While it may seem like the only difference between all the types of wood is the color, it’s much more than that. They have different thicknesses, different grooves, and different patterns. Here we will break down some of those differences, and ways to differentiate what you’re looking at so that you can make an informed decision when you buy. In this article we’ll be looking at oak, pine, maple, and mahogany wood.
Oak is widely considered one of the most reliable types of wood. It’s thick, and has several different varieties. Oak is considered a hardwood, meaning it’s going to last longer than comparable pieces of furniture made out of different materials. In addition, full pieces of wood are used due to its lack of flexibility. Oak is a light brown color most of the time, but red oak also exists, which has a light red tint. The lightest brown oak pieces are considered white oak. Oak has large grains, which gives it a lot of character. Oak pieces are also going to be sturdier, and heavier, so call a friend if you need help carrying it around!
A lighter wood is pine. Pine wood is considered a softwood, and is less durable than oak. But it still has a lot of uses, and is commonly used as a veneer in materials like 2×4 boards. Since pine is mainly uniform in color, with smaller grains compared to other wood, it is often used with other types of wood without problem. The grains it does have are mainly parallel to each other. Pine’s lightweight nature makes it good for anything that needs to be portable. It’s also generally more affordable than some other types of wood.
Another type of light-colored wood comes from maple trees. Maple isn’t just for syrup; it yields a light-colored wood that has a unique look. It’s grains are not uniform like pine, and forms swirls, twists, and knots. It is slightly darker than pine, and has a slight tint to it. Maple is a hardwood, and is heavier than pine, but not as heavy as oak. However, it is still very durable. It is not very porous, meaning that it is bonded tighter together, leading to a level of moisture resistance most woods cannot reach. Reaching comparable levels of moisture resistance is normally only possible using an outdoor deck finish.
Mahogany is a classic signature wood and finish. Its signature tell is its pleasant cherry brown color, sometimes dark brown with red hues. This wood is used commonly in cabinetry, and of course for furniture. Like Maples, mahogany grains are not uniform, and also form swirls. It’s a hardwood, and one that gets more durable with age, meaning it is among the most expensive types of wood. Mahogany is often considered a premium option, but one that could be the last piece of furniture you’ll need to buy.
Looking for more information about natural wood types used in handcrafted furniture? Contact Amish Oak in Texas, or visit one of our showrooms in New Braunfels and San Antonio, TX to view a selection of our heirloom furniture pieces.