22 Types of Hardwood in US Everyone Needs to Know

Products from wood have been popular lately. People consider using wood than other materials due to its natural beauty. It is a perfect choice for eco-effective design and building.

If you are in a construction project, it is necessary to understand the difference between wood types. The wood has two kinds of wood hardwood and softwood.

They are not classified base on their hardness but the types of trees and its characteristic. Hardwood comes from deciduous trees, and softwood comes from conifer trees.

Hardwood has an essential role in a house with many wooden structures. The door, window frame, and a lot of furniture are made from hardwood. But, do you know the name of hardwood used for your door? Or for your dining table?

Now, find out here. You’ll learn the best hardwood for every wooden piece of furniture in your house because We’ll give you some information about types of hardwood that are also good for furniture. 

What is Hardwood and Species of hardwood

Mostly, woodworkers prefer hardwoods to softwoods. It has various colors, fibers, and current patterns that create a piece of interesting-looking furniture or flooring. Hardwoods are more costly than softwoods.

As its characteristic, it is strong and solid. They are taken from the deciduous trees with wide leaves and bears fruit or nut. They are regularly asleep in the winter. 

Generally, trees of hardwood grow slower, and they have broadleaf ones. Oak, ash, maple are some types of popular hardwood.

This type of wood becomes the primary material for furniture, like tables and cupboards. The hardwood tree is also a deciduous tree and is considered angiosperms.

The species varies by area. Each species requires appropriate conditions, like specific kinds of soil and nutrients and several quantities of moisture to grow. 

There are three types of hardwood, European Hardwood, Tropical Hardwood, and Temperate Hardwood. The following description provides a brief comparison among all. Let us begin with European Hardwood.

1. European Hardwood

The main source of these types of hardwood is in Croatia, France, and Germany. It is used for both indoor and outdoor.

They are famous for the oak and beech. The oak can be used for interior and exterior considering the wood strength. Meanwhile, the beech is more suitable for internal use because of the resistance of breaks and compression. 

The European oak has even color and a consistent tone. It has a curved and peculiar grain too.

2. Tropical Hardwood.

As it names, this hardwood grows in the tropical rainforest. It is originally from Africa, Asia, and South America. They get tropical and subtropical moisture and harvest there. 

Tropical Hardwood includes mahogany, rosewood, teak, ebony, and meranti. This kind commonly applies to worldwide industrial. Some tropical hardwoods are imported for domestic use, for example, interior application. 

For flooring, it is more recommended due to its color, unique pattern, hardness, and glow. However, one of the main issues is that it might come from an old-growing rainforest.

3. Temperate Hardwood

These types of hardwood are native to North America. Due to the region’s temperature, they lose their leaves every autumn and winter. You can find hardwood forests in the United States, Canada, China, Japan, and some parts of Europe. 

This wood is imported as well as stock. As in tropical hardwood, it offers various kinds of color, texture, and character. You can get a warm or darker tone of hardwood for furniture. 

Apart from furniture, each species can be crafted into cabinetry, flooring, and millwork. So, it can be used for multiple applications. 

We will discuss further its example in the below explanation. 

Which woods are considered hardwoods in the USA?

For many years, North American forests provide more than 20 species of hardwood. However, American Hardwood is renewable and regeneratable. Some rare species are unexplored for commercial availability.

As mentioned previously, types of soil and specific amounts of moisture affect the growth of American Hardwood. Therefore, these types of hardwood mostly grow in the Eastern part of the nation.

One of the most-wanted American Hardwoods is Oak. It grows at 52 percent compare to the others. The second largest is Poplar at 11 percent. Then, followed by Maple at 8 percent, and Cherry at 5 percent. 

Most Favorite hardwoods in the USA

Hardwood has relatively stronger than softwood and has good durability. Moreover, some types of hardwood also have their advantages.

