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The Only Three Types of Wood That Every Architect Should Be Aware Of

Have you ever wondered why one polished wooden floor looks shinier than the other? Then, you need to learn more about the different types of wood out there! After all, wood is a versatile material that designers are always finding ways to utilize in architectural projects, whether timber or MDF skirting board and architrave.
What makes wood a material commonly used worldwide is that it comes in many “types.” In fact, different types of wood have other characteristics which make them suited for various things, not only from a functional perspective but also in terms of aesthetics – you can bend wood, carve it, or create patterns with it!
Generally, the significant characteristic difference is the hardness and softness of the wood. However, other distinctive differences exist, such as the material’s grain and color. Here is all you need to know about cross-laminated timber CLT.

Types of Wood Arch2O

Photo by Brodie from Burst

What are the main types of wood?

Then don’t search further! We have assembled a collection of different types of wood sorted according to their characteristics. We hope this will help you figure out the correct type of wood for your project!

1. Hardwood

Are you looking for a natural yet sturdy material? Then it would be best if you considered your hardwood options. The material comes from slow-growing and broad-leaved trees and tends to come out denser than other alternatives. This gives it its higher durability and darker color. However, not all hardwoods are “hard.” Woods like “Poplar” and “Basswood” are examples of softer hardwood. It should also be noted that hardwood tends to be more expensive than softwood. The following are examples of hardwood:

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With variable colors ranging from medium brown to deep red, Mahogany is a traditional and versatile type of wood. It is also expensive, and its color varies according to its age.

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©Vermont Woods Studios

Not only is Oak prominent for being hard-wearing and heavy, but it is also known for having open wood-grain markings. Oak comes in two shades: white Oak and red Oak.

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©Woodshop Direct

With its elastic properties, Ash is mainly used for bent pieces of furniture, such as chairs with curved backrests. You can identify Ash with its light brown color and straight grain.

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©Woodshop Direct

Known for being more robust and heavier than other types of wood, Maple wood could withstand years of wear and tear. This is also partly because Maple is moisture-resistant. Naturally, Maple is pale in color with natural swirls and twists in its grain. However, it accepts any stain or paint, making it easy to modify its appearance. Other types of hardwood to check out include; Walnut, Birch, and Cherry.

2. Softwood

Compared to hardwood, softwood grows faster. The wood comes from conifer trees, which have needles and do not produce seeds. Softwood is lighter and cheaper than hardwood; however, it is as popular as hardwood within the furniture industry. The following are examples of softwood:

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©BMC Store

Pine’s pale finish is excellent for staining and blends well with other woods. These properties make it easily fit in with existing furniture and materials. Also, it is lightweight and very affordable.

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Known chiefly for its aesthetics, Cedar gives a crisp, rich feel. Besides its tonal properties, Cedar is pitch and resin-free, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor architectural finishes. Other softwood types of checking include Spruce, Fir, and Larch.

3. Manufactured Wood

As the name implies, manufactured wood is engineered using several types of wood. Those hybrids come with advantages; they are considerably cheaper and lighter than other types of wood. For instance, manufactured wood furniture could be more affordable and easier to ship. However, the strength and durability of manufactured wood vary according to its components. The following are examples of manufactured wood:

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©Carousell Singapore

Fibreboard comprises broken-down hardwoods and softwoods bonded together with a mixture of wax, resin, and heat. The outcome is an inexpensive dense piece of wood.

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©Forms + Surfaces

Simply put, Veneer is composed of a thin layer of wood cut from a circumference of a tree bonded with a thick piece of wood. Usually, MDF, Chipboard, or Plywood are used as the dense part.

  • MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)

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While MDF is also formed of different types of wood, the wood is pressed together, unlike Fibreboard. MDF’s dense structure makes it stronger and more durable than other manufactured woods. These qualities and its reasonable price make it popular in the market.

  • Particle Board (Chipboard)

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©Niir Project Consultancy Services

 The Chipboard is a dense hybrid of wood chips and shavings combined using resin.

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Plywood is made of a build-up of veneer wood layers, bonded to create a smooth, flat sheet of wood. Its “cross-ply” structure makes it resistant to warping and strengthens it, making it popular in the flooring and furniture industries.

Do you want to know about more types of wood?

Then you might want to check out the following infographic by Alan Bernau Jr. of AlansFactoryOutlet.com. Leaving off with a quote from Bernau: “Let’s take a moment to admire the huge biodiversity of the earth’s many kinds of trees, including fruit trees, conifers, rare species, and common types of trees you can find in many places throughout the world.”

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©Alan’s Factory Outlet

Read more about wood applications in projects here:

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