Types of wood: how to choose the best options for your home

Types of wood: how to choose the best options for your home

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When buying wooden furniture, we come across several names: cherry, mahogany, pine… But what do all these names mean? That’s exactly why we made this guide with the main types of wood: so you know the material you’re looking for.

Decorative bookshelves made of wood. Decoration made with different types of wood can be simple and elegant.

Wood can be used in different ways, from internal and external linings to furniture and small decorative items, which work very well if you want to give a more rustic and earthy feel to the environment.

Types of wood

There are different types of wood, with different characteristics. Noble woods are harder and more resistant to pests and moisture; on the other hand, common woods, which are softer and more prone to attacks by fungi and insects, need treatment before being used, but they tend to have a faster growth time, which reflects in their cheaper price.

Let’s start with some history. You’ve certainly heard the term “hardwood” which is commonly used to refer to hardwoods.

redwood tree

Brazilwood was the first tree considered “hardwood”

This term originated during the colonial period in Brazil when the extraction of trees could only be carried out with authorization from the Portuguese Crown, that is, by law.

Common woods

common types of wood

Eucalyptus: This foreign species is fast-growing, which results in an affordable price. It produces a light-colored, high-density wood that is difficult to work with. It is widely used in the construction of poles, in windows, in the production of pulp, in civil construction and can also be used in the manufacture of furniture.

Pine: With a slightly yellowish hue, this wood is widely used in furniture because of its low price and ease of work. This material is widely used by civil construction in the manufacture of baseboards, linings, and scaffolding.

Noble woods

noble types of wood

Ipê: This Brazilian species belongs to the genus Tabebuia, which usually produces a very resistant and heavy wood. With a brownish color, this material is much sought after in the national and international market for its high resistance to termites and fungi.

Mahogany: With a reddish hue, it is one of the best woods for the production of furniture, as it is easy to work with and, at the same time, very resistant. It is ideal for joinery jobs that employ twisting or high compression; the downside is the price, as it is one of the most expensive woods in the world.

Mahogany wood flooring.

The reddish tone of the mahogany wood is elegant and unmistakable.

This type is widely used in musical instruments because of its low speed in transmitting sounds.

Cedar: This species produces very light and relatively softwood. Its most striking feature is that it gives off an odor that is effective in warding off insects. Also, it is very resistant to moisture. It can exist in different shades, but the most common is reddish.

Cherry: Very popular, especially in Japan, cherry wood is of high quality and status symbol. With a light brown tone, this wood is hard, resistant, and difficult to work with, but it is widely used in the manufacture of furniture. Another highlight of it is the high price.

Oak: Very hard and resistant wood, but still easy to work. It can be found in two variations: reddish-brown and white, which is highly resistant to humidity and, therefore, is suitable for use outside the house, a characteristic that makes it more expensive.

Room containing armchairs, small tables, an oak-type wooden cabinet and Adam's rib-type plants. Furniture made of oak-type wood.

Walnut: This species produces a reddish-brown wood that is synonymous with sophistication and elegance. It has a great natural finish, being smooth and velvety, in addition to being very resistant and a little hard, but still easy to work with. It is widely used in internal coatings and in the manufacture of furniture.

Special woods

Heart-shaped pieces of wood.

Demolition wood: Demolition wood can be from different types of trees, but it usually originates from plants that produce hardwood, which is more resistant to weather, as demolition wood is exactly this wood reused in new ways, but that it has that rustic look that only years in the rain and sun can grant.

An example of the use of demolition wood is the old train tracks. This is a sustainable option, but it is in great demand, which resulted in the high prices of this material.

MDP or MDF?

With such similar names and similar materials, it is natural that the question remains: what are the differences between MDP and MDF?

Technically speaking, MDF is not exactly wood, but a mixture of wood fibers with synthetic fibers. With medium density, its hardness is also medium, besides being light.

Four MDF type boards. MDF boards.

The synthetic fibers in its composition make the material resistant to moisture and pests, in addition to being a very versatile product, which can be found in different colors, and ecologically correct.

MDP is also formed by agglutination of fibers, but in this case, they are just wood fibers, built-in three layers: one thick in the center and two thin ones at the ends.

MDP detail.

MDP details.

The appearance of MDP is similar to solid wood, with the advantage that its price is lower. It is used to produce mainly straight shapes, as it is not very malleable. The material also stands out for its lightness and strength.

If you’re looking for more tips to make your home look the way you’ve always dreamed of, check out the complete decorating guide we’ve made.

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