Because of that reason, hardwood is used to build something which should be durable, like furniture or for other structures in the house. Below is the list of the most common and favorite hardwood in the U.S

1. Oak

You may be wondering why Oak is dominating amidst others. This wood is found everywhere in this country. It is also affordable compare to other American Harwood. You can make cabinets, furniture, flooring, doors, or anything else from oak wood.

This wood has two kinds, Red Oak and White Oak. The White one is more favorable than the Red one. Besides, the white oak is harder and more stable than the red oak. 

2. Poplar

The next favorable types of hardwood are Poplar. The wood originally comes from a tulip tree. Its characteristic is mimic to more costly hardwoods. Although it is one of American Hardwood, it is quite soft.

Poplar wood is also inexpensive and commonly used for utility hardwoods. It applies to furniture frames and veneer but is rarely used in fine furniture. 

3. Maple

This kind of wood is not merely hard but also has a likable stain. The color is light and commonly mimics the Oak. It is also inexpensive and easy to find in most lumberyards. 

It has two varieties: hard and soft. Both are harder than any other woods. Its hardness is at number 5 on a scale of 1 to 5. Due to its hardness, Maple wood is more stable. Read more about what maple wood uses.

4. Alder wood

Alder is hardwood with about 30 species growing in several places in the world. For example, Red Alder (Alnus Rubra) grows in western North America, like California, Alaska, and Washington.

Characteristic of alder is relative softness, good resistance, low stiffness, and have flexibility. The main uses of alder wood are for furniture, shutters, doors, etc. Another reason people choose this wood may be the price is low.

5. Ashwood

Ashwood has outstanding shock resistance characteristics, and the overall strength of ash wood is excellent than its weight. 18 species of ash trees are found in the USA. White ash and green ash are the most important of them.

You can use ash wood to build many things, like furniture, tool handles, floor, doors, etc. If you like baseball, make your baseball bat with ash wood. Moreover, ash is also can be made into other sports equipment.

6. Aspen wood

Aspen is rarely available in many stocks. But, this wood is beneficial for many things, like parts of furniture, molding, kitchen utensils, chopsticks, picture frames, etc.

Aspen wood has good characteristics, like soft, light, medium shock resistance, low stiffness. When nailed, Aspen won’t break. Moreover, This wood is also suitable for some woodwork, like bores and turns.

7. Basswood

Basswood has enough characteristics, such as low strength, softness, and light. But, some of your furniture may be used Basswood as the material.

Moreover, molding, turnings, carvings, and even your musical instruments maybe are made using Basswood.

Basswood is also the main curved wood because this wood is easy to work with hand tools. Unfortunately, the availability of Basswood is only within reasonable limits.

8. Beech Wood

Although a hardwood. But the skin is soft bark. Beech is also Useful for making many types of furniture, cook utensils, tool handles because it’s very hard.

Even musical instruments like drum manufacturing and piano pin-blocks may be made using beech wood. Moreover, you also can used beech wood for making some sports equipment.

9. Birchwood

Birch has many species with different functions. This wood has excellent characteristics as a hardwood, like solid and hard. Moreover, birch is also heavy wood, so it looks solid when being furniture.

Not only that, but floors, kitchen cabinetry, and doors can also be made using birch wood. If you have time, try to make toys for your children. It looks like it’s going to be good.

10. Cottonwood

Cottonwood is widely available for making furniture, furniture arts, shutters, kitchen utensils. The reason may be some characteristics of cottonwood is very good, like relatively light.

But, this wood has some weaknesses which might make you think again about using it. Low in shock resistance, weak in bending, soft, and weak in pressure. Try to use other wood if you can.

11. Cypress wood

You should know that cypress is softwood. Because it grows with hardwood, cypress has been grouped with hardwood. Use this wood to make some furniture, exterior siding, cupboards.

Or use it as floors, fence posts, and shutters. Cypress is nailed and glue well. Sands easily and resist warping also the advantages. If you want to find it, go to the southern part of America.

