Wood is the most commonly used furniture material and for good reason. It comes in a huge amount of varieties and each type of wood has its own distinctive qualities. Wood has been used to make furniture since ancient Egyptian times.

Wood furniture not only looks great, it’s also very hard wearing. Quality pieces of wood furniture will stand the test of time. Hardwoods are more durable than softwoods and therefore usually more expensive.

We love wood furniture at Homeline so we’ve put together this little guide to the most popular furniture woods:

Hardwoods

Oak

Oak is the most popular hardwood used in furniture. It has been used to make furniture since medieval times. The oak tree is native to the northern hemisphere, with North America being the home to the largest number of species. It is an extremely versatile material with natural aesthetic qualities and is used to make high quality furniture pieces.

Oak is an extremely durable high quality wood. It stains and finishes well and is naturally resistant to moisture and warping.  Its natural grain finish also gives it a distinctive look.  It is most commonly used to make furniture in an American and English country design as well as Gothic and contemporary pieces.

Maple

Maple has been used in furniture since early American colonial days. It is a creamy white hardwood that takes dark stains well. Although there are 115 different species only 5 of these commercially important species grow in the U.S including hard rock, and sugar maple.

Maple is renowned for its strength and hardness. Due to its durability and moderate shrinkage it is often used in flooring and bowling alley lanes!domino_bunk_maple_whiteDomino Maple Bunkbed

Walnut

Walnut was a popular furniture material throughout the 1600’s. It is strong, hard and durable and commonly used for making cabinets. It comes in many different varieties and grows throughout Europe, America and Asia.

Walnut is known for its excellent woodworking qualities and is often used for decorative pieces of furniture. The wood comes in a number of different colours from a light to dark brown.

European walnut tends to be lighter in colour and has a finer texture than American black walnut. It is easy to stain and glaze and it also resists shrinking and warping.Hampstead Grey & Walnut Rectangular Extending TableHampstead Grey & Walnut Rectangular Extending Table

Softwoods

Pine

Pine is the most popular type of softwood used in furniture. Native to Scandinavia, it grows all over the northern hemisphere. Because the trees grow straight and fast it is a very cost effective furniture material. Pine grows so fast it is often farmed, making it a sustainable form of material.

It’s naturally light in colour and very versatile. The fact that it is easy to paint makes it very adaptable.  However because it can warp it should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from extreme temperatures.

Its versatility and low cost make it particularly popular for children’s furniture.

Beech

Beech trees grow all over Europe. The colour and texture of the wood tends to be quite uniform. It has a light to pinkish brown colour and is a tough and strong wood.

Beech wood is known for its bending quality, which makes it a popular wood for furniture making. It polishes well, can withstand shocks and is hard wearing. It is used to make everything from seats and office desks to wooden toys and bread boards.jordan_beech_bed_3Jordan Bed In Beech Or White