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Guide to Furniture Woods

Posted by AquaTeak on

Almost any wood can be used to make wood furniture, but some woods have always been favored over others for their durability and appearance. Traditional furniture has been made from walnut, maple, oak, teak, mahogany, birch, cherry, and pine. As these preferred woods gained popularity, the population of these trees were reduced as less traditional woods began being used, such as poplar, fir, pine, and ash. Here, we have compiled a list of common woods and their features that make their furniture popular.


Teak is a very hard, naturally beautiful wood. Teak wood is very strong and durable. It varies in color from a honey brown to a gray, depending on the age of the wood. Its oils make it naturally waterproof, which makes it a popular choice for outdoor furniture.


Mahogany is a very hard wood that is known for its deep, rich color. Mahogany varies in color from medium brown to a deep red brown, depending on the age of the wood. It is a very traditional wood and its versatility makes it popular for large furniture.


Walnut is a hardwood that is prized for its strength and its grain. Walnut varies in color from a deep rich chocolate brown to lighter shades of brown. Walnut is popular for use in furniture and home decor. Walnut is resistant to swelling and warping and carves easily.


Maple is a very hard wood, it is heavy and durable. Maple varies in color from light beige to tan, it is one of the lighter woods with distinctive swirls and twists in the wood grain. Maple is resistant to shrinkage, warping and wear, which makes it ideal for furniture.


Oak is a very heavy and hard wood that is popular because of its open wood grain markings. Oak varies in color from a light pink-brown to a light gray-brown color. Oak is resistant to shrinking and warping and carves easily, which makes it popular for detailing projects.


Pine is available in a variety of species. It is softer than the hard woods and is generally easy to work with. Pine is not as durable or resistant to shrinking or warping like other harder woods are. The value of pine is that it it is easy to stain so it blends well when used with other woods. Softwoods that are commonly used to make cheaper furniture include chipboard, fiberboard, and plywood. All of these woods are manufactured by combining bits of other woods. Soft woods aren’t nearly as durable or strong as their natural hardwood counterparts. 

When you are able to identify the type of wood used to build the furniture, you can more accurately determine its real value. This is important in knowing what your furniture is worth and the value of the furniture you are looking to buy. Knowing what kind of wood was used to make a product can help you decide what is worth finishing and what should be tossed out and replaced. Some pieces are mixed wood and single parts can be replaced. If you are in the market for quality hardwood furniture, check out our selection of teak wood furniture at AquaTeak.