40+ Different Types of Wood | Lumber Or Wood Types | Popular Hard Wood and Soft Wood

There are many types of wood that are in use in our day-to-day life. Each wood type has a different function and appropriate use case. Wood is used in our houses in furniture, for making books and newspapers, for cooking food, and for many other uses.

Wood is a renewable natural resource that is sustainable. Nowadays greenhouse gases and green buildings are a great concern. Wood can be the best material to be used as it offers environmental advantages and benefits.

Wood is processed and utilised in different ways such as plywood, wood pallets, lumber, fiberboard, rayon, acetate, paperboard, and many more.

Trees are cut and processed to form planks and beams that can be used in building or construction activities. These planks are also called lumber in US and Canada.

Wood has many uses in our day-to-day life like in fencing, garden boundary wall, partition, utility poles, fuelwood, organic chemicals, railway sleepers, bridge making, and textiles fibers.

The importance of wood in the US can be seen from the fact that it’s population being 5% it uses 28% of the total timber produced in the world

When wood is used as an alternative material it mitigates climate change as it removes carbon from the atmosphere. During photosynthesis carbon dioxide is consumed and oxygen is released during plant growth.

Different types of wood
Different Types of Wood

What is Wood

Wood is a porous fibrous structural tissue found in the trunks of trees. Each wood is different from the other wood and is used for suitable applications. Wood comes from trees and the properties of trees is what constitute wood property.

Softwood and Hardwood

Wood can be broadly classified as softwood or hardwood. Softwood is comparatively lighter than hardwood. Softwood mainly comes from coniferous or evergreen trees like redwood, pine, fir, cedar, etc. Hardwood comes from deciduous trees like maple, oak, teak, mahogany, birch walnut, etc.

Softwood can be easily dented with fingernails while hardwood is a bit difficult to do so. In comparison with hardwood, softwood loses and absorbs moisture easily. Thus extra care should be given to softwood to maintain its stability over time.

All hardwood is harder than softwood with the only exception of balsa wood. Following is a list of softwood and hardwood:

  • Softwood
    • Cedar Wood
    • Pine wood
    • Red wood
    • Fir wood
    • Hemlock wood
  • Hardwood
    • Oak wood
    • Ash Wood
    • Walnut wood
    • Poplar wood
    • Maple wood
    • Balsa Wood

Softwood comes from coniferous ever green trees. They are called evergreen because old leaves do not fall before new leaves are grown. Softwood trees are found in cold climatic areas. They grow easier as compared to hardwood thus they are cheaper.

Advantage of Wood

Wood is very useful natural resource found in nature. There are many benefits of using wood in our buildings or construction. Some of the benefits of using wood are as follows:

  • Wood use can reduce the ill effects of water and air pollution, and lowers the emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Steel in comparison with wood uses 12% more energy and releases 15% more greenhouse gases. While concrete uses 20% more energy and releases 29% more GHG.
  • Steel and concrete produce more water pollutants and air pollutants when compared with wood.
  • Wood is an excellent insulator thus helping to slow the conductivity of heat.
  • According to Life Cycle Assesment (LCA), Wood requires the least amount of energy in comparison to other building materials throughout its lifecycle of growth, harvest, transport, manufacture, and construction.
  • When more wood is used it promotes the growth of trees and thus helps in preserving forests and nature.

Different Types of Wood

Following are different types of wood available in the market for different purposes.

Akasa Wood

Akasa wood (Chrysophyllum Albidum)
Akasa wood (Chrysophyllum Albidum)

Akasa Wood is a durable type of heartwood and sapwood that is grey-brown in color. The main application of Akasa wood is in utility furniture, light structural work, flooring, interior joinery work, plywood, and turnery.

Akasa wood is a straight-grained sapwood. Its density and hardness along with its durability make it the preferred choice of woodworker for home furniture. With proper workmanship, one can expect long-lasting furniture.

Characteristics of Akasa Wood

Scientific NameChrysophyllum Albidum
ColorDeep brown
SourceAustralian-Native Trees
Density700kg/m³ at 12-15% moisture content
Hardness1320 on Janka Scale
Common UsesFurniture, floors, cabinets, etc.
Characteristics of Akasa Wood

Ash Wood

Ash wood (Fraxinus)
Ash wood (Fraxinus)

Ash wood is a light colour smooth-grained hardwood that offers luster when polished. It is hard-wearing open-grained structural wood. Ashwood can be stained in any colour of choice.