12. Elmwood

Elm is good enough hardwood. Can do some woodwork, like nailed, glues well, and sanded easily. The physical characteristics of hardwood are also reliable, Excellent shock resistance, quite heavy, and hard.

But, this wood is stiff. Many things can be made with Elmwood. Try to making furniture, floors, cabinetry. Or build a casket with Elmwood as the primary material.

13. Hackberry wood

Still from the elm family, Hackberry. It is also a close relative of sugarberry. Hackberry Can be processed in woodwork properly, nailed, and screws well. Uses of this wood are furniture and doors. It’s also good to make kitchen cabinetry, molding, or millwork.

But, Hackberry is available only within reasonable limits. Try to find it in the eastern United States. It looks like it would be good if some things were made of Hackberry.

14. Hickory & Pecan

Introduce most weight of hardwood, Hickory. It doesn’t seem easy to do things on this wood, such as working with the handles tool. Drill before nailing because it may split when nailed.

Start thinking about your long-term furniture made by Hickory because It is known for its excellent strength and shock resistance. Cupboard, tool handles, floors, and sports equipment is also It can be made with Hickory. Pecan is another name for Hickory.

15. Hard Maple wood

Hard maple is also known as black maple and sugar maple. Many things can be made with this wood; Furniture, kitchen utensils, doors, tabletops, flooring, and many more.

Many are chosen because hard maple is heavy, hard, and has good strength. It seems like using a machine is the right choice. Do some checking before choose maple. Maybe some things cost more.

16. Sapgum wood

Sapgum is also known as sweetgum, redgum, or just gum. Useful for part of the furniture, doors, or rail teas. Gum is easily available. Easy to work is also an advantage of gum, whether by machine or hand tools.

Maybe good enough for furniture. It looks like it should be tried. Find gum trees in the eastern hardwood forest. There seems to be a lot of this tree there.

17. Sassafras

Another valuable wood for furniture is Sassafras. The distribution of this wood is the Eastern United States, 50-65 feet tall. Sassafras is Durable or even very durable for some reason. You can work with this wood with a machine or handles tool.

In addition to furniture, Sassafras is also commonly used for fence posts or utility lumber. A good look is also an advantage of Sassafras, and it Looks like a pretty good private table made of this wood. We want to try it.

18. Sycamore

Sycamore is also known as Buttonwood. In level of hardness and stiffness, sycamore is moderate. Moreover, weight and shock resistance are also at the same level. Furniture or its part, kitchen utensils, flooring, etc., Are the main uses of sycamore.

You also can make fruit crates, toys for your children or sale by making them from sycamore. But, the availability of this wood is reasonable. Throughout the eastern United States in the distribution of sycamore.

19. Tulipwood

Tulipwood looks interesting with the colors and pattern. More attractive looking if it has sanded or sealed. You can make many things with this wood, such as marquetry, veneer, fine furniture, or even musical instruments. The following reasons maybe make you not choose this wood.

Expensive or perhaps very expensive and tends to be challenging to work. Moreover, tulipwood is also had low decay resistance. The distribution of tulipwood in Northeastern Brazil, and the tree has 20-30 tall.

20. Walnut

Walnut wood has functioned quite a lot. It seems like the right choice if you use it as a material for furniture, doors, cupboard, or even gun stocks. Some reasons make this wood easy to work with machines or just with handles tool.

Physical characteristics of this hardwood are moderate bending, low stiffness, medium density, and moderate crushing strengths. Availability of walnut wood only within reasonable limits, With its color that looks dark, it Looks like a cupboard from this wood will look attractive.

21. Willow

We find 3 species of willow, white willow, black willow, and crack willow. White Willow, we’ll choose to be here. Willow is used for furniture, crates, baskets, or make a cricket bat from willow.

But, this wood has some debilitation. Non-durable, easily damaged, and susceptible to insect attacks. It looks like you should look for other woods for long-term furniture. We think white willow wood is not the right choice.

