Wood Type 101

Oak (red oak, white oak)

Description: Oak is a hardwood that can be found in abundance. It is a valued wood for its strength and its attractive grain. It is used extensively for solid furniture, modern furniture and for veneers.

Color: White oak has a rich grayish brown color, while red oak is similar but with a pronounced reddish cast.

Price: Oak’s prices are moderately expensive with white oak usually being more expensive.

Pine (white pine)

Description: Pine is a light softwood that is usually associated with Colonial furniture. It is also one of the basic woods used in modern furniture. It can be used for all types of furniture. It is primary wood is used for unfinished furniture.

Color: Pine colors vary from cream to yellow-brown with clearly marked growth rings.

Price: Pine’s prices are usually inexpensive.

Poplar (yellow poplar)

Description: Poplar is a moderately soft/hardwood that is used in inexpensive furniture. It can also be used in a combination with more expensive woods. Poplar is a lightwood that is easy to work with.

Color: Brownish yellow with a distinctive green tinge.

Price: Poplar’s prices are usually moderate.


Description: Teak is hardwood that is usually one of the choice furniture woods. It is traditionally been used for both solid pieces and veneers.

Color: Teak colors vary from rich golden-yellow to dark brown with dark and light streaks.

Price: Teak’s prices are usually very expensive.

Walnut (black walnut, European walnut)

Description: Walnut is a hardwood that has been traditionally used for fine furniture. It is a wood that is still in high demand to this day. It is also commonly used in veneers. Walnut has a grain that is very striking and attractive.

Color: Chocolate brown with sometimes dark or purplish streaks.

Price: Walnut’s prices are usually very expensive.

Other woods

Although we have listed different types of wood used in the construction of furniture, there are many other types of woods used for furniture construction. Some of these other woods are alder, apple, aspen, birch, cedar, chestnut, cottonwood, cypress, fir, hackberry, hemlock, holly, koa, laurel, locust, magnolia, pear-wood, spruce, rosewood, tupelo, sycamore, and willow just to name a few. We hope you have enjoyed learning about different types of wood and remember that you must treat all wood according to its apparent traits.