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Types of Wood Species – Hardwoods And Softwoods

Botanically trees are classified as Hardwoods and Softwoods.

Hardwoods :

  • Hardwoods are deciduous (broad leafed).
  • Most common Hardwoods are Birch, Cherry, Oak, Maple, Walnut, Hickory, Ash wood, Poplar, etc.

Softwoods :

  • Softwoods are coniferous (needle shaped leaves).
  • Common Softwoods are Pine, Western Red Cedar, Redwood, Cypress, etc.
  • Softwood trees tend to grow more rapidly than hardwoods, also have larger less dense cells in the earlywood than hardwoods.The cell structure is less dense than hardwood, therefore a nail can be driven easily.

Common Hardwoods

A. Birch

designingbuildings.co.uk
istockphoto.com
makemytrip.com
  • Source : Yellow Birch Tree (Betuaalleghaniensis Britt)
    • United States and Canada
  • Uses : Cabinets, Flooring, Furniture, Veneer, Kitchen utensils, Toys
  • Types : Yellow Birch, Orthern Birch, River Birch, Red Birch, American White Birch, Sweet Birch, etc.
  • Janka Hardness Scale :
    • Yellow Birch – 1260
    • Sweet Birch – 1470
  • Appearance:
    • Color : Creamy/Pale White to Reddish brown or Yellow
    • Grain Pattern : Straight grain with fine texture, tight pores
    • Sufficiently durable, stylish and attractive
  • Finishing : Takes finishes well, but penetrating wood stains may produce blotching.

B. Cherry

indiamart.com
istockphoto.com
exportersindia.com
  • Source : American Black Cherry tree
    • United States and Canada
  • Uses : Furniture, Cabinetry, Crafts and toys, Interiors, Kitchen accessories, etc.
  • Types : Black Cherry, Brazilian Cherry
  • Janka Hardness scale :
    • Black cherry – 995
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Light Pink to Rich Reddish Brown
    • Grain pattern: Fine grain pattern with Smooth Texture
    • Lustrous finish
  • Finishing : Takes Stains and Finishes well.
  • Cost : Expensive

C. Oak

wood4floors.co.uk
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hallmarkfloors.com
  • Source : The Genus Quercus of the Beech family, Fagaceae.
    • United States and Canada
  • Uses : Furniture, Cabinetry, Interiors, Doors, Veneer, Paneling
  • Types : Red Oak, White Oak, Chestnut Oak, European Oak,
  • Janka Hardness Scale :
    • Red Oak – 1290
    • White Oak – 1360
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Tan to reddish pink in color
    • Grain Pattern : Straight wide grain pattern
    • old and classic look
    • Quartersawing reveals narrow medullary rays in red oak and wide medullary rays in white oak.
  • Finishing : Takes Stains and finishes well, but pores will show through if painted unless they are filled.

D. Maple

wikipedia.org
woodsolutions.com.au
vermontwoodsstudios.com
  • Source : Genus Acer
    • United States and Canada
  • Uses : Furniture, flooring, kitchen countertops, instruments, plywood and veneer.
  • Types : Red Maple, Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, Norway Maple and many other varieties.
  • Janka Hardness Scale : 1450
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Yellow to little reddish
    • Grain pattern : Straight wide grain with occasional curvy and wave pattern.
    • Durable and classic, stylish appearance
  • Finishing : Takes clear finishes well, but staining may produce blotches.

