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Softwood and hardwood – how to choose in between them?



When looking for wooden furniture, we are usually focused on its appearance. However, it is worth knowing, what are the characteristics of each type in order to make the right purchase. Check what you need to know about the wood types.


There are various types of wood available on the market, coming from all around the world – from Siberian Taiga to the depths of African rainforests. Some are more valued on the market due to their rarity and particular qualities, which is reflected in the price. Others, like oak, are characterized by fast growth and easy adaptation to various conditions, which makes them cheap and commonly used.


From the client’s side, the wood choice is usually a matter of aesthetics. It is the color and texture that we pay attention to at first glance. However, it is worth knowing the properties of each kind of wood before making a purchase. 


Types of wood – how do we divide them?


There are two main types of divisions when it comes to wood. The first one focuses on tree species. Within this framework, we can distinguish the deciduous trees and evergreens or exotic and native – however, the second division obviously depends on the perspective. 


Another way to divide the wood types refers to their hardness. There are soft and hard types – the usage of each in the furniture industry differs due to the specific properties. 


The most commonly used types of tender wood come from the evergreens such as pine and spruce, but not only – also poplar is considered soft. Among the hard types, we can differentiate oak, mahogany, ash, or alder, among others.


The usage of hard and softwood


The softwood is generally faster to grow and more resistant, which makes the costs of its production lower. The same goes for operating costs. Due to its softness, it is easy to process – that is why it is used in smaller and more complex forms, for example, toys.


The furniture made with hardwood is generally more appreciated in the market due to its durability. It is more expensive, but in the long run, the investment pays for itself, as there is no need to exchange or repair furniture for years. If you are looking for a chair or pew that will survive decades, hardwood is the best choice. No wonder why almost every wooden church chair and other types of publicly used furniture is made with it. 


The aesthetical aspect is significant when it comes to choosing the wood type. However, remembering the hardness will provide you with more chances to choose the furniture successfully.


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