different types of wood logs

11 Different Types of Wood and Their Uses

different types of wood

different types of wood

We use wood and wood products in one form or another every day. This has improved the quality of our life over time.  

Woods are found in roofs, musical instruments, floors, pieces of furniture, and even in our hands as magazines, books, and tissue paper.

Hence, you would agree that they play a key role in our everyday life.

Regardless of your need, there's always wood for you. And with the right information, you can come to a quick decision faster than you imagine. Here's an insightful guide on the types and varieties of wood, their uses, and their characteristics.


Major Types of Wood

There are three (3) main types of wood from which other varieties are derived. These are:



These are gotten from trees that don’t produce needles or cones but produce broad leaves. These trees can supply you with seeds, fruits, leaves, and beautiful woods. Their woods have distinct wood grain patterns.



Softwoods are derived from trees, generally referred to as conifers. They produce needles and cones and are more readily available than trees producing hardwoods because they grow faster.


Composite or Engineered Wood

These are derived from waste woods treated with chemicals. They are manufactured by man, which explains why they can be made to have certain qualities and characteristics.


Other Types of Wood

Below are some of the varieties of wood classified under the three main types above.


1. Cedarwood

    Over the years, cedarwood has proven to be a durable wood suitable for both indoor and outdoor needs. It is a lightweight wood that's pest resistant and less likely to decay. It has an aromatic scent and a straight wood grain pattern.

    There are various types of cedarwood, but red and white cedar variants are the most common. Their distinction is evident in their names and their grain pattern.

     different types of wood

    Image credit: puristry.com


    Uses of Cedarwood
    • Cedarwood can be used to make boxes, line drawers, and simple cases
    • It is used to make durable chests and storage closets


    2. Maple Wood

    Maple wood has straight grains and fine texture but with irregular patterns. It's a type of hardwood with great tensile strength. As a result, it can resist shocks and vibrations without splitting when used for construction, especially for pathways.

    It has unique patterns that could sometimes be shaped like a bird's eye. Depending on the variety, its color ranges from light brown to reddish-brown or white, yellow, and gold. It produces a nice finishing with a smooth and fine texture.


    Uses of Maple Wood
    • It can be used for violin back, console tables, flooring, bedside table, baseball bats, veneers, musical instruments, wall shelves, paper, butcher blocks, and workbenches


    3. Poplar

      This is a light-colored hardwood with colors ranging from light yellow to yellowish-brown, cream, streaks of gray, and green. Although lightly colored, it loses its color after a while, often getting darker.

      It is readily used in making plywood and is the second-best source of cellulose for pulp paper, right behind conifers.

      Poplar wood produces a straight and uniform grain. Woodworkers find it attractive for its ease of cutting because it is soft hardwood. Although this softness causes it to have fuzzy edges when cut, using fine-grain sandpaper will give you a smooth finish.

       different types of wood

      Image credit: woodworkerssource.com


      Uses of Poplar
      • It's suitable for making interiors of furniture, plywood layers, and pulp paper
      • It makes great door frames and doors, cabinets frames, upholstered cabinet frames, packing cases, shelves, and joinery


      4. Teak Wood

        This tropical hardwood is a perfect blend of beauty and durability. Teak has a moderate weight and a unique natural oil responsible for its resistance to decay and insect. Notably, it is one of the top choices of wood worldwide because of its quality features.

        Teak wood is easy to work on at all stages, including cutting, gluing, and finishing. It is a straight grain wood that's unmistakably brown and has a leather-like smell when freshly cut.


        Uses of Teak Wood
        • Excellent material for boat making
        • Makes beautiful interiors
        • It is suitable for carvings, exterior joinery, and other items of furniture


        5. Pressure Treated Lumber

          This type of man-made wood comes from blending two or more woods. This particular type of wood is made from yellow pine wood and Douglas fir wood. Pressure Treated Lumber is generally heavy where water resistance is a requirement.

          The water-resistance quality arises from the manufacturing process, where it is cut into sizes and injected with chemicals. This wood, when properly treated, can last up to 40 years.


          Uses of Pressure Treated Lumber
          • Its high density makes it an excellent wood for fences and decks
          • It is used for making sill plates, frames, and many outdoor projects


          6. Oak

            This is also a favorite wood among woodworkers and comes in two varieties: red and white. Due to its strength, high density, and hardness, it has been useful for several modern purposes.

