Find the best wooden furniture for your home with tips from Stuff about Furniture. We have detailed information about some of the most popular types of wood used to make furniture, like oak, mahogany and maple, to help you find the right furniture to buy. The cost to buy wood furniture is not as costly as you might think- it’s sturdy, strong and doesn’t require too much maintenance. Wood furniture is very durable, and built to last a lot longer than furniture made with lesser materials. It’s also easier to touch up scratches or gouges on wood furniture; furniture made of synthetic materials requires more intricate repair work if they can be repaired at all.
Every type of wood has its own unique grain patterns, making certain types of wood furnishings more desirable. Oak wood is somewhat porous along the surface, and stains and finishes pool into the pores leaving darker marks that appeal to furniture collectors. Maple has natural patterns in the wood grain that appear like magic when the furniture is sanded and finished. It’s these kinds of unique characteristics that make wood furniture such an enduringly popular choice for furnishing the home.
Wood furniture is also very versatile. You can buy the best wooden furniture unfinished, finished, hand finished or even painted. Connoisseurs of wood furnishings typically refrain from buying painted wood grain furniture, but it can often be quite charming, especially in a child’s bedroom.
Anne Hansen of Rapid City, South Dakota discusses some of the less expensive types of wood used to make furniture and Anthony Pierpont tells Stuff about Furniture about some of the fine points of high-end woods used to build more expensive furniture.
Less Expensive Wood Furnishings Don’t Have to Look Cheap by Anne Hansen of Rapid City, South Dakota
Some of the best wooden furniture can be purchased inexpensively without sacrificing quality or durability. The less expensive woods on our list include soft woods and hardwoods. Soft woods are woods that come from coniferous trees, or trees that hold their needles all year long. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees that drop their leaves each year. Some soft woods are more durable than hardwoods, so don’t be fooled by these terms when you’re buying furniture.
Alder Wood Furniture Adds Affordable Style to Any Room
Alder is a hardwood that features unique knots, or naturally-caused imperfections, that often show through the finish. Alder does not handle moisture or damp weather well and is best kept indoors, in a cool and dry climate. Alder wood is usually less expensive than other types of wood furniture because it is a lesser quality hardwood. Alder is similar to cherry or maple in appearance and has a very smooth finish.
Maple Wood Furniture Makes Buying Furniture Inexpensive
Maple is a hardwood, and it’s more durable and heavier than most woods, especially alder. Maple is often used for bedroom furniture- and even bowling alley floors- because of its strength. Maple wood is moisture resistant, so it has a long life span. The rare burled (swirls and twists in wood grain that occur naturally) and birds eye (a small repeating pattern in the wood grain) maple woods were used to manufacture American furniture in the early 1900’s and are considered highly collectible antiques today. Maple wood’s natural pale color, like ash and birch woods, easily accepts any type of stain or paint.
The Simple Beauty of Pine Wood Furniture Perfectly Fits into Your Home
Pine is a soft wood which makes it a less durable wood than maple or alder. Pine is lightweight and furniture made of pine is easier to lift and move. Pine is inexpensive and durable, and resists swelling and shrinking. Eastern White, Ponderosa and Sugar Pine trees are often used to make wood furniture in the United States. Pine woods usually need a primer before painting or a sealant before applying stain to achieve a more even finish. Knotty pine is often used for country style furnishings.
High End Furniture Made from High Quality Hardwoods by Anthony Pierpont of St. Paul, Minnesota
If you’re going to buy wood grain furnishings or upholstered wood furniture, consider your purchase, even your furniture research, a smart investment of time and money. It may cost more to buy furniture made with the high end woods on our list, but they’ll last a lifetime- or longer. High quality wood furniture will become an heirloom that you can pass down from generation to generation.
When you buy cherry, mahogany or oak wood furniture, you often have options available to customize your purchase. Hand finished and handcrafted furniture give you more alternatives for colors and shading. This comes in handy if you need the piece to match your existing home decor. And, you can often have oak, mahogany and other types of wood furniture custom designed to suit your specific space needs. This can be especially helpful if you have a large room that needs oversized furnishings.
Cherry Wood Furniture Charms with Old World Splendor
Cherry wood is a hardwood, strong and built to last. A lot of the best antique wooden furniture is made of cherry wood and it looks as good today as it did 100 years ago. Cherry wood and cherry stains for wood furniture often have a warm red hue. Don’t be afraid to mix and match cherry furnishings with furniture made of different woods or with varying finishes. Cherry wood complements most woods, working well with other furniture pieces and décor in your home.
Mahogany Wood Furniture Looks Magnificent in Your Home
“We chose mahogany wood furniture for our home because it was less expensive than oak or cherry, but still durable and beautiful,” Anthony Pierpont remarks. Mahogany is a hardwood with a deep reddish brown color. Mahogany wood furniture is very resistant to insect infestation and it repels moisture. These two qualities mean that the wood will easily last for years and years. Some manufacturers such as Laurel Crown Furniture in California specialize in designing and creating high quality antique reproduction furniture made of mahogany wood.
Oak Wood Furniture Gives Any Room Timeless Beauty
Oak is among the most popular hardwoods used to make furniture. Red Oak often has a red or pink tinge, and White Oak tends to be greener, though both take different colors of stain really well. The best wooden furniture made of oak tends to be more costly than other hardwoods, because of its enduring reputation for strength and beauty. Oak’s lovely open wood grain easily mixes with the other furnishings in your home.
Walnut Wood Furniture Will Beautify Your Home or Office
Walnut is another hardwood known for its strength and the beauty of its wood grain. Unlike maple, it isn’t terribly heavy, making it a lot easier to move around. It is typically finished in a dark brown color, but walnut colors range from white to brown shades. Walnut is often used for formal or office furnishings and has a straight wood grain that glows warmly with a satin finish.
We thank our contributors:
- Anne Hansen of Rapid City, South Dakota
- Anthony Pierpont of St. Paul, Minnesota