Ashwood grows on the east coast and parts of Canada. It has sufficient high strength and good weight and is shock resistant. It is attractive, durable, aesthetically pleasing, lightweight, and absorbs wood stains perfectly. All these properties of Ash wood make it perfect for fine furniture.

Characteristics of Ash Wood

Scientific NameFraxinus
ColorBeige or light brown
SourceWhite Ash Tree (Fraxinus Americana L.)
Density1320 on the Janka scale
Cost$2.50 to $7.00 per board foot
Common UsesFurniture, floors, cabinets
Ash Wood characteristics

Maple Wood

Maple wood (Acer Saccharum)
Maple wood (Acer Saccharum)

Maple is found in Canada and is one of the hardest wood species. It is a strong and hard wood and has high resistance to knocks. Maple in its natural state is smooth grain, unique color and high strength this makes it a popular choice of woodworkers for all work.

Maple wood is commonly used in Flooring, Cabinetry, Kitchen accessories, and many more uses. Maple has straight grains and irregular pattern which contain fiddle back and bird eye patterns. Maple wood has white sapwood with some reddish-brown hues.

Characteristics of Maple Wood

Scientific NameAcer Saccharum
ColorWhite with some reddish-brown hues
SourceAcer Saccharum
Density689 kg/m3
Hardness1450 on the Janka scale
Common UsesFlooring, Cabinetry, and Kitchen accessories.
Characteristics of Maple wood

Oak Wood

Oak wood (Quercus)
Oak wood (Quercus)

Oak wood is a straight grained heavy, hard-wearing strong wood. Because of its high density of 897kg/m3 and high strength, it is widely used in the construction industry.

Oak wood has straight grained and colour varies from light to medium brown. It is the first choice of construction timber. It is also called as red oak due to its autumnal foliage having more flecks and a defined-grained finish.

Oak is stronger than mahogany and many other top timbers. It is highly durable and thus furniture and flooring made from oak wood last long. Oak wood is used for flooring, paneling, cabinet, furniture, etc.

Characteristics of Oak Wood

Scientific NameQuercus
ColorPale-red to reddish/brown
SourceOak tree
Density897 kg/m3
Hardness1360 on Janka scale
Common UsesFlooring, paneling, cabinet, furniture, etc.
Characteristics of Oak Wood

Balsa Wood

Balsa Wood (Ochroma Pyramidale)
Balsa Wood (Ochroma Pyramidale)

Balsa wood in spite of being a hardwood is one of the softest and most lightweight wooden timber. Strength to weight ratio of balsa wood is excellent in comparison with other wood. It is an excellent fire performance and an ecological product.

Due to the properties of balsa wood, it is widely used in model making and for heat, sound, and vibration insulation. Balsa wood is used to make Buoys, rafts, surfboards, model airplanes, musical instruments, etc.

Characteristics of Balsa Wood

Scientific NameOchroma Pyramidale
ColorPale reddish-brown
SourceBalsa tree
Cost$2.50 to $7.00 per board foot
Common UsesBuoys, rafts, surfboards, model airplanes, musical instruments, etc.
Balsa wood charachteristics

European Oak Wood

European Oak Wood (Quercus Robur)
European Oak Wood (Quercus Robur)

European oak wood as the name suggests is natively found in European countries like France, England and Germany. Oak, Europan Wood has pale yellow-brown colour.

Oak, European wood is a hardwood that is comparatively hard, heavy and stronger than its American counterpart Oak. American Oak has clean and subtle grain patterns with a uniform appearance while European oak is a distinctive variation contributing to its unique wavy charm.

Oak, European wood is used in furniture, interior trim, flooring, boatbuilding, etc.

Characteristics of European Oak Wood

Scientific NameQuercus Robur
ColorPale yellow-brown
SourceEuropean Oak Tree
Density720 kg/m³
Hardness1360 on Janka scale
Common UsesFurniture, interior trim, flooring, boatbuilding, etc.
Characteristics of European Oak wood

Recommended for you:

  1. Standard Size Of Column
  2. Standard Room Sizes and Room Area – Detailed Information
  3. Standard Door Size
  4. Detailed Information On Pipes | Types Of Pipes | Different Plumbing Pipe and its Uses
  5. Thumb Rules In Building Construction For Civil Engineers | Important Point Of Civil Engineering | Construction Thumb rules

Bamboo Wood

Bamboo Wood (Bambusa Vulgaris)
Bamboo Wood (Bambusa Vulgaris)

Bamboo is a rich golden colour hard wearing wood. Bamboo wood is made from bamboo that has tensile strength greater than steel. Bamboo wood is 2 to 3 times harder than other hardwoods like oak.

