What are the different types of wood and their uses?
Almost everyone has experienced confusion in choosing a wood type for a particular purpose. Unless you’re an expert, finding your way around can be difficult because of the wide range of wood options available.
How do you know which one is the best for a particular purpose? In this article, we will help you understand the different types of wood and the use of each of them.
Hardwood types and their use
Hardwoods come from slow-growing trees and are generally very strong. They are more expensive due to their durability.
They generally have an uneven texture making them harder to work with. Woodworkers recommend using special equipment to work with this type of wood to make it easier to shape.
Walnut wood is the perfect wood for furniture, doors, and ornaments. This is one of the least dense but hardest woods of all. Walnut is considered one of the best woods, especially in Europe.
It features a very distinctive and popular texture and tone. Walnuts are also easy to work with and provide good resistance to all types of finishing.
Elmwood is used for all kinds of furniture production, engraving, boat building, carving, and veneering. This wood is ideal for all types of work that may expose it to humidity. The main feature of elmwood is its high resistance to wood decay. This type of wood is particularly resistant to fungus and insect attacks.
Mahogany wood is considered one of the best options in the world of carpentry and woodworking in general. It is extremely versatile and high-quality, offering excellent results in almost any job, from designing a roof truss to making furniture that takes more skill and attention to detail.
This wood has high resistance due to its high density. Its durability makes it ideal for use in humid areas.
Cherry wood is a quality hardwood that stands out for its coffee-red color, its special texture, and its ease of processing. This wood is popular in the interior design world and is used mainly for furniture and siding. Cherry wood is durable, resists decay, and tends to darken over time.
Oak is perhaps the most popular wood type after pine. Its perfect balance of quality, appearance, strength, and workability make it the best choice. It is ideally suited for interior flooring and paneling.
Oak wood is a highly moisture-resistant material. This was the main reason why it was used for shipbuilding for years. The strength and hardness of solid oak wood prevent it from being easily damaged. Thanks to its durability and hardness, it is perfect for making furniture, guaranteeing high quality and resistance to damage.
Oak has many varieties of colors. It is the perfect material for creating woodwork elements. It allows you to choose different shades to enhance the design and adjust it to different tastes. Oak colors can range from light and dark browns to more reddish and yellowish tones.
Olive wood has a very distinctive and attractive appearance. Its uneven texture and interesting patterns make each piece unique. Olive wood’s strength and unique texture are what make it so popular. Originally from the Mediterranean region, olive wood is mainly used for artistic and decorative purposes.
Softwood types and their use
Unlike hardwoods, softwoods come from fast-growing trees. It makes them lighter, easier to work with, and much quicker to shape. Their availability makes them more affordable than hardwoods.
Today, spruce is one of the most commonly used types of wood. Spruce wood is typically used to manufacture musical instruments or containers and packaging.
This wood is one of the most resistant softwoods. It is often used in the design of prefabricated walls and ceilings inside buildings. The main reason for its popularity is its great elasticity, making it easy to work with. Spruce wood is perfect for building projects and can be an ideal material to build a wooden house extension.
Pine wood is perhaps the most widely used and well-known wood. The main reasons for this are its abundance, versatility, and ease of use.
It has good strength, bending, and soaking properties. It resembles spruce in many aspects, though it has a more even texture and a lower cost. Pine wood is mostly used in carpentry, furniture, and paneling.
Cedars are light, easy to work with, reddish in color, and have a unique scent. These are general characteristics of this tree type, but the name “cedar” refers to several subtypes, each with its own characteristics. Depending on its subtype, it can grow up to 50 meters tall, and some trees are more than 2,000 years old.
This type of wood is highly resistant to wood rot, insects, and fungus. It is also a very durable and quite light softwood. Together with its attractive reddish color, these characteristics make it an ideal material for shingles, roofing, and furniture.
Exotic wood types and their use
Mostly coming from South America, Africa, or Oceania, exotic woods are so-called for their origin. Their wide color palette, ranging from black to red to yellow, makes them distinct from softwoods in many ways.
Exotic woods are considered premium woods for two main reasons:
- They are rot-proof
- Their humidity resistance allows them to last longer.
Ipe wood is one of the most famous types of wood used by woodworkers because of its extraordinary properties. It has incredible hardness and resistance. It is so strong that in some places, it is called ironwood. But those are not its only strengths.
Coming from Central and Northern South America, ipe wood is mainly used for making floor joists, boats, furniture, or for interior and exterior carpentry work.
Bilinga wood is known for its yellowish-reddish to brown heartwood with pronounced stripes. Like much exotic wood, bilinga wood is resistant to many pests and bad weather. That makes it the perfect choice for interior and exterior siding, waterworks, and bridges.
Composite woods and their use
Composite woods are modern materials used in furniture and outdoor flooring. They are resistant to water and all weather conditions, unlike pure wood. Composite woods are much harder than pure plastics and expand less when exposed to strong temperature fluctuations.
Composite woods are made of wood fibers mixed with plastics and other additives. This allows adjusting the material’s specific characteristics to meet manufacturing requirements. One of its great advantages is that it can be used in all current production processes.
UsiHome can help you choose the right type of wood for your project
UsiHome specializes in the design and installation of roof trusses, truss systems, and prefabricated wood walls. We can use our expertise and skills to help you choose the best types of wood to suit your needs.
Contact us today for expert advice on how to make your next project a success.