Pros and Cons of Different Types of Wood

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Wood

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If you struggle to identify the differences between various types of wood, we’re about to demystify the pros and cons of the variations of wood most commonly used for furniture. 


Inexpensive and lightweight, pine has a yellowish or whitish hue and features a number of brown knots. Rustic pieces such as chairs and farmhouse tables are commonly made using pine. A low-cost material, pine is easy to paint which makes it ideal for making children’s furniture.  Resistant to shrinkage and swelling, pine develops a bucolic appeal as it ages. 

A common softwood, pine is also prone to dents and scratches. 


If you’re looking for hardwood with a straight grain, cherry can range in hue from reddish brown to blond and features a fine grain. Carved chairs are often made using cherry but it also lends itself well to shaker-style kitchen tables and cabinetry. Cherry can be easily shaped and polishes easily. Even when unstained, this variation of wood is vibrant in colour. 

Cherry can darken with age and it is expensive. 


A creamy white hardwood, maple can sometimes feature a red trace. One of the hardest woods you will come across, maple is popular for the construction of items which will need to withstand heavy use such as kitchen cabinets and traditional dressers. 

Improperly sealed maple can cause staining to look discoloured.  


Oak is a very grainy hardwood which is available in two varieties; red oak and white oak. Red oak can range from dark brown to pinky red and feature water like patterns, whereas white oak has a stripy grain with yellowy flecks. Oak is particularly durable and cut in a manner which ensures that it remains resistant to warping. The visible, distinctive grain of oak makes it particularly popular and a clean stain highlights the grain. 

Be careful to choose the right stain, as it can overly exaggerate the grain, giving it a two-toned effect. 


A hardwood with a straight grain, walnut can range from a chocolate brown to yellow and is ideal for use as a headboard, an antique dining table or a mantel. Clear coating or oiling brings out walnut’s colouring. The stunning colour and amazing strength of walnut makes it perfect for intricate carvings. 

Walnut is an expensive wood which also commonly displays variation from dark to light wood within a single piece of furniture. 

You are welcome to contact S Simpson Joinery to discuss the most suitable type of wood for your furniture.