Popular Types of Wood for Furniture

Popular Types of Wood for Furniture

There are hundreds of species of trees in the world, but very few are a good subset for furniture making. The following types of wood are the most popular when building quality wooden furniture. Here we will list the benefits and characteristics of six of the best types of woods. Hopefully this will give you a guide as to where to start when deciding on the best type of wood for the furniture in your home. 


Mahogany is a durable wood that is traditionally used in furniture making. It is lightweight, yet strong, which makes it ideal for decorative furniture. A distinct characteristic of mahogany is the rich and elegant deep reddish-brown hues. It is resistant to rot, particularly from water. 


The beautiful open grain of the oak wood is what makes it the perfect choice for a majority of the furniture that we find in our homes. With proper care, oak furniture can last for decades. Because of the versatility of oak, it is used in many traditional and modern styles of furniture. Typically the oak wood is a light brown to pinkish red. If the proper finish is applied, oak can be scratch and stain resistant. This is why it is used for a variety of furniture pieces such as bedroom sets, dining room tables, desks and cabinetry. 


The perfect combination of durability, the hardest of the hardwoods, yet the least expensive is none other than maple. This beautiful wood is ideal for those furniture pieces that see a lot of daily wear over time like dressers and dining room furniture. Maple will range in color from deep reddish brown to pale golden color. The advantages of maple is that it resists splitting and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. 


When looking for a wood species that is not only gorgeous, but very versatile, then walnut is the wood you should choose. This wood is perfect for carving and ornate furniture. This type of furniture will last for years when using walnut because the wood resists shrinkage and warping, while being extremely durable and tough. Just about any finish that is applied to walnut wood is absolutely beautiful. 


Cedar is most commonly associated with closets or chests. This is because the cedar wood is weather resistant and repels bugs. Although not as dense or hard as other woods, it is a great looking and lightweight wood that is great for outdoor furniture. Cedar comes in a wide range of colors and can last for many years to come. A bonus feature of cedar is the amazing aromatic smell of the wood. 


Although it is a softwood, pine is a reliably durable wood choice for your furniture. It is one of the least expensive woods that can be used, it is also very versatile. Since pine is a light colored wood, it can mix and match with other wood furnishings in your home. The pine wood is great with different types of finishes such as stain, shellac or even paint. This wood is known for its knots that give items a rustic charm, and it resists shrinkage and swelling, so it maintains its shape. 

Ultimately, finding the best wood for your furniture isn’t easy. There are so many good types of wood out there to choose from. Being able to understand your needs and the characteristics of the different types of wood will help you narrow down the perfect wood species for your next furniture purchase.