Due to resistance to moisture and humidity bamboo is widely used as an ornamental part of a water point or bathroom flooring and in other wet areas. It is also used in Veneer, paper, fishing rods, ladders, scaffolding, musical instruments, furniture, window blinds, carving, turned items, and small novelty items.

Characteristics of Bamboo Wood

Scientific NameBambusa Vulgaris
ColorRich golden
SourceBamboo tree
Density1160 kg/m3 with a moisture content of 7%
Cost$2.00 to $4.00 per bamboo
Common UsesScaffolding, Roofing, Flooring, etc.
Characteristics of Bamboo Wood

Greenheart Wood

Greenheart Wood (Chlorocardium Rodiei)
Greenheart Wood (Chlorocardium Rodiei)

Greenheart wood is highly durable and resistant to insect attacks. Greenheart is considered one of the stiffest wood in the world, with an average modulus of elasticity of 3,716,000 lbf/in2. Greenheart requires no treatment and it’s 3 to 4 times stronger than fir or pine wood.

It is also extremely dense and does not float. Colour of Greenheart lumber is pale olive green with darker streaking sometimes prevalent. Green heart wood is mainly used in pilings for wharves and bridges and in ships.

Characteristics of Greenheart Wood

Scientific NameChlorocardium Rodiei
ColorPale olive green
SourceLaurel tree
DensityMore than 960 kg/m3
Physical propertyDurable and stiffest wood
Common UsesPilings for wharves and bridges and in ships
Characteristics of Greenheart wood

Beech Wood

Beech Wood (Fagus Sylvatica L.)
Beech Wood (Fagus Sylvatica L.)

Beech Wood is a type of hardwood that is hard and durable that has many varieties of warm, soft honey tones. Beech when treated at high temperatures creates unique red colour. Beechwood comes from the queen of the woods tree the name given to the beech tree.

It is one of the most preferred choices of hardwood in Europe. The strength, hardness, bending capabilities, and wear resistance properties of beech wood is exceptional.

Characteristics of Beech Wood

Scientific NameFagus Sylvatica L.
SourceDeciduous trees
Density700 – 900 kg/m3
Cost$6.00 per board foot
Common UsesFurniture, Cabinetry, Cooking utensils, etc.
Characteristics of Beech wood

Meranti Wood

Meranti Wood (Shorea leprosula Miq.)
Meranti Wood (Shorea leprosula Miq.)

Meranti wood is hardwood that has 5 groups of timber based on colour of heartwood. It comes in 5 different colour which are dark red meranti, light red meranti, white meranti, yellow meranti, and balau.

  • Dark red meranti and red lauan are medium to dark-red brown hardwoods used for interior and exterior joinery and for plywood
  • Yellow meranti or are yellow-brown hardwoods, used for interior joinery and plywood
  • Light red meranti and white lauan, are pale pink to mid-red hardwoods, used for interior joinery and plywood

White Meranti is around twice the price of pine, but it is also far more durable. Meranti is most suited for exterior use. Meranti can be used as an external timber without treatment. Meranti wood is 30% to 40% cheaper than Oak. It is used for Molding, furniture, structure, window, etc.

Characteristics of Meranti Wood

Scientific NameShorea leprosula Miq.
ColorPale-red to reddish/brown
SourceTropical Shorea tree species
Density710 kg/m3
Hardness825 Janka Hardness
Common UsesMolding, furniture, structure, window, etc.
Characteristics of Meranti wood

Pine Wood

Pine Wood (Pinus)
Pine Wood (Pinus)

Pine wood is an inexpensive hardwood easily found in nature than other traditional hardwood. Pinewood timber color varies from pale yellow to almost red in appearance.

Pine wood is hard-wearing and dent-withstanding wood even in high-traffic areas. Thus its Is used in making doors, windows, partitions, decks, railings, paneling, etc.

Characteristics of Pine Wood

Scientific NamePinus
ColorCreamy White Hue / Yellow
SourcePine Tree
Density990 kg/m³
Hardness690 on Janka Scale
Common UsesMaking doors, windows, partitions, decks, railings, paneling, etc.
Characteristics of Pine wood

Brazilian Mahogany Wood

Brazilian Mahogany Wood (Swietenia Macrophylla)
Brazilian Mahogany Wood (Swietenia Macrophylla)

Brazilian mahogany is generally known as Genuine mahogany in the US. Brazilian mahogany wood is denser in comparison with African mahogany wood.

The primary use of Brazilian mahogany wood is in making boats, musical instruments and furniture.

