The choice of wood for furniture making is more than just an aesthetic decision; it’s a crucial factor that determines the piece’s overall quality, durability, and functionality. When selecting the ideal wood type, you need to consider various factors, including the wood’s hardness, grain pattern, colour, and resistance to wear and tear. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the best types of wood for crafting beautiful and long-lasting furniture pieces, including oak, pine, and beech. We’ll also explore the unique charm of reclaimed wood and discuss the difference between hardwoods and softwoods to help you make an informed choice.

Hardwood vs. Softwood: What’s the Difference?

Before we dive into specific wood types, it’s essential to understand the fundamental distinction between hardwoods and softwoods. Contrary to what the names imply, the terms “hardwood” and “softwood” do not necessarily refer to the hardness or softness of the wood.

Hardwoods are derived from deciduous trees, such as oak, maple, and cherry. They are known for their density and durability, making them excellent choices for furniture that needs to withstand the test of time.

On the other hand, softwoods come from coniferous trees, like pine, cedar, and spruce. While they are generally less dense than hardwoods, they are versatile and often used for various furniture styles.

There is definitely a trade off between the two, but softwoods are not lesser than hardwoods. Hardwoods are more durable and sturdy, but the significant weight might not be appropriate for some situations, and a lighter softwood might be more suitable.

Oak: The Timeless Classic

Oak is a perennial favourite among furniture makers and enthusiasts. Renowned for its striking grain pattern and exceptional strength, oak furniture exudes timeless beauty and longevity. Its durability makes it an excellent choice for pieces that will see heavy daily use, such as dining tables and chairs.

Pine: A Versatile Softwood

Pine, a softwood, offers a warm and inviting look. Its light colour and straight grain make it a versatile option for various furniture styles, from rustic to modern. Pine is also a relatively affordable alternative to many hardwoods, with the wood still being durable, strong and easy to work with. 

Beech: A Blend of Beauty and Durability

Beech wood strikes a balance between aesthetics and durability. It boasts a fine, even grain that takes stains and finishes exceptionally well. Beech furniture is known for its elegant appearance and resistance to wear and tear, making it suitable for both traditional and contemporary settings.

Reclaimed Wood: Adding Character to Your Furniture

Reclaimed wood adds a unique dimension to furniture making. It’s not just about sustainability; reclaimed wood brings a sense of history and character to your furniture. Each piece tells a story, with the marks and imperfections from its previous life adding to its charm. 

Reclaimed wood is no less durable for its history either – in fact, reclaimed wood can often be even denser and harder than new wood. Wood over 100 years old for example, tends to have a tighter grain that contributes to its durability.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wood

While the type of wood is crucial, several other factors come into play when selecting the right material for your furniture. These include budget, intended use, design preferences, and maintenance requirements.

Caring for Your Wooden Furniture

To ensure your wooden furniture maintains its beauty and functionality over the years, proper care is essential. We’ll provide you with valuable tips on how to clean, protect, and maintain your wooden pieces, allowing you to enjoy them for generations to come.


Each type of wood brings its unique character and qualities to the table, and experienced furniture makers will only use the best materials for the job. Whether it’s the timeless beauty of oak, the versatility of pine, or the elegance of beech, the choice of wood will shape the essence of your furniture. Investing in quality wood furniture is not just about aesthetics; it’s about choosing pieces that will withstand the test of time and bring joy to your life. 

You can browse our solid wood furniture here.

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