When shopping for wood furniture it is sometimes difficult to choose from the wide selection of hardwoods and softwoods. How do you determine which wood type will best suit your style and needs? Depending on where the furniture will be placed in your home and the frequency of use shall help determine the correct choice to make.
Family room or guest room?
Where will the piece of furniture be used? A piece of wood furniture for the family room which will be used on a daily basis requires more durability than the accent piece that will be used occasionally in your guest room.
Hardwood versus softwood
The key difference between hardwood and softwood is the type of tree. Trees that generate softwood are conifers, mainly pine, spruce and cedar. Although softwoods are more prone to marking, this will often result in a beautiful weathered look. Hardwood comes from broad leaf trees such as maple, cherry, oak, ash, walnut and mahogany. Hardwoods usually offer greater strength and stability.
A beautiful softwood, pine is the perfect choice when you are looking for a warm, rustic look. Typically light-yellow in color, pine wood is excellent for staining. Its natural shading and grain guarantee the uniqueness of each piece of wood furniture that is crafted. Pine is widely used in furniture, wood paneling and moulding.
Oak, a very hard and opened grained wood, is most commonly used for finer, more durable furniture. Oak is available in two varieties, white and red oak. Red oak, the more popular of the two, has a pinkish hue. Oak has a very prominent grain and it stains well in any color. Oak is commonly used in wood furniture manufacturing and in hardwood flooring.
Maple is renowned for its shock-resistance, fine texture and grain. This light colored, medium-to-hard wood is ideal for furniture in smaller rooms where an increased light reflection is ideal. Maple is highly durable and stains well. It can be finished to resemble more expensive hardwoods such as walnut and cherry. Maple is frequently used to make fine furniture and kitchen cabinets.
Cherry, a more expensive wood, is a popular choice for long lasting pieces for a master bedroom or a dining room where the appearance of the wood is crucial. This moderate to hard wood offers rich color, strength and wear resistance. A straight grained wood which gets redder as it is exposed to sunlight. Cherry ages well and is often used as veneer and in quality wood furniture and cabinets.
Wood, available in a variety of colors, grains and hardnesses, has always been a preferred material for furniture manufacturers. The uniqueness of each type of wood and each piece of lumber makes each piece of wood furniture unique in its patterns and markings. When you are considering new wood furniture for your home, it is important to keep in mind not only the look you want, but the type of wood and the use of the pieces you are buying.
Our furniture components are manufactured from the finest quality woods, including maple, red oak, cherry, pine, ash and walnut. After two generations and 40 years in the furniture parts business, Newport Furniture Parts has established itself as a leader in the wood component industry and as one of Vermont's finest wood furniture manufacturers.