7 Types of Wood for Your Next Project: A Comparison Chart
Wood is one of the most versatile and widely used materials in the world. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast, a professional carpenter, or an export manager, you need to know how to choose the right wood for your project. Different types of wood have different properties, such as hardness, durability, color, grain, and cost. In this article, we will compare 7 types of wood and their applications, so you can make an informed decision.
wood comparison chart
The 7 types of wood we will cover are:
Pine is a softwood that comes from coniferous trees. It is one of the most common and affordable types of wood, making it ideal for budget-friendly projects. Pine is easy to work with, as it can be cut, nailed, and glued without much difficulty. However, pine also has some drawbacks, such as being prone to warping, shrinking, and splitting. Pine is also not very resistant to insects, rot, and fire. Therefore, pine is best suited for indoor projects, such as furniture, cabinets, and flooring.
Oak is a hardwood that comes from deciduous trees. It is one of the most popular and durable types of wood, making it ideal for high-quality projects. Oak is hard to work with, as it requires special tools and techniques to cut, nail, and glue. However, oak also has many advantages, such as being resistant to warping, cracking, and decay. Oak is also very attractive, as it has a rich color and a distinctive grain pattern. Therefore, oak is best suited for outdoor projects, such as decks, fences, and doors.
Maple is a hardwood that comes from deciduous trees. It is one of the most versatile and stable types of wood, making it ideal for various projects. Maple is easy to work with, as it can be cut, nailed, and glued with ease. However, maple also has some challenges, such as being difficult to stain and finish. Maple is also very bland, as it has a light color and a fine grain. Therefore, maple is best suited for projects that require painting or staining, such as tables, chairs, and cabinets.
Cherry is a hardwood that comes from deciduous trees. It is one of the most elegant and expensive types of wood, making it ideal for luxury projects. Cherry is hard to work with,
as it can be brittle and burn easily when cut or sanded.
However, cherry also has many benefits, such as being resistant to warping, shrinking, and rotting.
Cherry is also very beautiful, as it has a reddish color and a smooth grain.
Therefore, cherry is best suited for projects that showcase its natural beauty, such as mantels, bookcases, and jewelry boxes.
Walnut is a hardwood that comes from deciduous trees. It is one of the most strong and dark types of wood, making it ideal for sophisticated projects.
Walnut is hard to work with, as it can be tough and expensive to cut, nail, and glue.
However, walnut also has many perks, such as being resistant to insects, fungi, and moisture.
Walnut is also very stunning, as it has a brown color and a varied grain.
Therefore, walnut is best suited for projects that require strength and style, such as desks, chests, and musical instruments.
Mahogany is a hardwood that comes from tropical trees.
It is one of the most exotic and rare types of wood, making it ideal for special projects.
Mahogany is easy to work with, as it can be cut, nailed, and glued without much trouble.
However, mahogany also has some drawbacks, such as being vulnerable to fading, cracking, and denting.
Mahogany is also very pricey, as it has a high demand and a low supply.
Therefore, mahogany is best suited for projects that require durability and elegance, such as doors, cabinets, and boats.
Teak is a hardwood that comes from tropical trees.
It is one of the most resilient and weather-resistant types of wood, making it ideal for outdoor projects.
Teak is hard to work with,
as it can be oily and abrasive to cut, nail, and glue.
However, teak also has many advantages, such as being resistant to insects, rotting, and warping.
Teak is also very attractive,
as it has a golden color and a straight grain.
Therefore, teak is best suited for projects that require longevity and beauty, such as patio furniture, decking, and flooring.
Wood Comparison Chart: A Statistical Analysis
Global Demand for Wood Products
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the global demand for wood products has increased by 2.8% per year from 2016 to 2020, reaching a total of 2.1 billion cubic meters in 2020. The main drivers of this growth are the construction sector, which accounts for 40% of the wood consumption, and the energy sector, which accounts for 27%. The regions with the highest demand are Asia, Europe and North America, which together consume 85% of the global wood products.
Wood Species and Their Characteristics
Different wood species have different characteristics that affect their suitability for various applications. Some of the factors that influence the choice of wood species are durability, hardness, color, grain, stability and environmental impact. The table below compares some of the common wood species used in various sectors, based on data from Schenck & Company and Firewood Resource.
| Wood Species | Best Feature | Design Style | Color Range | Stainability | Durability | BTU Rating |
| Australian Cypress | Substitute for heart/longleaf pine | Rustic, casual | Wide variation; golden tones; high knot content | Typically not stained; natural color | 6% harder than red oak | N/A |
| Bamboo | Green product; regenerates quickly | Contemporary or modern | Light cream or caramel color | Accepts stain well | Similar to oak in hardness | N/A |
| Brazilian Cherry | Extremely durable | Traditional to contemporary | Deep red/orange/brown tones; minimal knots; tight straight grain | Accepts stain well; darkens with exposure to light; dominant red tones return | 82% harder than red oak | N/A |
| Domestic Cherry | Beautiful delicate grain with character | Formal/traditional for select grades; casual/rustic for character grades | Golden/honey tones; wide color variation common within a plank | Difficult to stain evenly; darkens with exposure to light | 26% softer than red oak | N/A |
| Hickory | Popular substitute for oak, walnut or mesquite; delicate grain with lots of character | Casual or rustic | Beige/tan; wide color variation within a plank | Accepts stain well; color stable | 41% harder than red oak | N/A |
| Sugar Maple | Minimal grain, extremely tight color range in highest grades | Contemporary, minimalist or modern; used where minimal grain or pattern is desired | Creamy white in highest grade; wide variation in lower grades | Difficult to stain evenly; ambers slightly with exposure to light | 12% harder than red oak | N/A |
| Mesquite | The most stable and one of the most durable woods; exquisite character | Casual or rustic for character grades; traditional /formal for select grades | Deep reddish brown or mahogany | Accepts stain well; natural mahogany tones are dominant; darkens with exposure to light | 82% harder than red oak | N/A |
| Oak (red) | The standard or basic floor material for years | Grade and grain pattern can be manipulated to be formal or casual | Slightly pink | Accepts stain very well; color possibilities are almost endless | Oak is typically used as the benchmark for hardness (1290 Janka) 24.4 million BTU/cord |
| Oak (white) | The standard or basic floor material for years Grade and grain pattern can be manipulated to be formal or casual Beige/tan Accepts stain very well; color possibilities are almost endless Slightly harder than red oak (1360 Janka) 26.4 million BTU/cord |
| Pao Rosa Beautiful character and grain pattern Traditional or formal Deep mahogany or brown with orange tones Most attractive with a natural stain 26% harder than red oak N/A |
| Reclaimed Pine Beautiful character patina, grain pattern, tight growth rings, stable Rustic, primative, Mission, casual, Old World, southwestern; pristine grades can be very formal Natural color is honey toned Difficult to statin evenly; most attractive with a natural color Durability is dependent on age; ranges from slightly softer than oak to similar hardness as oak N/A |
| Walnut Rich deep color with delicate grain and lots of character Very versatile: casual to formal Natural color is deep chocolate brown Accepts statin readily 22% softer than red oak N/A |
| Wenge Traditional to formal Very versatile: casual to formal Natural color is darker than chocolate grain can be manipulated to be very busy or very formal 21% harder than red oak N/A |
As you can see, there are many types of wood to choose from this wood comparison chart for your next project.
Each type of wood has its own pros and cons, so you need to consider your budget, your purpose, and your preference.
We hope this comparison chart has helped you to make a better decision.
If you want to learn more about wood and its applications, you can check out these trustworthy sources:
Sell on Rexcer.com