Virtually every household will have some items of solid wood furniture, whether it is in the form of major articles, such as beds, kitchen and dining tables, benches and dressers or smaller items like picture frames, mirror housings or small cupboards. In this article we look at some of the most popular types of wood that are used in the construction of household furniture and their most frequent uses. Because there are two quite different types of wood we have divided our analysis into two sections. In the first of these we look at the most popular types of soft wood.
Soft Woods Used in the Construction of Furniture
Solid wood furniture constructed from pine is amongst the most popular, especially in countries of the Northern Hemisphere. Pine is a soft wood that is commonly used in kitchen tables and chairs. Pine is available in black, red, white and yellow shades. Because it is liable to decay and insect infestation pine is only suitable for interior furniture.
Another popular wood used for solid wood furniture, cedar, like pine, is a soft wood. One of the useful characteristics of cedar is that both the wood and the oil that it contains are natural repellents to moths. For this reason, cedar is considered to be particularly appropriate for furniture that is used for the storage of clothing such as cupboards, dressers and wardrobes. Like pine, cedar is not really suitable for exterior solid wood furniture.
Another popular soft wood is larch. Its most useful attributes are that it is considered to be highly durable, tough and waterproof. For this reason, it is widely used in the construction of solid wood furniture for the garden as well as for yachts and smaller sailing vessels.
Popular in the southern states of the USA cypress, like cedar, is a natural moth repellent. For that reason it is also used for clothing containers such as wardrobes and chests of drawers.
Having looked at the principal types of soft wood furniture, we will now look at the most popular hard wood alternatives.
Hard Woods Used in the Construction of Furniture
Oak has been one of the most popular types of wood in furniture construction for centuries. It is a very dense wood that is very hard as well as strong. Oak possesses a high concentration of tannin, making it resistant to insects and fungi. It is used in the construction of many items of solid wood furniture, especially tables, chairs, bed frames, benches, chests of drawers, closets and dressers.
Teak is a hard wood that is renowned for its strength and resistance to water. Even without being treated, teak is able to resist water, making it especially suitable for outdoor use and for furniture that needs to be strong and hardwearing, such as dining and other tables.
Another wood that is popular for its hardness, walnut is used in the manufacture of a variety of furniture articles but is especially attractive in the dining room. Walnut is reasonable expensive, as is the furniture that is constructed from the timber but it remains the preferred wood for many.
The last in our list of popular woods is mahogany. A red wood, mahogany furniture has been popular for several centuries and there is a lively market for antique mahogany items as well as for more modern pieces. Mahogany is commonly used for a wide range of solid wood furniture items, including bed frames, chairs, tables, dressing tables, French dressers, cabinets and dining furniture.
The wood types set out above are the most commonly used in the making of solid wood furniture but by no means represent an exhaustive list. Other wood types such as maple, ash, alder, beech and even fir are also used in furniture construction throughout various countries around the world.