Characteristics of Wood

Scientific NameSwietenia Macrophylla
ColorPale pink to medium reddish-brown
SourceSwietenia mahagoni trees
Density472 kg/m3 (< 40 years old) to 549 kg/m3 (> 40 years old)
Cost$7.50 to $11.00 per board foot
Common UsesBoats, furniture, Musical instrument, etc.
Characteristics of brazialian mahogany

Pitch Pine Wood

Pitch Pine Wood (Pinus Rigida)
Pitch Pine Wood (Pinus Rigida)

Pinus rigida known as pitch pine is a straight-grained medium textured wood. Pitch pine wood is native to North America. The American pine softwood has better strength and durability as compared to other pines. Its wood is rough-grained and contains a lot of resins.

Pitch pine can grow up to 60 feet and its diameter is up to 1 to 3 feet. Pitch pine wood is reddish brown in appearance. Commercially graded pitch pine wood is utilised in construction work. It is used in used for pulpwood, crating, fuel, shipbuilding, fences, and railroad ties.

Characteristics of Pitch Pine Wood

Scientific NamePinus Rigida
ColorReddish brown
SourcePinus Rigida Tree
Density590 kg/m³
Hardness620 Janka Hardness
Common UsesPulpwood, crating, fuel, etc. 
Characteristics of Pitch Pine

Cedar Wood

Cedar Wood (Cedrus)
Cedar Wood (Cedrus)

Cedar is a softwood that is durable and weather resistant and used for external application. Pleasant appearance and aromatic smell and natural inspect repelling wood becomes handy for home furniture.

There are more than 15 varieties of cedar wood found in nature. Each cedar wood is different from the others in terms of colour, rot resistance, and hardness.

Cedar wood is mainly used in boundary fences, storage boxes, siding, decking, and many other uses.

Characteristics of Cedar Wood

Scientific NameCedrus
ColorPinkish-red color
SourceConiferous Trees
Density380 kg/m3
Cost$4 to $8 per linear foot
Common UsesFence, storage boxes, siding, decking, etc.
Characteristics of Cedrus wood

Poplar Wood

Poplar Wood (Populus)
Poplar Wood (Populus)

Poplar wood color is pale, light and soft with colour colour varying from light brown to creamy yellow. The sapwood of poplar wood is slightly paler in colour than its heartwood.

It is the second most used timber raw material for cellulose and pulp paper after conifers. Poplar wood comes from the tulip trees. It Is used in making toys, carvings, plywood, crates, pallets, and furniture frames.

Characteristics of Poplar Wood

Scientific NamePopulus
ColorLight brown to creamy yellow
SourceTulip Tree
Density500 kg/m³
Hardness540 on Janka hardness
Cost$3.20-4.85 per board foot
Common UsesToys, carvings, plywood, crates, pallets, furniture frames
Characteristics of Poplar wood

Teak Wood

Teak Wood (Tectona Grandis)
Teak Wood (Tectona Grandis)

Teak wood is a smooth textured, fine-grain yellow-brown hardwood. Teakwood is used in making window and doors frame and furniture.

Teak wood contains natural oils that fight against insects, termites, and rot. Teak wood is durable wood thus it is used in construction.

Teak wood is mostly grown in Burma and Thailand and its plantation has grown manifold. It is used in the manufacture of outdoor furniture and boat decks.

Characteristics of Teak Wood

Scientific NameTectona Grandis
ColorHoney Brown or Tawny Gold
SourceTeak Tree (Tectona grandis)
Density740 kg/m³
Cost$7 to $41 per board foot
Common UsesManufacture of outdoor furniture and boat decks
Characteristics of Teak wood

Celtis Wood

Celtis Wood (Celtis Occidentalis)
Celtis Wood (Celtis Occidentalis)

Celtis wood is also known as Hackberrries or nettle trees. It is straight grained sometimes interlocked wood patterns.

Heartwood that is the inner wood and sapwood is grey to yellowish in colour. Celtis wood is fine textures and has a lustrous look. Celtis wood is used in Cabinetry, decking, flooring, trim, etc.

Characteristics of Celtis Wood

Scientific NameCeltis Occidentalis
ColorGrey to yellowish color
SourceDeciduous trees
Density600-785 kg/m³ at 12% moisture content
Cost$4.50 to $10.00 per board foot
Common UsesCabinetry, decking, flooring, trim, etc.
Characteristics of Celtis wood

Conifer Wood

Conifer Wood (Pinophyta)
Conifer Wood (Pinophyta)

Conifer wood comes from coniferous or cone-bearing trees. These trees are evergreen and tree have needle-like leaves and produce softwood timber. Conifer wood is a homogeneous structure with 90% tracheids that is wood cells. Conifer wood is mainly used for making box, crates, papersetc.

