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How Many Types of Wood Do You Need for Furniture? Buying Guide
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How Many Types of Wood Do You Need for Furniture? Buying Guide

|Aug 30, 2022

Getting new furniture for your office or home office is something that can help you improve your productivity at your workplace. The reason for that is that loving the place where you work makes you improve your work quality and be more creative while working. Regardless of that, there are many different types of wood for furniture.  

All different types of wood for furniture you can find on the market have different characteristics and features, so you should look for one that fits your workspace. You can use that wood to have a wood office chair or a modern wood desk.  

Nonetheless, not many people know what to look for in wood for making furniture, and that makes them get products that are not that good for their workstation. Do you want to get wooden furniture but are scared of picking the wrong option? We are here to help you with that! 

Dive into this page if you want to know how many types of wood you can get for your furniture and how each one of them can help you! Here, you can also find the key differences between those types of wood and what makes them good for furniture.  

What Are the Different Types of Wood You Can Choose for Furniture?

As we mentioned before, we are here to tell you the best types of wood for wooden furniture. Since each type of wood offers you something unique for your office, you should take some time to study what you can do with them and see which one fits your work style.  

With that being said, the types of wood for wooden furniture are: 


Hardwood types of wood for furniture

The first and most popular type of wood you can find out there is hardwood, and people use it for a variety of things apart from just office furniture. Although the name hardwood could lead you to believe that this type of wood is harder or denser than others, it’s not always that way.  

People get hardwood out of flowering trees such as maple, walnut, or oak. Hardwood has dense wood fibers, and it can become denser depending on how old the tree you get it from is.  

This type of wood grows slowly and it can be sort of expensive compared to others. Regardless of that, there are some exceptions where hardwood is more inexpensive than softwood. One of the best things about this type of wood is that it’s durable, so you shouldn’t expect it to rot or deteriorate after a few months of use.  

You don’t need to spend that much money or time on maintenance when you use hardwood for furniture, so it’s ideal for people who want wood and steel furniture that stays with them for a long time.  

Experts don’t recommend using hardwood for fire pits due to its fire resistance, but that makes it safer for office spaces. Additionally, many love hardwood due to the variety of colors, styles, and plate patterns it can have. There are different subtypes of hardwood, though, and not all of them are ideal for ergonomic office furniture.  

Since hardwood grows slowly, you need to dry it for long periods for it to become usable. That’s one of the reasons why hardwood is more expensive than others on the market since the process to get it is a bit complex. 

Most people use hardwood for long projects that require durable materials, and that includes heavy-duty office equipment. Hardwood also has low sap content and closed grain. 

Although hardwood doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, click here if you want to know how to protect a wood table


Softwood - types of wood for furniture

Softwood is the other type of wood people can use for office furniture. This type of wood comes from seed-bearing evergreen trees, so you can get it from cedar, redwood, or pine. One of the strengths of softwood is that it’s easier to cut than hardwood, which makes it more accessible to people.  

Trees that produce softwood are often tall and straight, and cutting them gives you straight planks of wood. If you are looking for a standing desk or a table with decent finishes, softwood is the must-go option for you due to its lack of vessels. 

Most people use softwood for structural frames, interior and exterior wall cladding, floor coverings, and even scaffolding. The paper industry also uses softwood a lot. You can tell the wood you are looking at is softwood by analyzing its color since softwood tends to be of lighter colors.  

The only problem with softwood is that it has poor fire resistance. Thanks to that, many try to use them for fire pits. Regardless of that, softwood is still not bad for wooden furniture due to how lightweight it is, so as long as you make sure there’s nothing that could cause a fire in your office, you are good to go with softwood.  

This type of wood for furniture also has lower densities, which makes them different from hardwood. People working on a budget often think hardwood is the best wood for a standing desk since it’s one of the most inexpensive types of wood on the market. 

Softwood grows fast, so you don’t have to wait a lot for it to grow. As it happens with hardwood, there are different types of softwood available for you out there, so you need to pick the best you can find for your office since not all of them are that good for furniture. 

Differences Between Hardwood and Softwood

Differences Between Hardwood and Softwood

As you could see by reading this article, hardwood and softwood are completely different, and knowing the differences between both types of wood for furniture helps you find the best one for your office. The first thing people notice when comparing the two types of wood is that one is expensive, and the other is more affordable for people working on a budget.  