22. Cherry

Cherry has a subtle reddish-brown surface. It is suitable for fine furniture and trim. Because of its appearance and price, this wood is also one of the premier hardwoods in the US. 

It is easy to work with this wood. The hardness is medium and has a beautiful stain. These types of hardwood are possibly found in sustainably grown forests.

Hardwood selection guide.

If you are in the process of house furnishing, you might think about what kind of wood you will need. However, this is not a simple thought. There is much consideration to determine types of hardwood for your home. 

Aside from its types and quality, you should also consider the process of creating a piece of them. Think about other external factors too. 

Below is a brief guide as an overview of hardwood selection.

1. Recognize the style of your home.

First, you should know about the style of your home. Is it classic, traditional, or modern? So, you will know what types of hardwood you need. 

Specific wood might be appropriate for a particular style. However, don’t limit your idea because of that. You can do multiple creative things by mixing old and new hardwood. 

2. Identify the humidity for wood stability.

Each hardwood has varied humidity. The increase in humidity can make wood expand in width. Take a stable hardwood for a door or window. 

Besides, the place of installation is taking an important part too. A hardwood flooring for the second floor will be a different type from the basement. The moisture in the basement can threaten the strength of your hardwood flooring.

3. Realize your living habit.

Do you have a pet or a little child? Are you often throw parties? Are you travel a lot? Think about those questions before you decide to choose the hardwood for your home. 

If you are planning to install types of hardwood for flooring, you should consider your house traffic. Think about how much you will damage your floor. 

These things will make you learn about certain wood species. Find a hard and durable hardwood. Oak is one of the examples. When considering the species, it will guide you to choose the grain, color, and appearance.

4. Check the wood defects.

Look it carefully and observe the knots, insect holes, sapwood, and so on. A stain can add wood value. Some people like to keep it as well. 

Once you know about its faulty parts, you can finish it. A finish influences your wood maintenance. Choose the gloss level that can match your flooring. 

We recommend you purchase prefinished wood. It is easier for you to save time and effort. It can give you a good idea too.

5. Consider the cost and installation.

Hardwood flooring installation is not as cheap as you thought. Unique look types of hardwood can make you spend more than your estimated budget. A valuable hardwood is worth the higher cost.

You might want your floor to last longer. Of course, it might cost you extra maintenance. The high up-front cost can worry you, but this can save your funds in the long run.

6. Test your hardwood.

It is an important step. Don’t forget to ask for a sample for your flooring. So, you will have a real picture of that. Installing your flooring based on a photo sample from a showroom can contrast with your finishing.

Choose a sample with a stain as well. This can bear about the finish on it. Test it with your paint colors and decor too. So, you can be sure that it is as you want.

The Other Values of Hardwood

Some wood is good enough for furniture. We recommend walnut, oak, birch, etc. Choose durable wood against rot and insect attacks.

If you want to make furniture, wood with a handy handle tool is a good choice. Despite having a machine, but many things maybe should work with both your hand.

The above discussion is the general use of Hardwood. Aside from housing material, there is some alternative use of these Types of Hardwood. The following are some examples.

1. Guitar.

Some iconic guitar brands are made of this wood. Hardwood can be an excellent element for these crafted musical instruments by having a good grain and steady texture.

2. Walking Stick.

Specific types of hardwood can be used as a walking stick. This wood has an elastic characteristic. It provides good flexibility and enables it to be created into a comfortable handle.

3. Smoking Pipe.

There is a hardwood that is used as beautiful smoking pipes. It is made with vibrant color. These smoking pipes are also satisfactorily strong that can last for many years.

The above valuable explanation can enrich you with knowledge about the hardwood. Its density and strength can be an ideal material for your projects.

Each hardwood has different specific characteristics, good quality, and attractive aesthetics. So, it is happy to share this article. Hopefully, types of hardwood are useful for you to decide which selection is suitable for you.

Sources:

https://www.hardwoodinfo.com/specifying-professionals/species-guide/

https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/forest_types_of_michigan_aspen_e3202_3

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