Characteristics of Conifer Wood

Scientific NamePinophyta
ColorVibrant Yellow or Gold
SourceConiferous trees
Density480 kg/m³
Cost$3.50 to $15.00 per board foot
Common Usesbox, crates, papersetc.
Characteristics of conifer wood

Cherry Wood

Cherry Wood (Prunus Avium)
Cherry Wood (Prunus Avium)

Furniture made from cherry wood is the most prized hardwood furniture in US. The natural beauty and grains of cherry wood make it the best choice for flooring and wall paneling. Cherry is a deciduous hardwood that is reddish brown to blond.

Cherrywood trees are fast-growing trees that are 10 to 25-meter height. The lifespan of the cherry tree is about 100 years. The trunk of cherry wood is straight and cylindrical in shape. Cherry wood is the most desirable wood to make your home furniture.

Cherry wood is widely used in carving because of its soft characteristics that make molding in any shape easier and also its ability to hold the shape is phenomenal.

Characteristics of Cherry Wood

Scientific NamePrunus Avium
ColorLight pink to rich reddish-brown
Height of tree10 to 25 meters
Lifespan of tree100 years
SourceCherry tree
Density630 kg/m³
Cost$5.50 to $15.00 per board foot
Common UsesFlooring, carving, furniture,etc.
Characteristics of Cherry wood

Walnut Wood

Walnut Wood (Juglans)
Walnut Wood (Juglans)

Walnut wood is a dark and dense tight grained hardwood. It comes in dark brown to yellowish colour appearance. Walnut wood grain is mostly straight but sometimes it can be irregular as well.

Walnut wood is used for furniture, musical instruments, carvings, trims, and veneers.

Characteristics of Walnut Wood

Scientific NameJuglans
ColorLight brown to dark chocolate
SourceJuglans regia
Density689 kg/m³
Hardness1010 on Janka Scale
Common UsesFurniture, musical instruments, carvings, trims, and veneers
Characteristics of Walnut wood

Dahoma Wood

Dahoma Wood (Piptadeniastrum Africanum)
Dahoma Wood (Piptadeniastrum Africanum)

Dahoma wood is a hardwood that is yellowish to reddish brown in colour. Trees that produce dahoma wood are generally 30m high and 1 meter in diameter.

The sapwood of dahoma wood is white to greyish red while the heartwood is light to a golden brown. It is high-density wood. Dahoma wood is mainly used for heavy construction, boatbuilding, docks, flooring, cabinetry, furniture, etc.

Characteristics of Dahoma Wood

Scientific NamePiptadeniastrum Africanum
ColorYellowish to redish brown
SourceTall deciduous tree
Density610 kg/m3
Cost$5.50 to $15.00 per board foot
Common UsesHeavy construction, boatbuilding, flooring, cabinetry, furniture, etc.
Characteristics of Dahoma wood

Sitka Spruce Wood

Sitka Spruce Wood (Picea Sitchensis)
Sitka Spruce Wood (Picea Sitchensis)

Sitka spruce wood comes in fine, even textured straight-grained wood with high strength to weight ratio. It is the largest of spruces and can grow up to 100 meter high and 2 meters in diameter. It is found on the Pacific coast. Sitka Spruce is a softwood generally used in general construction, shipbuilding, and plywood.

Characteristics of Sitka Spruce Wood

Scientific NamePicea Sitchensis
ColorLight pinkish-brown
SourcePicea sitchensis tree
Density347 kg/m³
Hardness510 on Janka Scale
Common UsesGeneral construction, shipbuilding, and plywood
Characteristics of Sitka Spruce wood

European Beech Wood

European Beech Wood (Fagus Sylvatica)
European Beech Wood (Fagus Sylvatica)

Fagus sylvatica that is commonly known as European Beech wood has medium stiffness and high crushing strength with medium resistance to shock loads. European beech wood is straight-grained and even textured wood mostly found in Europe. It is mainly used for Interior joinery, plywood, flooring, furniture, etc.

Characteristics of European Beech Wood

Scientific NameFagus Sylvatica
ColorPale cream
SourceEuropean BeechTree
Density752 kg/m3
Physical PropertyHeavy, strong and resistant to shock
Common UsesInterior joinery, plywood, flooring, furniture, etc.
Characteristics of European Beech Wood

Southern Yellow Pine Wood

Southern Yellow Pine Wood (Pinus Echinata)
Southern Yellow Pine Wood (Pinus Echinata)

Southern yellow pine wood is one of the main sources of softwood in the United States of America. It grows in the south and west of the US.

