hopping for new solid wood furniture is a big task – especially when there’s so many options!
One of the questions we get asked most often is: What type of wood is best for my table?
For my dresser?
My coffee table?
My entertainment unit?
The answer? It depends.
Each wood has its own strengths that make it the best choice for different furniture types.
Today we’re going to look at some of the most popular wood varieties and go through their characteristics. We’re only going to talk about woods we use because we know them inside out, and can vouch for their outstanding qualities.
We’re also listing the Janka rating for each wood type. This is a test used to determine the hardness of a particular wood. The test measures how much force is needed to embed a .444 inch steel ball halfway into the wood. The harder the wood, the higher the number. This test is one of the best ways to show a wood’s ability to handle everyday wear and tear.
Oak: A solid oak piece is always a good choice. Its slow growth makes it an extremely dense wood, which means that it can withstand a lot of wear and tear – and still look good! It has a strong, swirling grain pattern and is easily recognizable.
Janka Rating: 1290
Maple: Maple is another perfect material for high-traffic areas, like a dining table. It’s even more durable than oak and is great for families with young children. It has a smooth, straight grain and takes stains very well. It’s also one of the more affordable hardwoods. We use a lot of Wormy Maple in our products because of its unique design left by the Ambrosia beetle.
Janka Rating: 950 (wormy maple) 1450 (maple)
Walnut: Walnut is hard, dense, and known for its dark look. This makes it a very sought-after wood for bold décor and those who want a stand-out piece. It can be slightly more expensive, but its ability to carve well makes it perfect for a very ornate design.
Janka Rating: 1010
Cherry: Another great hardwood know for its durability is cherry. This wood ages well and takes on a darker tone over time. It has a soft, wavelike grain which gives a rich feel to any furniture piece. Cherry is a prized wood among our craftspeople because of its versatility and ability to last centuries (with the proper care).
Janka Rating: 950
Pine: Pine is a very lightweight material, which is great if you are planning on moving in the near future – or you like to re-arrange every now and then! It’s an affordable and very strong wood that repels any shrinking or swelling. It is a softer wood, so some dents and scratches will show, but that adds to its rustic charm. Known for its prominent knots, pine can hold paint well and can add bursts of colour to your space.
Janka rating: 380
As for which type of wood is best?
It really does depend on your personal style and what design you want.
For heavy-use items, like dining tables and dressers – Oak is a great choice for its durability and strength. Maple is a solid choice as well, especially for families with young children because it can take a beating and is a more affordable choice.
For decorative pieces, like dining tables or coffee tables – Walnut is perfect for very detailed designs that require a high-level of skill from the craftsperson. Cherry is another great choice for adding elegance to your décor. These are both more expensive than some other woods and will be an investment piece to pass through your family.
For functional pieces, like entertainment units or children’s furniture – Pine is a great choice because of its many colour options and lightweight design.
Selecting the wood for your furniture comes down to your style, your budget, and your family. By investing in Canadian-made solid wood furniture you’re guaranteed longevity and durability that will stand the test of time, even with daily use!
Come explore all the products we have in-store. We’re excited to have you back!