From ancient times when humans were just evolving and no man – made materials were invented , from that time only WOOD is our savior be it using it as a source to light to lit fire or making tools and shelters for human survival , but the best part is even today even when there are thousands of alternatives of wood as these days artificial woods are also being manufactured in factories to give a finished look of a wood , but nothing can beat a NATURAL WOOD as it has various benefits from being sound absorbing , good thermal resistor to being a sustainable material.
The artificial methods used today are only being developed as due to the urbanization we have made scarcity of wood for ourselves and thus natural woods generally have higher prices, and require high maintenance. For interiors no other material can give the luxurious feel of wood , there are different varieties of natural wood available in the market let us see how can we use them for our interiors.
Types of Hardwood Used in furniture
Talking in simple terms these are the wood from angiosperm (which have flower) trees, they generally have broad leaves and they are mostly either deciduous trees or evergreen trees. Hardwood have a more complex structure like being more darker in color , high in density , slower growth , heavy in weight hence stronger in tension and compression and more expensive as well. Let us see some types used in interiors.
1. Oak Wood
This wood comes in few different types of colors from white to dark red, has ring porous in between and are heavy and durable and all of this makes it one of the best choice for modern furniture and flooring as well.
The grains visible on this wood can be arranged in such a way to form a beautiful pattern. Used for making durable furniture like dining table, staircase finishes as well. Also oak is used in product design as well like lamps, kitchen tools etc.
Did you ever notice that reddish brown furniture? Yes they are Mahogany wood. This wood is highly strong and expensive as well. The carvings can be smoothly done on this wood as it is easy to work with but being highly stable it is prone to weather effects like swelling or shrink.
The deep color makes it a choice for furniture and wooden doors, cabinets, beds etc. This is used in making many luxurious products as well like kitchen and bathroom essentials.
3. Teak Wood
Grown in the major parts of KERELA makes it one of the best choices for Indians for being most cost-effective and durable. It can be used for literally every form in furniture like wall cabinets, cupboards, bed frames, window frame, doors and even some partition walls.
As teak has some natural water resistance capabilities it is a good choice for outdoors as well. Being extremely durable you can use it for many rough uses as well like wooden flooring which looks elegant and classy and at the same time it is not high on your pockets.
4. Maple Wood
Maple is a fine textured wood, it has good strength and hardness, with moderate shrinkage. One of the best wood to be used in flooring as it gives a luxurious and classic finish. It is also used for fine furniture and wooden artifacts and even toys and musical instruments.
5. Cherry Wood
It is another close grained wood and it resists warping and shrinking. It gets dark red in color when exposed to sunlight. It ages well, and is extensively used in making cabinets, solid furniture and handles and door knobs.
6. Walnut Wood
Derived from our favorite walnut trees around the world , as walnut trees are grown in different parts of the world it might have a difference in textures or finishes and even color here and there but overall it looks the same when closely observed. It is an easy to work with wood gives a great finish to your interior. You can use directly to make furniture or even there are walnut wood veeners and even planks available in the market.
7. Sisso Wood
Popularly known as Shisham in India it is another tough and durable wood and like any other strong wood it also maintains its shape well. It gives a beautiful crème and brown wavy finish which looks beautiful on your furniture finishes. It is a little expensive too as it is one of the high quality woods.
Types of Softwood Used in Furniture
These woods are generally cheaper than hardwoods, and grow faster than hardwood as well. These are generally light in color. Softwoods are not as durable as hardwood and also they have poor fire resistance and, also these are weaker in sheer strength but good in terms of tensile strength. Let us see some of the most used softwood in interiors
1. Pine Wood
The most famous soft wood is probably pine. These have a light pale yellow color and a gives an excellent finish with or without polish. It is a widely available type of wood which is also low in cost.
Pine wood can be used in making different types of furniture from simple table and chairs to high wall units to even ceiling finishes.
Pine used if used inside your home can bring out freshness and increase the aroma of the space making it feel warm and cozy. Pine decays if comes in contact with moisture and soil so it is high in maintenance.
2. Cedar Wood
It comes in red and brown colors with light knotty steaks mostly known for its strength. It is an aromatic and moth repellant wood. It is popularly used for making chests, lining drawers and boxes and wardrobes.
Cedar Wood naturally smells divine! It has natural cedar oil present in it which makes it weather proof and keeps it bacteria free. Being strong, it is also low maintenance and can be an ideal wood for Indian climatic conditions.
3. Rose wood
Found in regions like Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and even Orissa. It is popular strong and tough wood which has close – grains. Used in high quality furniture as maintains its shape really well and available in various sizes. Rose wood is also used in many ornamental articles as well. If polished well rose wood looks really classy and beautiful on furniture finishes.
4. Douglas Fir
It is a High – End luxurious wood and you can just say that by looking at the amount of royalty it gives. It ultimately gives a fine polished dark brown color, using this wood for your bar table or a kitchen counter would instantly enhance the whole feel of the room.
Not just interiors this wood is highly used for heavy structural purposes as well like on ship decks, beams etc. It can be finished into various colors and textures.
5. Eastern White Pine
Have you seen those houses with white colored panels on walls and ceiling having a white finish and even white floors? Yes that is due to this white variety of pine wood. It is mostly found in North America though it turns yellow when exposed to sunlight for a longer time that is why it is best for interiors. Though it starts shrinking and warping if exposed to moisture.
6. Larch wood
Found from the large trees which are also found in northern hemisphere or preferably cooler temperatures. This wood is poorly resistant to fungal attacks. However, it is durable and the knotty texture it gives reflects a beautiful finishes in your interiors. This wood looks very raw and has a matte texture. It comes in two colors Reddish brown and White.
7. Western Hemlock
The wood has an amazing strength to weigh ratio. It is easy to work with as it can be easily modified into plane and smooth textures. It is also termite resistive. When used outside it should be properly treated to avoid decay. It has a brownish color with close grained texture.
– Asmita Madan