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20 Types of Wood and Their Uses

Understanding Different Types of Wood and Their Uses

Wood is widely used in life, especially in the furniture field. Many types of wood are taken from natural forest trees, but only some people understand the unique characteristics of each wood species. Each wood species has different characteristics and their applications in interior design and construction are also different.

Therefore, knowing all the necessary information about different kinds of wood will help you create the perfect product. In this article, VINAWOOD will highlight the main characteristics of many different types of wood, and show you some advantages and disadvantages of types of wood so you can choose the most suitable type for your project.

>> See more: How Did Hardwood Plywood Become Popular With Designers?

What are 3 types of wood?

Three types of wood are softwood, hardwood and engineered wood. Contrary to popular belief, softwoods are not necessarily soft, and hardwoods are not necessarily hard.

What are the 5 types of man made wood?

The five types of man-made wood are plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard (also known as chipboard), oriented strand board (OSB) and hardboard. Each type has its own unique characteristics and uses in various applications.

There are 3 wood types for people to manufacture the interior and exterior
There are 3 wood types for people to manufacture the interior and exterior

20 Types of Wood You Need To Know

1. Acacia

Acacia is a typical type of hard types of wood. Acacia is commonly used for its beautiful color, it is usually light brown or dark mahogany and the heartwood of Acacia is reddish brown.

Advantage:

  • Various colors, enhance the elegance of your space
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Durable, showing little wear and tear over time throughout use
  • Good water resistance, limiting rot, odors, and stains

Disadvantage:

  • The bearing capacity of Acacia wood is not highly appreciated compared to other types of wood
  • The color and grain of this type of wood are often not outstanding, making the product design common and lacking uniqueness.
Acacia is a typical type of hard types of wood
Acacia is a typical type of hard types of wood

2. Birch

Birch is a hard species of wood that is used a lot and is quite economical. The most common Birch trees are White Birch, Yellow Birch, and Black Birch.

Advantage:

  • The wood grain is straight and beautiful
  • The wooden surface is quite uniform and has a high aesthetic value
  • They have good resistance to pests and termites
  • They can easily bend the material into many different shapes because this type of wood is highly elastic and has quite a large shrinkage rate.
  • Birch’s price is cheap
  • They are lightweight, convenient for moving

Disadvantage:

  • Birch will not be very durable
  • The heartwood of birch is quite soft, so it is easily attacked by pests, so termite resistance is poor if the wood is not carefully treated and dried to prevent termites.

> Read more: Birch Plywood: Uses, Benefits, and Drawbacks Explored

The Birch's surface is quite uniform and has a high aesthetic value
The Birch’s surface is quite uniform and has a high aesthetic value

3. Cedar

Cedar is a soft, fragrant wood that is resistant to insects and rot. Cedar wood also has high aesthetics and sharpness that is widely loved around the world.

Advantage:

  • Cedar contains essential oil, so the strong aroma brings a pleasant and comfortable feeling
  • Cedar is very resistant to rot, has excellent water resistance, and is not attacked by insects, termites, or mold.
  • Non-electrical conductivity, and good mechanical strength.
  • The wood grain is soft so it is light in weight, and has good formability

Disadvantage:

  • Cedar is sensitive to moisture, so it can easily warp
  • Cedar tends to darken or change over time so it will have inconsistent colors
  • Cedar has a higher price than regular wood
Cedar is sensitive to moisture, so it can easily warp
Cedar is sensitive to moisture, so it can easily warp

4. Oak

Oak is a hardwood used a lot in America. These wood types are hard and dense. There are two common types of oak wood: white and red.

Advantage:

  • Oak has a wavy pattern that looks very beautiful
  • It has high strength and good ductility
  • It has good resistance to moisture and abrasion.

Disadvantage:

  • Oakwood dries slowly and tends to crack and warp when dried.
  • Oakwood is very heavy, causing obstacles in the production process
The Oakwood is hard and dense.
The Oakwood is hard and dense.

5. Pine

Pine is a soft types of wood that is easy to manufacture. It varies in color from golden brown to cream tones. Pine may be susceptible to rot, but its core is less dense and very versatile in production. Pine is ideal for woodworking, rustic furniture, flooring, or shelving because of its high moisture resistance

Advantage:

  • Pine wood is light so it is very convenient to move when making furniture.
  • Pine’s price is cheap, available raw materials, so intermediate costs can be saved
  • The heartwood is naturally resistant to decay, so it is highly durable and can last up to 20 years

Disadvantage

  • Because it is a soft wood, Pine is easily scratched and dented.
  • It is not as durable as hardwood, and may not be suitable for high-use areas.
Pine is ideal for woodworking, rustic furniture, flooring, or shelving
Pine is ideal for woodworking, rustic furniture, flooring, or shelving

6. Mahogany

Mahogany is a luxury hardwood commonly found in Central and South America, West Africa and the West Indies.