E. Walnut

shopearchitect.com
wood-database.com
vermontwoodsstudios.com
  • Sources : Black walnut tree
    • Eastern United States and Canada
  • Uses : Furniture, Cabinetry, Furniture, Doors and Windows, Interior decoration, Paneling
  • Types : Also known as Black Walnut, Burmese Walnut, American Black Walnut, Brazilian Walnut
  • Janka Hardness Scale :
    • Black Walnut – 1010
    • Brazilian Walnut – 3680
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Pale brown to dark chocolate to purple or black
    • Grain pattern : Straight and fine grain
    • Uniform texture
  • Finishing : Takes natural finishes beautifully
  • Cost : Expensive

F. Hickory

kretzlumber.com
istockphoto.com
wideplankflooring.com
  • Source : Genus Carya
    • Southeastern United States
  • Uses : Flooring, Cabinetry, Furniture, Tool Handles, Sporting good equipment, Plywood and Veneers.
  • Types : Pecan Hickory, Shbbark Hickory, and many other varieties.
  • Janka Hardness Scale : 1820
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Medium Tan to light red with yellow or gold
    • Grain pattern : Straight to wavy pattern and coarse texture.
  • Excellent shock resistance.
  • Finishing : Takes stains well and clear finishes well.

G.Ash Wood

wlwest.co.uk
capitolcitylumber.com
houzz.in
  • Source : Comes from the family of trees – Oleaceae – Olive tree family.
    • United States and Canada
  • Uses : Furniture, Flooring, Doors and windows, Interior decoration, Veneer, Interiors, Moulding, Kitchen cabinets.
  • Types : White ash, American Bronze ash, Black ash, Oregon ash, Griffith ash, etc.
  • Janka Hardness scale : 1320
  • Appearance :
    • Color : White ash – Pale brown, greyish brown, light brown/pale yellow
      • American bronze ash – light and various shades of beige.
    • Grain pattern : Straight wide grain pattern with coarse texture.
  • Excellent shock resistance
  • Finishing : Takes stains well and clear finishes well.

H.Poplar

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wood-database.com
pinimg.com
  • Sources : Salicaceae
    • United States
  • Uses : Furniture, flooring, cabinetry, veneer, light construction, moulding and millwork.
  • Types : White poplar, Yellow poplar
  • Janka Hardness scale : 2400
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Tan to grey or green in color
    • Grain pattern : straight and wide grain pattern
    • Texture : medium
  • Finishing : Better suited for painting than staining.

Common Softwoods

1.Pine

britannica.com
buildnext.in
dezeen.com
  • Source : Pinus Sylvestris
    • United States and Canada
  • Uses : Source of wood pulp for paper, manufacture, Interiors, flooring, roofing, furniture, window frames
  • Types : Eastern white pine, white pine, Russian pine, Yellow pine, Red pine and many other varieties.
  • Janka Hardness scale :
    • Eastern white pine – 380
    • White pine – 420
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Light yellow to reddish brown
    • Grain pattern : Straight grain with even texture.
  • Finishing : Takes clear finishes and paints well.

2.Western Red Cedar

canadawood.org
woodsolutions.com.au
au-mex.com
  • Source : United States and Canada
  • Uses : Furniture, Millwork, and Siding
  • Appearance :
    • Grain pattern : Straight and variable grain pattern
    • Coarse texture
  • Resistant to deterioration from UV Sunlight, insects and moisture.
  • Finishing : Takes stains and clear finishes well, but oils in wood can bleed unless primer is applied.

3.Redwood

contiki.com
woodsolutions.com.au
marycerrone.com
  • Source : West coast of United States
  • Uses : Outdoor furniture, decks and fences, siding
  • Appearance :
    • Color : Reddish brown with cream-colored sapwood.
    • Grain pattern : straight fine grain with few knots
  • Resistant to deterioration from UV Sunlight, insects and moisture.
  • Finishing : Takes stains and clear finishes well.
  • Cost : Moderate to Expensive

4.Cypress

hgtv.com
wood-database.com
albanywoodworks.com
  • Source : Mississippi delta region of the United States.
  • Uses : Exterior siding, trim, beams, flooring, cabinetry, paneling, etc.
  • Appearance :
    • Grain Pattern : Straight and even grain pattern.
  • Resistant to deterioration from UV Sunlight, insects and moisture.
  • Finishing : Takes stains and clear finishes well.
  • Cost : Inexpensive where regionally available.

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