It is used in the interior and exterior of home construction as it is easy to work and finishes well with very few defects.

Characteristics of Southern Yellow Pine Wood

Scientific NamePinus Echinata
ColorLight yellowish-orange to dark reddish or yellowish-brown
Sourceloblolly pine (Pinus taeda), long-leaf pine (Pinus palustris), shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata) and slash pine (Pinus eliottii)
Density670 kg/m³
Hardness870 on Janka hardness Scale
Common UsesPallets, crating, and packaging
Characteristics of Southern Yellow Pine wood

Khaya Wood

Khaya Wood (Khaya Senegalensis)
Khaya Wood (Khaya Senegalensis)

Khaya wood is called as African mahogany and is considered an alternative to American mahogany. Compared to mahogany it is brittle but has acceptable working properties thus used as an alternative to it.

Khaya wood is lighter in weight than Brazilian mahogany with a coarser texture. The properties of khaya wood are similar to Honduras mahogany even though its appearance is similar. It is widely used in General beam, door frame, and shelving timber work.

Characteristics of Khaya Wood

Scientific NameKhaya Senegalensis
SourceAfrican mahogany
Density812.07 kg/m3
Cost$3.50 to $10.00 per board foot
Common UsesGeneral beam, door frame, and shelving timber
Characteristics of Khaya Wood

Utile Wood

Utile Wood (Entandrophragma Utile)
Utile Wood (Entandrophragma Utile)

Utile wood plantation is done in West Africa. It is an appealing wood that is used in furniture, interior and exterior joiner for doors and window frames, countertops, cabinetry, decorative veneers and plywood. It is also used in boat construction, sports equipment and musical instruments.

Utile wood grain is interlocked with medium uniform texture and natural luster. It is also known as sipo and is used as an alternative to Mahogany.

Characteristics of Utile Wood

Scientific NameEntandrophragma Utile
ColorTawny Golden
SourceEntandrophragma utile tree
Density740 kg/m³
Hardness1260 on Janka Scale
Common UsesBoat construction, sports equipment and musical instruments
Characteristics of Utile wood

Danta Wood

Danta Wood (Wrightia Tinctoria)
Danta Wood (Wrightia Tinctoria)

Danta wood is light brown with pink tinge and has a heartwood reddish brown. The surface of danta wood has a lustrous look. Danta wood is commonly used for high-quality joinery, cabinetwork, benchtops, boat components, and decking work.

Characteristics of Danta Wood

Scientific NameWrightia Tinctoria
ColorLight Brown
SourceDanta Tree
Density750 kg/m³ when dried
Common Usesboat, benchtops, cabinetwork, etc.
Characteristics of Danta wood

Elm Wood

Elm Wood (Ulmus)
Elm Wood (Ulmus)

Elm is a hardwood that is similar to oak grains. The grains of elm wood is equally diverse and have straight to wavy patterns. The heartwood of elm is light to medium reddish brown colour and the sapwood is off-white.

Elms grains are interlocked which makes them durable and hard to split. It offers shock resistance. It has medium moisture resistance and coarse texture. Elmwood is mostly used in constructing boats and farm buildings.

Characteristics of Elm Wood

Scientific NameUlmus
ColorWhite or grayish-white
SourceUlmaceae Tree
Density560 kg/m3
Wood TypeHardwood
Janka Hardness830
Common UsesConstructing boats and farm buildings
Characteristics of Elm Wood

Opepe Wood

Opepe Wood (Nauclea Diderrichii)
Opepe Wood (Nauclea Diderrichii)

Opepe is a tropical hardwood from Central and Western Africa. Opepe wood is hard, durable wood that is moderately heavy in comparison to other wood. Its tree measures from 35 m to 50 m height and is 1 m to 2 m in diameter.

Opepe timber is also known as Bilinga and Aloma. Timber of opepe tree are colorful ranging from golden to orange-yellow. It is primarily used in heavy construction, marine, and freshwater construction, and for exterior joinery and flooring.

Characteristics of Opepe Wood

Scientific NameNauclea Diderrichii
ColorGolden-yellow or orange-brown
SourceNauclea diderrichii trees
Density750 kg/m³
Hardness1630 on Janka Scale
Common UsesCarving, interior trim, etc.
Characteristics of Opepe wood

Sapele Wood

Sapele Wood (Entandrophragma Cylindricum)
Sapele Wood (Entandrophragma Cylindricum)

Sapele wood has marked and regular stripes on quarter-sawn surfaces. Grain is interlocked and closed texture wood. Sapele is heavier than African mahogany. It is 100-150 feet in length and 3 to 5 feet in diameter.