Advantage:

  • Mahogany has a very delicate and luxurious color
  • Wood has very high stability, and does not warp, swell, or shrink
  • Mahogany has excellent abrasion resistance, suitable for many applications.

Disadvantage:

  • Mahogany has a higher price than other types of wood
  • Because of its weight, Mahogany can be difficult to handle
  • Genuine mahogany can be scarce, so sourcing legally and sustainably is vital.
Mahogany is a luxury hardwood
Mahogany is a luxury hardwood

7. Maple

Maple has very tough properties and a very dense core. It has straight, tight fibers and a light-colored outer skin. Maple has a wavy pattern.

Advantage:

  • Maple is very sturdy
  • Maple’s color is very harmonious, with uniform veins that are highly aesthetic, suitable to become a type of wood for decoration
  • Good stability, no warping or twisting
  • Maple is versatile and suitable for many applications

Disadvantage:

  • Maple is very difficult to evenly color while dyeing
  • This is high-quality maple wood so the price is very expensive
  • Maple is very heavy, making production difficult
Maple has many types of wood but most of them are tough and dense
Maple has many types of wood but most of them are tough and dense

8. Teak

Teak is a long-lasting wood and is considered the “king of wood” because of its flexibility and durability. Teak is a straight-grained wood with a rough and uneven texture. Teak has excellent resistance to termites and rot.

Advantage:

  • Teak wood is very durable, has good moisture resistance, and limits insect damage
  • Teak is famous for its durability

Disadvantage:

  • Teak wood has natural oils, so the processing process will be difficult
  • Unsustainable harvesting of Teak wood can affect the ecosystem
  • It’s high cost
Teak is a straight-grained wood with a rough and uneven texture.
Teak is a straight-grained wood with a rough and uneven texture.

9. Spruce

Spruce wood is considered the ideal wood for producing musical instruments. With smooth and straight grain, Spruce wood also has quality sound.

Advantage:

  • Spruce wood has a good price
  • Spruce wood is durable
  • It has resonance so it is often used in musical instruments due to its tonal qualities.

Disadvantage:

  • Spruce is a soft wood, it is easily scratched and dented
  • It is not as durable as many hardwoods.
  • Spruce may warp or rot if exposed to moisture.

> Read more: Hardwood Flooring: Types, Costs and Color Selection Guide

Spruce wood is considered the ideal wood for producing musical instruments
Spruce wood is considered the ideal wood for producing musical instruments

10. Cherry

Cherry is one of the most popular types of wood today. Cherry wood is creamy white to red to reddish brown and darkens as it ages.

Advantage:

  • Cherry wood is smooth and glossy
  • This type of wood is highly durable and hard so it is easy to shape
  • The color of Cherry wood is beautiful and highly aesthetic. It’s wood for decoration we recommend.

Disadvantage:

  • Cherry wood is often more expensive than other hardwoods.
  • When exposed to sunlight, wood will change color
  • It is sensitive to moisture and can warp at any time
Cherry wood is often more expensive than other types of hardwood
Cherry wood is often more expensive than other types of hardwood

11. Ash

Ash has a light color, this type of wood comes from many different types of trees such as green ash, white ash, and black ash. Ashwood is a light but durable hardwood.

Advantage:

  • Ashwood is highly aesthetic with eye-catching colors
  • This type of wood is cheaper than other types of hardwood

Disadvantage:

  • It has less hardness than other hardwoods
  • Ash is susceptible to insect and pest attacks
  • Ash is less water resistant than other types
Ashwood is a light but durable hardwood
Ashwood is a light but durable hardwood

12. Walnut

Wood from the Walnut tree has a deep chocolate color and is loved by woodworking experts. This type of wood has straight grain and irregular ripples.

Advantage:

  • Walnuts have an elegant color
  • The stability of wood is high, less likely to warp or inflate
  • Walnut has a high-gloss

Disadvantage:

  • Walnuts’ price is high
  • The color is dark so it may be limited for some designs
  • The wood is not too hard like some regular hardwoods
Walnut has straight grain and irregular ripples
Walnut has straight grain and irregular ripples

13. Fir

Fir is a highly durable softwood. Douglas Fir can repel insects. Douglas Fir has a very clear and straight grain.

