How To Choose The Ideal Wood For Your Furniture: A Guide

How To Choose The Ideal Wood For Your Furniture: A Guide

The type of wood you use for your custom furniture is an important decision, as it will affect the look and performance of the piece. Here at Cannon Hill, we only build from solid hardwoods, in a variety of different species. We know that picking a wood species can be tricky, so you can use this guide to help you choose.

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  • Understand The Different Types Of Wood 

The essential categories of woods are hardwoods and softwoods. Simply put, hardwoods come from deciduous trees, whereas softwoods come from deciduous ones. Unsurprisingly, hardwoods tend to be harder, denser, and more stabler than softwoods, which is why they’re our choice for furniture. Some of the most common species of hardwoods we build from are oak, walnut, maple, cherry, ash, and hickory. Some common softwoods include spruce, pine, and fir.


  • Consider The Durability of the Wood

Although woods are categorized based on the sort of tree they come from, not their actual hardness, furniture made from hardwood will almost always be more resistant to things like scratches and dings. Wood hardness is rated on the Janka scale, which measures how much force it takes to press a steel ball into the surface of the wood. A harder wood requires more force to ding. Additionally, hardwoods will tend to be more stable and less likely to cup or warp over time.

  • Compare the Costs

When it comes to custom wood tables, the type of wood you use simply won’t be the biggest driver of cost. Things like the size of the table and the design will always have a greater effect on the final price. With that said, different woods have different costs, and walnut, for example, may be twice as expensive as ash. If you have a budget in mind, choosing a particular wood may help you get the price down into your acceptable range.

  • Look At The Grain And Color 

The first thing you’ll notice when you compare one wood to another is the radical differences in appearance. Some are broadly similar, like oak and ash, while other look completely different. Walnut is a deep chocolate brown, while maple is a pale cream color. The grain patterns also vary widely, so you should take some time to understand what the different species look like, and think about how you want your custom table to look.

  • Finish Options

If you want to do color manipulation on your table, we can achieve that either with a stain or a tinted oil. No matter which route you choose, there are some species that are great for taking color and some to avoid. Oak and ash take color well, while maple never does. Walnut can take color, but it has such a beautiful natural hue that we essentially never do it.

  • Let Us Help You 

There’s a lot to think about in picking a wood for your table, and a lot more than would fit in this piece. But we’re happy to help our clients learn about the various wood options, and we offer comprehensive sampling of wood types, color options, and more. If you’ve got a custom wood table in mind, get in touch via our contact form, and we can start the conversation.