Sapele wood is also known as aboudikro, saplewood, sapelli, and Sapele Mahogany. It is native to tropical Africa being one of the largest trees in the area. It is grown in South East Asia with a medium reddish brown in appearance.

Characteristics of Sapele Wood

Scientific NameEntandrophragma Cylindricum
ColorGolden to dark reddish-brown
SourceEntandrophragma cylindricum tree
Density640 kg/m³
Hardness1410 on Janka scale
Common UsesFurniture, conservatories, door frames, etc.
Characteristics of Sapele wood

Iroko Wood

Iroko Wood (Milicia Excelsa)
Iroko Wood (Milicia Excelsa)

Iroko wood has yellow-brown hardwood with interlocked and irregular grains. This wood is mostly found in West Africa. Iroko wood is the cheaper alternative to teak wood and is mostly used in construction and exterior joinery work.

Iroko wood is a tough, dense, highly durable hardwood with a rich-colored grain. The scientific name of Iroko wood is Milicia excelsa.

Characteristics of Iroko Wood

Scientific NameMilicia Excelsa
SourceIroko Tree
Density660 kg/m3
Grain typesOpen interlocked grain
Common Uses Construction and infrastructure work
Characteristics of Iroko wood

Whitewood European Wood

Whitewood European Wood (Picea Abies)
Whitewood European Wood (Picea Abies)

Whitewood European wood is grown in Europe, The Russian Common Wealth and The Baltic States. It is a commercial group of white to pale yellowish brown softwood with natural lustre. It is used in construction work, joinery and flooring.

Characteristics of Whitewood European Wood

Scientific NamePicea Abies, Abies alba
ColorWhite to pale yellowish-brown
SourceSilver fir (Abies alba) and Norway spruce (Picea abies)
Density480 kg/m³
Common UsesConstruction, joinery, and flooring
Characteristics of Whitewood European

Ligneous Wood

Ligneous Wood
Ligneous Wood

Ligneous wood is comparatively cheaper and more affordable in comparison with teak, pine, etc. Ligneous wood comes from cereal straw, bagasse, bamboo, and flax or hemp shives. Ligneous wood is used for making cupboards, kitchen cabinets, etc.

Characteristics of Ligneous Wood

ColorLight Brown
SourceLigneous plants
DensityMore than 0.35g/cm3
Common UsesCupboard, Kitchen Cabinets
Characteristics of Ligneous wood

Douglas Fir Wood

Douglas Fir Wood (Pseudotsuga Menziesii)

Douglas fir wood is very popular wood because of its awesome strength-to-weight ratio. This makes it suitable for heavy structural use like column and beam construction. It is also used in glue-laminated beams and doors.

Douglas fir wood is light reddish brown in colour. It is widely used in Plywood, flooring, cabinetwork, etc. Scientific name of Douglas fir wood is Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Characteristics of Douglas Fir Wood

Scientific NamePseudotsuga Menziesii
ColorLight Reddish Brown
SourcePine Tree species
Density510 kg/m³
Cost$9.95/sq ft
Common UsesPlywood, flooring, cabinetwork, etc.
Characteristics of Douglas fir wood

Okoume Wood

Okoume Wood (Aucoumea Klaineana)
Okoume Wood (Aucoumea Klaineana)

Okoume wood is only found in the forest of Gabon. Okoume wood is a softwood with a fibrous texture and irregular grains that looks similar to mahogany.

Okoume tree logs are cylindrical in shape which is best to produce veneer sheets as it is easier to slice and peel to make sheets.

Okume wood is pale pink to light brown and usually with a reddish shade in colour. Source of Okume wood is the Aucoumea klaineana tree. It is mostly used in furniture, cabinets, etc.

Characteristics of Okoume Wood

Scientific NameAucoumea Klaineana
ColorPale pink to light brown
SourceAucoumea klaineana Tree
Density430 kg/m³
Hardness380 on Janka Scale
Common UsesFurniture, cabinets, etc.
Characteristics of Okoume wood

Redwood, European

Redwood, European (Pinus Sylvestris)
Redwood, European (Pinus Sylvestris)

European redwood also known as Pinus Sylvestris or Scandinavian Redwood is a softwood. Redwood is found in Russian Commonwealth, Baltic States, and Scandinavia. It is also known as scots pine or British pine in UK.