Advantage:

  • It can help to save money because of the cheap price
  • Fir is used to create many different applications
  • Fir is well suited for many applications.

Disadvantage:

  • Fir wood can be easily eroded and is not very durable
  • It may be affected by high humidity
  • Because it lacks rich colors and shapes, Fir is aesthetically limited
Fir is a highly durable softwood
Fir is a highly durable softwood

14. Ebony

Ebony stands out because the wood color is almost black. It is very popular in specialty woodworking applications. This is a rare type of wood, strictly protected according to international regulations.

Advantage:

  • These types of wood are extremely hard so they can handle complex carving operations
  • Because of the classic dark color, Ebony looks so classic
  • It has high gloss and a stable size

Disadvantage:

  • This type is one of the most expensive woods on the market.
  • It has a high brittleness, causing difficulties in the production process
  • This is a rare type of wood so it is difficult to source
  • Strictly protected: Some species are in danger of extinction; The source of supply must be verified as sustainable.
Ebony is a rare type of wood, strictly protected according to international regulations.
Ebony is a rare type of wood, strictly protected according to international regulations.

15. Bamboo

Bamboo has a very thick texture so it is highly durable and hard. It is often used to produce high-end furniture, cabinets or wooden floors. Bamboo can also be an ideal fencing material.

Advantage:

  • This type of wood grows quickly and sustainably, so it is very environmentally friendly.
  • Bamboo is known as its high durability and toughness
  • Bamboo is said to be a highly aesthetic and unique material
  • It has good water resistance

Disadvantages:

  • When in a humid environment, bamboo warps or cracks
  • Bamboo is not very durable and is easily scratched
Bamboo has a very thick texture so it is highly durable and hard
Bamboo has a very thick texture so it is highly durable and hard

16. Beech

Beech is popular because it is extremely sturdy and highly resistant to shock. However, this type of wood is not very durable. Beech absorbs moisture well so it is easily damaged by insects.

Advantage:

  • Oak is an odorless wood so a finished product will not overpower the scent of the room.
  • Beech has a smooth texture that makes it easy to finish and polish
  • This type of wood is usually cheap
  • Beech has a certain hardness

Disadvantage:

  • Beech is said to be difficult to craft by hand because it is hard
  • It is susceptible to warping or blistering when exposed to excessive humidity
  • Beech’s durability is very limited so it is not ideal for outdoor use.
Beech is popular because it is extremely sturdy and highly resistant to shock
Beech is popular because it is extremely sturdy and highly resistant to shock

17. Poplar

Poplar has perfect multi-purpose usability. It is light in color and has an even texture. The grain of poplar is straight, and it is also a softer hardwood so it is easy to work with hand or power tools.

Advantage:

  • This type of wood is light so it is easy to move
  • It can absorb paint well and is very versatile
  • This is a sustainable wood
  • It is sually one of the cheapest hardwoods.

Disadvantages:

  • Poplar is soft so it can easily be scratched and dented
  • This type of wood does not have good durability and is not as resistant to rot and insects as other types of wood.
Poplar has perfect multi-purpose usability.
Poplar has perfect multi-purpose usability.

18. Redwood

Redwood is one of the tallest trees in the world. This is a light and soft wood, very easy to produce. As its name suggests, Redwood ranges in color from yellow or light white to reddish brown or dark red.

Advantage:

It is highly resistant to pests and moisture

Redwood is highly aesthetic

This type of wood is superior to regular wood so it is easier to handle

Disadvantage:

Redwood’s high price is more expensive than other types

Redwood is susceptible to dents, scratches and breaks

It may change color over time

Redwood is highly resistant to pests and moisture
Redwood is highly resistant to pests and moisture

19. Pressure Treated

Pressure Treated is wood that has been pressure treated. This type of wood is made from southern yellow pine trees, it has good rot resistance and insect resistance.

Pressure Treated is wood that has been pressure treated.
Pressure Treated is wood that has been pressure treated.

20. FSC-certified lumber

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council – a non-profit organization that evaluates forestry industry products. FSC-certified lumber is the same as pressure-treated lumber. FSC certifies lumber production in a variety of species, including softwoods and hardwoods.

Prices for FSC-certified lumber may be slightly higher than standard lumber, but FSC Certification may be a must for those looking for responsibly produced lumber.

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council - a non-profit organization that evaluates forestry industry products
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council – a non-profit organization that evaluates forestry industry products

Hopefully through the above article, you have been able to grasp information about different kinds of wood. Please visit VINAWWOOD’s website if you want to know more about all types of plywood.