Understanding The Varying Wood Characteristics Of Different Wood Species


In any given home, there are multiple types of wood used throughout the interior and exterior. You may have a walnut dining table, an oak dresser, and your home might be framed with pine. Different wood species are used to serve different purposes because they have varying characteristics and qualities. Take a look at some of the factors below to consider when choosing wood for your next woodworking project:

  • Hardwood vs. Softwood

Wood species can be broken down into two types: hardwood and softwood. Trees are designated into each species depending on whether or not they flower (hardwoods) or are coniferous (softwoods). However, with a few exceptions, hardwoods are literally harder than softwoods. This makes hardwoods like maple, ash, and oak more desirable than softwoods, such as cedar and pine, when it comes to durability and strength.

  • Grain and Color

In addition to the wood’s hardness, consider the color and grain of the wood. Depending on the type of texture you’d like for your deck, cabinetry, or other specialty wood item, it’s best to consider different wood species. Hardwoods typically have finer grains and richer colors. Woods that have deeper colors and interesting grains are typically more valuable, like bird’s eye maple, mahogany, and cherry.

  • Specialty Woods

There are a number of hardwoods and softwoods that are particularly desirable because of their rarity, hardness, and uniqueness. Woods like Brazilian rosewood, bloodwood, and certain species of maple, walnut, and teak are becoming more rare as the years pass. While these species may be very expensive, furniture made from these specialty woods will also become more valuable in the future.

For a great selection of specialty woods, woodworking tools, finishes, and wood products for your home’s interior and exterior, come to Southern Lumber in San Jose. To learn more about our specialty woods, woodworking supplies, services and more - call (408) 297-9663 today!

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