensive side.
While this list covers all of the most common materials for solid wood furniture, it is not exhaustive, and other options are available. Other types of woods used in furniture manufacture in Toronto include ash, cedar spruce, elm and hickory. Be sure to measure up the pros and cons of each one when choosing the most appropriate wood for your furniture.