Birch Wood

Birch Wood Uses, Types, Properties, Advantages, and Disadvantages

What is birch wood?

Birch wood is a hardwood with various species available. Very useful, easy to work, but Birch is perishable, including easy rotten and susceptible to insect attacks.

One of the birch species, namely Yellow Birch has an exotic look with straight and wavy grains. Good for furniture, doors, turned objects, etc.

The properties of birch wood

Some bricks are yellow/white brownish with more brown grains. The wood is strong, hard, heavy, and has good shock resistance.

However, Birch is perishable, including easy to rot, and susceptible to insect attack. Birch is easy to work with machines and hand tools. However, be careful with some obstacles that might occur.

Birch wood advantages and disadvantages


Easy to work: Birch is an easy wood to work; you even can use hand tools. Glues well, turns, nails, and finishes nicely.

It’s recommended to use the machine in the process. Such as nails and screws that are pre-boring, cutting, etc., to make it better. No info on silica content.

Prices vary: Birch tends to be economical but is more expensive for some things, such as figured birch boards.

You should choose according to your budget and needs. We recommend selecting a figured one for an attractive design. For your information, the price of plain Birch is in the same range as oak.

Very useful: Birchwood is beneficial for many things, although it’s perishable. Furniture, kitchen cabinets, and flooring are goof from Birch.

Toys, turned objects, and doors can be an option. You can make your own or buy it. It seems like making some birch toys is good enough for business.


Perishable: Birch is not durable. That’s the bitter truth about this wood. It rots easily and is susceptible to insect attacks.

Although we know this wood is good for some things. We don’t recommend making it big furniture. That doesn’t seem reasonable. Use for light goods is quite recommended.

Health risk: Health risks such as skin irritation and respiratory reactions may occur, be careful.

However, we didn’t find any information about a severe reaction. It’s also reported as a sensitizer.

Pay attention to the safety factor while doing the work, including wearing the recommended clothes, Because other health risks may occur.

Birch wood for furniture

Birchwood is suitable for furniture but not recommended for long-term furniture.

You can use it for tables, chairs, beds, and more.

Birch has a charming look that will make it look beautiful.

In addition, woodworking is relatively easy.

It seems that you will rarely encounter significant problems. Use walnut if you want better quality furniture.

Birchwood for millwork and paneling

It’s pretty good for millwork and paneling.

You can make your home even more attractive by adding artistic value to the house.

The walls of your house will be cooler than usual.

Making it look vintage is pretty good.

Other parts of the home must also be made attractive.

Birch wood for doors

Birch seems pretty good, too, for doors. Moreover, this wood is easy to work by hand or by machine.

In addition, carving it to make it more attractive is also good.

You can combine lumber to make doors. But It is not recommended for large doors. Use it only for smaller doors.

Birch wood for flooring

Some birches have a bright look, maybe not all of them.

But we see the color is darker after being sealed.

So, it looks like it’s pretty good for the floor.

Try to make it even darker.

Because we think bright-looking wood floors are bad enough.

Birch wood for kitchen cabinets

Good and bad for this.

Birchwood for kitchen cabinets seems pretty good, with the same care as for furniture.

However, we think its durability is a big problem.

Kitchens usually have humid air and may accelerate the decay of kitchen cabinets.

So, the decision is yours.

Birch wood for turnings

Birch is close-grained and finishes nicely.

So, we can conclude that this wood is perfect for turnings. It will not be difficult to get it.

Because of that, it’s pretty good for creating multiple turned objects.

Practice your creativity with this, as well as for business.

Birch wood for toys

Making toys out of Birch is pretty good. You can work by turning or use hand tools.

Although wooden toys are no better than plastic and metal toys, it looks like the wood is great for miniatures.

Whether it’s miniature vehicles, buildings, or something else, it’s great.

Birch wood for plywood

Birch is one of the most widely used woods for plywood.

For this reason, we include a point for plywood here.

It seems the characteristics of the Birch are suitable for this.

Moreover, the birch look is also quite attractive and easy to work with. So we thought it was ideal.

Types of birch wood

Alaska paper birch (Betula neoalaskana)

The Alaskan Paper Birch (Betula neoalasana) can grow up to 50-65 ft tall, 1-2 ft in diameter.

Its distribution area is Alaska and northern Canada.

The appearance of the wood is whitish-yellow with straight and wavy grain figured.

This wood is excellent for plywood, turned objects, interior trim, and more.

Alder-leaf birch (Betula alnoides)

Betula alnoides, also known as Alder-leaf birch in common name, is distributed in India, Burma, and Nepal. Can grow to 65-100 ft tall, with 2-3 ft in diameter.

The wood properties are perishable, haven’t characteristic odor, and are used for boxes, crates, plywood, etc.

Downy birch (Betula pubescens)

Downy Birch (Betula pubescens) is also known as European White Birch.

Its distribution is Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, and Asia.

The tree is about 33-65 ft tall and 1-2 ft in diameter.

It has almost the same characteristics as other birches, is easy to work with, is not durable, great for plywood, turned objects, and more.

Gray Birch (Betula populifolia)

The height of the Gray Birch (Betula populifolia) tends to be shorter than the others, being 20-40 feet tall and 1 feet diameter.

The dominant wood appearance is bright yellow with irregular brown to gray grain figured.

It will be darker if it’s sealed.

Its uses are almost the same as other birches, plywood, turned objects, toys, etc.

Paper birch (Betula papyrifera)

Paper birch, or Betula papyrifera in the scientific name, is a tree 65-100 ft tall and 2-3 ft diameter.

The tree produces wood similar to other birches, but the grain tends to be less pronounced.

Plywood, turned objects, boxes, and others are the uses of this lumber.

River birch (Betula nigra)

The heartwood looks brown to dark brown with darker grain.

The distribution of River Birch (Betula nigra) in the Eastern United States.

It can grow to 100 feet tall, 2-3 feet diameter, with similar woody characteristics to other birches.

River birch wood also uses may be similar to others.

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

The lumber of Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) looks brownish yellow with darker brown fibers.

The tree can grow to 100 feet tall, and its characteristics are similar to the others.

The distribution is Northeastern North America.

Its uses are plywood, turned objects, interior trim, and more.

It seems that its use is also similar to the others.

Birch Wood In Summary

Birch is a wood that has many benefits, including being widely used for plywood.

Produces lumber that tends to look bright and exotic.

However, the biggest drawback is poor durability, including perishable, readily rot, and prone to insect attack.

It seems this should be considered very well. In addition, this wood also still has many advantages, such as being easy to work, not having a characteristic odor, etc.

After we read several types of Birch, it seems that they do not differ much in their characteristics and uses.