How to Pick the Best Wood for Your Furniture: Different Types of Wood

The market offers a variety of woods for furniture (hardwood and softwood). Each variety’s color, density, grain, and finishing vary, and each type is unique in these respects. Your unit’s cost can be accurately calculated by choosing a quality piece of wood. Whether or not you decide to restore, resell, or toss a piece of furniture depends on its condition.

Though it is possible to utilize any wood to build furniture, not all woods are the same. That’s why it’s so important to pick wisely.

Understanding the qualities of the wood, you plan to use for your furniture is essential.

Detailed information on wood varieties, hardwood and softwood comparisons, wood attributes, a wood hardness chart, wood processing, the best furniture woods, a list of furniture’s best woods, how to pick the best wood for your furniture, and woodworking tools are all included in this guide.

Wood Types

The wood used for furniture can be easily identified by its hardness. The prevalent idea that hardwood is stronger and denser than softwood is incorrect. Hardwood comes from blooming trees, while softwood comes from conifers, according to botanical definitions. Hardwood and softwood are employed for a wide range of projects, from construction to interior design.


Maple, oak, and walnut are examples of hardwood derived from Angiosperms. Annual leaf drop occurs on these trees (deciduous or broad-leafed trees). Hardwood fibers are denser because of their slower growth rate (fiber tracheids and libriform fibers).

Hardwoods have an odd fact: some of them sink to the bottom of a pool of water. When it comes to wood sinks in water, Black ironwood is possibly the toughest and heaviest of the bunch.

Hardwood’s physical characteristics

  • It takes longer to mature than other types of wood. As a result, hardwood is a pricey option, and a few exceptions exist. For example, the gum is a hardwood comparable in price to most softwoods, such as pine.
  • Hardwood is long-lasting (less prone to decay and rot), beautiful, and low-maintenance.
  • Hardwood is widely used for wooden floors due to its high fire resistance and low sap content. In addition to its wide range of natural hues, designs, and perforated plate patterns, hardwood flooring is highly regarded.
  • Furniture can also be made out of it. Several varieties of hardwood can be used to make furniture, but not all of them are ideal.


Gymnosperms, such as pine, spruce, fir, cedar, juniper, redwood, and yew, are seed-bearing evergreen trees that produce softwood. Taking down evergreen trees is a lot easier than deciduous ones because they’re less dense in the first place. It is also easier to cut long straight planks of wood since they are tall and straight.

Hard and Softwood Properties

  • Tracheids and wood rays are found in softwood, but vessels are absent. Softwood is also known as non-porous wood since no vessels exist.
  • As a result of their lack of vessels, softwoods are better at absorbing adhesives.
  • Various building materials, including structural frames, exterior and interior wall cladding, fixtures, floor coverings (including carpet), formwork, and scaffolding, are made from softwood. Another industry in which it is employed is the paper and cardboard manufacturing industry.
  • The grain is looser, the sap content is higher, and the color is lighter. Despite this, it is prone to burn due to its lack of fire resistance.
  • It is the greatest wood for furniture because of its fine and light structure.

Wood’s Qualities

It’s a sort of wood that’s most commonly utilized in constructing structures like beams and pillars. Typically, mature trees are chopped into beams and boards after the logs have been peeled. However, for it to serve its purpose, wood must have specific characteristics.


Timber’s elasticity is also a key quality in a product, allowing the wood to return to its original shape with the utmost precision. Sports and construction equipment manufacturing relies heavily on this feature. The wood’s elastic strength is determined by its Young’s Modulus of Elasticity (EL) along the longitudinal axis.

Wood’s flexibility and load-carrying ability are far greater when cut perpendicular to the grain than when cut parallel. As a result, the long axis of structural (building) timber boards is oriented parallel to the grain when they are cut into boards. It is more resistant to distortion and has superior dimensional stability.


Wood’s elasticity, for example, is affected by its fiber arrangement and microfibril orientation. For the most part, the diameter and thickness of hardwood cell walls are much smaller and denser than those in softwoods. The fibers must be straight, compact, and hard when used as lumber compared to wood with straight strands, and twisted yarns have less strength.

Resistant to Fire:

A fire-resistant wood is needed. Thermal breakdown occurs when wood or lumber is subjected to fire, and a layer of charcoal forms on the burning surface. The inner core of the wood is protected by the layer’s role as an insulator. Because of the wood’s inherent ability to defend itself, it has a high level of fire resistance. As a result, wood with a higher density has a greater ability to resist fire.


A person’s hardness is innate, and the type of wood you use has a significant impact on the final product. Construction, flooring, and sports equipment all call for timber that can tolerate physical abrasion and mechanical wear and tear.