When you work in the interiors industry, you quickly come across every type of wood available. But what are the differences between these woods? And just what are their distinctive characteristics?
To get to the bottom of these questions, we’ve chosen five of the most popular timbers to explore:
Mango wood is one of the most sustainable timbers known. Indigenous to India, it’s predominately used for growing mango fruits; however, it has also found its way into the furniture industry. Due to its light brown colour and long-lasting and durable characteristics, mango wood is loved by interior designers the world over. And because of its unique texture, mango wood is often connected to the ‘shabby chic’ style. Being an extremely hard and dense timber, it’s also perfect for kitchen accessories like spoons and wooden boards. See our care guide for mango wood here.
Native to the Americas, mahogany is a fairly expensive hardwood. Depending on its age, the colour of mahogany varies from warm dark brown to a lighter red brown. Its straight, fine, and even grain is highly workable and durable which is why it’s often used for making furniture, boats, musical instruments, and panelling. Giving its origin, mahogany is frequently found in colonial interior design themes, but also in Rococo and Georgian-styled furniture.
Found in Europe, North America, and Asia, beech wood is strong, tough, and medium to heavyweight. It has tiny pores and large rays that offer an even texture, making it easy to work with. Since it’s easy to mill, drill and plane, beech wood is often used for furniture, parquet flooring, stairs or musical instruments. Beech is a relatively light wood that gives your home a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Oak wood is one of the most popular woods and grows in the Northern hemisphere across America, Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. It takes up to 150 years before oak wood can be processed, but its long, slow growth offers extraordinary strength and durability. Its light colour and distinct grain makes it very attractive for William & Mary and Gothic imitations, country style furniture, as well as many transitional and contemporary pieces. It is also used for homewares, firewood and barrels used in wine and spirit production.
Walnut wood is smooth and easy to work. Simple to turn, carve and profile, it’s often used for interior decoration like veneer, stairs and doors. The grain in the trunk of the walnut tree is straight and different from the roots where the grain is wavy. Large burls are common which makes walnut a popular choice for flooring and furniture, especially through its density and shock resistance. Varying from light grey brown to dark chocolate brown, it provides rooms with a touch of drama.
Tell us what your furniture is made of. Why did you choose that type of wood?