Wood furniture: Types of woods


In the market, there are several varieties of wood for furniture and its has its own properties.  Generally there are two broad categories: Hardwoods and Softwoods.

Hardwoods are not necessarily harder than softwoods but usually they are, and Softwoods aren't always weaker than hardwoods. The following sections introduce you to the most common categories of woods for furniture. 


Hardwoods have interesting grain patterns, texture and colors but generally they are expensive. Softwoods are less expensive because they come from coniferous trees. Coniferous tree grow faster and straight. Hardwoods come from broad-leafed or no needled trees and many species are deciduous.

  • Oak: Available in two qualities: Red and White. White Oak is resistant to moisture and it can be used to outdoor furniture. 

Oak stools ideal for warming up a kitchen

Oak stools
  • Maple: less expensive than other hardwoods 

Vitra rocking stool in Maple. Designed by Isamu Noguchi in 1954, it was originally biold for rocking fun and later addapted into table. 

Vitra rocking stool in Maple
  • Ash: Ash is a white to pale brown wood with straight grain and it is a good substitute for white oak.

Ash gardening table 

Ash gardening table

  • Cherry: Cherry's heartwood has a reddish-brown color to it and the sapwood is almost white.

Cherry wood countertop

Cherry wood countertop
  • Birch: Comes in two varieties: yellow and white

Lovi birch christmas tree

wooden holiday decoration tree
  • Mahogany: has a reddish-brown to deep-red tint and a straight grain.

Youth chair in mahogany

modern wooden highchair
  • Teak: It is ideal for outdoor furniture since it is highly weather resistant.

Teak side table 

wooden side table
  • Poplar: It is rarely used in fine furniture, and if it is, it's almost always painted.

Alligator and little bird peg rack. Poplar wood decorated using non-toxix paints and glues

wooden peg rack


  • Walnut: Rich brown wood. 

Cherner counter stool

modern wooden stool


Softwoods come from needle-bearing trees or coniferous trees. They used frequently for furniture, when easily carved or worked wood is needed. Since the surfaces are often soft, they are more susceptible to marks.

  • Cedar: Has an attractive color and grain

Cedar sake up set

cedar sake up set
  • Pine: Comes in several varieties. In relation to furniture making is easy to shape and stain

Pine cube table/ stool

modern wood side table

Solid wood Furniture VS Plywood

The term Solid wood generally refers to furniture where all exposed pieces of wood are solid. The areas that are hidden like the back of a sofa maybe made of plywood. Plywood is made of thin sheets of wood that have been bonded together with heat and glue. Some types of plywood are stronger and lighter that solid wood and they are less expensive.

Make any technical sketch using graph paper notebook at 1:50 scale

grid paped


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