Know Your Woods: A Wood Type Identification Guide

What type of wood best suits your home improvement project? Cabinets, custom closets,, entertainment centers, or other projects can be built with a variety of materials. Deciding on the right material can be daunting! Understanding the unique benefits and natural differences of each will help you choose the finest material possible for your custom project. When beginning a new interior design project, the designers and custom builders at Crooked Oak understand that it’s important to choose the best materials at the right price, and will work with you every step of the way to achieve the look and functionality you want, without going over budget. Crooked Oak offers a variety of woods and other building materials, and will help you choose the options that best fit your project and budget. Woods include Cherry, Maple, Oak, Mahogany, Walnut, Poplar as well as a variety of exotic woods. If you have questions, or want to learn more about how Crooked Oak’s team of builders and craftsmen help you achieve your home improvement goals, while adding equity to your home, contact us today for a free consultation. Read about the wood materials that most frequently used in custom woodworking, from the most expensive material to the least expensive.

Exotic Woods

Mahogany WoodMahogany - $$$- Like Cherry, Mahogany is a popular wood used in furniture building and home improvement projects. Also known as Honduran Mahogany, this medium textured, straight grain hardwood has a reddish brown to deep red tint. While it does stain well, it also finishes nicely with just a coat of oil. A drawback of Mahogany is that, unlike Cherry, it is not generally able to be sourced sustainably.

North American Hardwoods

Walnut WoodWalnut -$$$ - Walnut is easy to work with, and has a gorgeous, rich, brown hue, which makes it highly sought after. Unfortunately, it’s popularity also makes it very expensive and increasingly difficult to find. Due to its cost and scarcity, we generally recommend using Walnut for home accenting projects and adding a touch of sophistication to furniture inlays.
Cherry WoodCherry - $$ - Cherry is a popular wood used in furniture building. With a reddish heartwood, and nearly white sapwood, it finishes beautifully with oil alone, and can be easily machined or carved. Cherry is an excellent option for the environmentally conscious, because it can be sourced from sustainably grown forests.
Maple WoodMaple - $$ - Maple comes in both hard and soft varieties, both of which are harder than many other North American hardwoods. Hard and soft maple have a fine, straight grain, and tend to be more stable than other types of wood popular in furniture construction. Though it’s more difficult to work with, hard maple has excellent screw and nail holding properties, and also finishes beautifully. “Soft” maple, while still very much a hardwood, is considerably more manageable, and therefore preferable to hard maple. Soft maple is not only beautiful and sturdy, it’s also considerably less expensive than many other hardwood options, including hard maple, for which is is frequently used as a substitute.
Oak WoodOak - $ - Oak is one of the most widely used types of wood in furniture making. Oak is strong, malleable, and available in both red and white. While both varieties have an attractive grain pattern, white oak is the more preferable of the two for furniture making because of its figure and water resistant quality, which make it ideal for outdoor furniture. While not inexpensive, Oak is considerably less expensive than comparable hardwoods, like Cherry. Besides furniture construction, Oak is recommended for use in kitchen cabinets, home interiors, and wall paneling.
Poplar WoodPoplar - $ - Poplar is one of the less commonly used hardwoods in furniture making because, with it’s greenish brown streaked heartwood, it’s not terribly attractive. However, as one of the least expensive hardwood options, it shouldn’t be completely written off, as it is both incredibly stable and easy to work with. Poplar is an excellent choice for drawers, cabinet or closet interiors, or any project that is intended to be painted or stained, rather than oiled.
Posted May 13, 2015