European redwood is pale yellow-brown to red-brown in appearance. It is widely used in furniture, joinery, and construction.

Characteristics of Redwood European

Scientific NamePinus Sylvestris
ColorPale yellow-brown to red-brown
SourceScandinavian Redwood
Density520 kg/m³
Hardness510 on Janka Scale
Common UsesDecking, structural beams, furniture, etc.
Characteristics of Redwood European

Western Hemlock Wood

Western Hemlock Wood (T. Heterophylla)
Western Hemlock Wood (T. Heterophylla)

Western Hemlock wood is found in North America with pale brown softwood. It has a fine texture uniform straight grain structure. Western hemlock has good strength-to-weight ratio and is known for its working properties. It is used in construction, roof decking, plywood, etc.

Characteristics of Western Hemlock Wood

Scientific NameT. Heterophylla
ColorPale brown
SourceTsuga Tree
Density420 kg/m³
Hardness540 on Janka Scale
Common UsesConstruction, roof decking, plywood, etc.
Characteristics of western hemlock wood

Western Red Cedar Wood

Western Red Cedar Wood (Thuja Plicata)

Western Red Cedar is popular ornamental and hedge tree found in North America. It is used for exterior cladding, roofing shingles and greenhouses and has reddish-brown appearance.

Characteristics of western red cedar Wood

Scientific NameThuja Plicata
ColorPinkish Brown
SourceThuja plicata Tree
Density330 kg/m³
Hardness350 on Janka Scale of hardenss
Common UsesRoofing shingles, exterior cladding, etc
Characteristics of western red cedar
Types of Wood

Frequently Asked Question

What is the difference between wood v/s lumber v/s timber?

Wood is a porous fibrous structural tissue found in the trunks of trees. Timber is wood that has not been processed while lumber is wood after being processed.

What are the 3 different types of wood?

Wood can be classified into 3 types, they are softwood, hardwood and engineered wood.

What is the most common type of wood?

Oak wood is the most commonly used type of wood.

What are the most popular hardwood types in the world?

Some of the best and most used hardwood wood types are as follows:
Balsa wood
Maple wood
Walnut wood
Poplar wood

What is the most popular wood among woodworkers?

Soft maple is the most famous wood among woodworkers as it is not hard on tools.

What are the 2 basic types of wood?

Two main types of wood are Hardwood and Softwood.

What type of wood is best for making furniture?

Hardwood is the best type of wood for making furniture.

What are the top 7 Hardest Wood in the world?

Top 7 hardest wood in the world are mentioned below with their hardness measured in pounds-force (lbf).
1. Australian Buloke – 5,060 pounds-force
2. Schinopsis Brasiliensis – 4,800 pounds-force
3. Schinopsis Balansae – 4,570 pounds-force
4. Lignum vitae – 4,500 pounds-force
5. Piptadenia Macrocarpa – 3,840 pounds-force
6. Snakewood – 3,800 pounds-force
7. Brazilian Olivewood – 3,700 pounds-force

Which wood is the weakest?

Balsa is the softest and lightest wood of commercial woods.

What is the most expensive wood in the world?

Bocote is the most expensive wood. It is a flowering plant from the borage family that is mostly found in Mexico, and Central and South America.
Other woods having the tag of most expensive wood are;
1. Sandalwood
2. Amaranth
3. Agar Wood
4. Blackwood (Ebony)
5. Dalbergia

Which wood is the hardest wood to break?

Lignum vitae is one of the heaviest, hardest woods in the world.

Which is the densest and heaviest wood in the world?

Black Ironwood is the densest and heaviest wood in the world

What is the hardest wood to scratch?

Hickory, with a Janka Hardness rating of 1820, is the hardest wood to scratch, followed by maple wood and ash wood.

Which country uses the maximum amount of wood?

The United States of America uses the most wood produced in the world.

Which is the largest wood-producing country?

China is the largest wood-producing country in the world. Thirty-five percent of the wood is produced in China.

Which is the lightest wood in the world?

Balsa is the lightest wood in the world.

What are the popular types of softwood lumber?

The most popular types of softwood are mentioned below:
1. Pinewood
2. Firwood
3. Redwood lumber
4. Cedarwood
5. Hemlock wood – eastern and western

What are the popular types of Hardwood lumber?

The most popular types of hardwood are mentioned below:
1. Balsa wood
2. Oakwood
3. Maple wood – hard and soft
4. Walnut wood
5. Ashwood
6. Poplar wood