The reason for this is that the process to make hardwood ready to be wood for making furniture is more complex than the one to get softwood. Therefore, softwood is more affordable than hardwood. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other but rather that getting one of them is a bit difficult. 

Knowing that difference leads you to the second difference between hardwood and softwood since getting softwood is quite simple and cutting softwood trees is easy while you need to dry hardwood for long periods before using it.  

Naturally, hardwood for furniture and softwood come from different trees. The former comes from deciduous trees and the latter from evergreen ones. Hence, hardwood tends to have a rough texture while softwood is more lightweight and finer, so we recommend you go for softwood if you want beautiful finishes for your office furniture. 

Due to the tracheid content of each type of wood for wooden furniture, hardwood is porous, and softwood is non-porous. Likewise, hardwood is denser than softwood. As we mentioned before, there are many different types of hardwood and softwood, so some things may change depending on the specific type of wood you get. 

Other types of wood come out of combining some features of both types of wood for furniture, and MDF wood is a perfect example of that. 

What Are the Most Popular Hardwoods for Furniture?

Now that you know the main characteristics of hardwood and softwood, it’s time to know the specific sub-types of wood you can use for your office furniture. While there are many of them, here you can only find the most popular ones for you, so here they are:  


Mahogany comes from tropical trees, and it’s highly expensive due to how durable and beautiful it is. This type of hardwood for furniture is mostly free of voids, so it’s a common choice for people looking for wood for making furniture.  



Walnut is popular due to its dimensional stability and shock resistance. The color of this type of wood for wooden furniture is similar to dark chocolate, and it’s lightweight compared to other types of hardwood. People use it for high-end furniture, musical instruments, and even flooring accents, so many use walnut in the U.S. 

Many think walnut is the best wood for a standing desk

Red Oak

As its name suggests, red oak stands out from others due to its pinkish-red color. This is one of the strongest types of wood due to how durable and heavy it is. Red oak is even resistant to fungal attacks, so you don’t have to worry about that.  



Ash trees are smooth and flexible, and that’s one of the reasons people use them that much worldwide. Carpenters love working with ash wood because of its nailing and gluing properties. The color of ash trees is similar to softwood due to how light it is. 


People often confuse birch with oakwood, but birch is way harder than it. Most people use this type of wood for furniture only when they make it birch plywood. Unlike other types of hardwood for furniture, birch is affordable for people working on a budget despite all the benefits it offers you. 



While most maple trees are in Asian countries, you can also find them in Europe and the United States. Similar to other types of hardwood, maple is sturdy and resistant to splitting, so you can rest assured your maple furniture is not going to break or deteriorate after a few months of use. 


Cherry has some of the most beautiful colors hardwood for furniture can have, and it’s also one of the most flexible types of wood on this list. Therefore, furniture manufacturers love to use cherry and take advantage of its flexibility to make desks and chairs with curved designs.  



Carpenters also use beech when they want to make furniture and similar products due to how durable and resistant to abrasion it is. Regardless of that, beech is not dishwasher safe, so you shouldn’t use it for those kinds of items. Beech is one of the hardest and heaviest types of hardwood you can find on the market. 


Getting to the last type of hardwood for wooden furniture on this list, it’s time to talk about teak. This type of hardwood comes from tropical trees, and it’s popular for being resistant to sunlight, rain, and rotting. Hence, many use it for outdoor furniture.  

What About Softwoods?

Since we’ve already talked about the types of hardwood you can find out there, read some of the best types of softwood you can use for office furniture: 

Parana Pine

Parana Pine

Parana pine has the light color people love softwood for, and it’s also free from pitch pockets and streaks. The problem with Parana pine is that it can warp while drying.  

Eastern White Pine

As its name suggests, the main feature Eastern white pine offers people is that it’s completely white, which makes it one of the most valuable softwood options available. This type of wood can turn golden yellow if you expose it to sunlight for long periods. 

Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole pine is one of the oldest softwood trees on the list, and people use it a lot for paneling. The problem with lodgepole pine is that it’s prone to suffer from bark beetle attacks. Aside from that, lodgepole pine is strong and lightweight, so it’s a good option for office furniture. 

Pitch Pine

The last type of softwood on this list is pitch pine, which has a reddish-brown color different from other types of softwood. You can safely use pitch pine for your office furniture since it’s fire and abrasion-resistant. 


As you could see, there are many different types of wood for furniture you can use to make a desk or an ergonomic office chair. Since each of them offers you unique benefits, we recommend you study each of them and pick the one that works best for your workspace and workmates.

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