Types of wood for fitted handmade bedroom furnitureMay 24, 2016
No matter what your needs and wants are when it comes to finding your dream wooden bedroom furniture, there is a type of wood out there for you. These are split into hardwoods and softwoods.
The difference between hardwood and softwood isn’t quite as straightforward as you’d expect though. Some hardwoods can be soft, and some softwoods can be quite hard. The difference is in botanical terms, with hardwoods being flowering trees and softwoods conifers. The number of different woods for each category is long and varied, each with their own benefits that it’s good to know when going for bespoke fitted bedroom furniture.
Hardwoods are prepared by air drying and kiln drying the wood to remove all moisture from the wood. It is generally of a higher quality and is resistant to scratches and marring, making it ideal for furniture that is in constant use. The differences between all the different types of hardwood widely available are largely preferential ones, to do with the appearance and style tastes you have and on what your budget is like. Here are just a few hardwoods available on the market:
One of the most durable woods on this list, oak withstands stains and wear and has a gorgeous growth ring pattern visible, leaving a great finish and a sophisticated touch to a room. It also carves excellently and is generally widely available.
This wood takes stains really well, but true mahogany can be hard to come by and therefore expensive. It varies in colour from reddish-brown to red and is the traditional favourite for furniture.
A very hard wood that is difficult to work in detail, but with brilliant resistance to shrinking and warping, maple is one of the palest timbers available.
With a similar grain to maple, birch is a very common hardwood used in furniture production, a light yellowish brown in colour. It is expensive, but less so than other hardwoods – such as mahogany, walnut or cherry – which it is often stained to resemble due to its ability to take stains exceedingly well.
Cherry is resistant to shrinking, swelling and warping and has a reddish-brown colour. It is valued as one of the best hardwoods for use in furniture but can be hard to come by.
As a rule softwoods are usually cheaper than their hardwood counterparts, but they are more prone to surface defacing. If your furniture won’t see much wear, and your budget is a little stricter, softwoods may be more suitable for you. Two of the most popular softwoods in use are:
Pine has poor resistance to shrinking and warping, but nevertheless is one of the most common woods used for furniture today. It is inexpensive and has clearly marked growth rings. Colour varies from light cream to yellow-brown, but is often painted by owners.
Effective in repelling insects due to its distinctive scent, this softwood is used often in chests and closets. It is not usually stained because it does not take to it well, but the grain itself is appealing enough as it is regardless. It is slightly more on the expensive side, however not as expensive as hardwoods.
If budgets are small then you may consider going for a composite wood as your base bespoke bedroom furniture material. These are the cheapest option when it comes to wood choice for furniture because they are manufactured rather than purely natural. These include:
Made of multiple layers of thin sheets of wood glued together for greater stability and durability, plywood has been traditionally used as a supporting feature of furniture. It is durable and affordable and usually light in colour.
MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard)
A denser manufactured wood than plywood, it is made by breaking down both soft- and hardwoods and then combining it with a wax resin that is subjected to extremely high temperatures to form the panels that make the MDF. It is a stable material that takes paint well, but can look better with bespoke furniture when it has a laminate or veneer finish.
Veneers and Laminates
Each of these are used to cover a base material in order to improve its appearance, so are worth considering if you want the feel and look an expensive hardwood would offer at a fraction of the price.
A veneer is a thin layer of wood that can be more expensive or have a greater finish than the cheaper base wood or plywood it is attached to. The veneer won’t completely protect the base material from damage, so be sure to check what the base is made of and whether or not you will need to worry about it warping further down the road.
Laminates, on the other hand, are generally glued to plywood or MDF, but it is not uncommon for them to feature on other types of wood as well to make them easier to work off of or clean. You can check to see whether or not you need to worry about the furniture warping in the future the same way you would for veneer furniture.
Unique Bedrooms provide only the highest quality fitted handmade furniture throughout the Watford, Dunstable, and Northwood areas, and we have a wide range of materials available in order to craft your dream furniture. We also offer bespoke kitchen and office furniture that our team of expertly skilled carpenters ensure fits with your vision. For more information, or a free home consultation, contact our friendly team today.
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