            Oak has a very distinct grain, is lightly colored, and has high resistance to yeast, moisture, fungi, and other insect pests. Although very strong, it's easy to cut and is an excellent choice for ship and boat making.

            It is highly bendable, durable, and versatile, as seen in its wide array of uses. Oak has a distinct straight grain and a nice finishing even when painted.

            different types of wood and their uses

            Image credit: woodshopdirect.co.uk


            Uses of Oakwood
            • Excellent material for bookshelves, cabinets, and flooring
            • It makes durable public buildings, exterior shop fittings, fences, timber frames, and joinery
            • Oak is readily used in distilling wine, smoking meats, and veneer production
            • It is a great material for making ships and boats


            7. Walnut

              Walnut is an ancient building material that has remained a top choice before and after the discovery of cement. It's a popular hardwood that produces a chocolatey straight grain wood. Although, it sometimes comes as wavy irregular patterned wood.

              It is one of the most versatile wood out there, and its uses vary among woodworkers.

              The walnut wood is smooth when touched and decay resistant, although, not insect resistant. It rarely shrinks when dry, but warps slightly and is moderately heavy. It is an excellent wood that gives a good finishing.


              Uses of Walnut Wood
              • It is used to make high-end pieces of furniture
              • Suitable for dining table sets, cabinets, coffee tables, and turned items
              • It is used to make gunstocks, veneers, musical instruments, and serve decorative purposes


              8. Mahogany Wood

                Mahogany is the wood to choose when considering a luxurious-looking finishing. It is a strong wood that doesn't swell, shrink, or warp. It has a uniform grain pattern and can be easily stained or painted to give a beautiful finish.

                Mahogany is reddish-brown, resilient, durable, tightly grained, and very strong. It is water tolerant and insect-rot resistant.


                Uses of Mahogany Wood
                • Beautiful fashion cabinets, custom cabinets, nested tables, and fine pieces of furniture are made from this wood
                • It is an excellent material for furniture interior, high-end flooring, sills, window frames, and dining table set
                • It is a choice wood for carving


                9. Ashwood

                  Ashwood offers a distinctive shine when polished. Although it's a type of hardwood, it is lightweight. It has a long straight grain that makes it easy to work with, plus it is quite elastic and highly durable.

                  The wood permits the usage of screws, glues, or nails without the edges becoming rough. It has shades similar to maple wood and the texture of oak wood. However, it should never be mistaken for either.

                  Ashwood is less expensive than other hardwoods due to low demand for it. It allows for staining or painting and gives good finishing. This lightweight wood is more shock-resistant than many other types of hardwood. It can be made into wood wool and does favorably well under tension.


                  Uses of Ashwood
                  • Top choice for making of sports equipment, baseball bats, pool cues, and tool handles
                  • It's suitable for decorative veneers, frames, drum shells, ladders, flooring, and cabinets


                  10. Pinewood

                    This is one of the most economical and valuable woods for pulp and other woodworks. It is soft and resists warping, shrinking, and swelling. It is a fast-growing tree with good long-lasting quality.

                    Pinewood is one of the lightest softwood you can find, but it isn't recommended for outdoor projects because it decays easily. It is easy to cut, shape, and paint. Although, it wears and tears easily when used for high traffic areas. Pinewood is a good source of turpentine.

                     different types of wood and their uses

                    Image credit: alibaba.com


                    Uses of Pinewood
                    • Ideal for all kinds of outdoor pieces of furniture
                    • Equally suitable for interior furniture, shelves, rustic furniture, wall panels, door frames and windows, pavements, and flooring


                    11. Beechwood

                      This is a type of hardwood known for its strength, durability, and density. It has colors ranging from light pink to a soft honey brown and (sometimes) red when treated under high temperatures.

                      Beechwood isn't suited for exterior use but fares well when used for indoor decorations. It rarely splits when cut and is highly workable. 


                      Uses of Beechwood
                      • Best used for indoor decorations
                      • Ideal for making plywood, cabinets, frames, joinery, veneers, and firewood



                      The warmth and beauty that comes with wood products can't be overemphasized. Wood is an amazing product to work with for all kinds of projects. It's aesthetically pleasing, easy to shape and handle, has great features. Regardless of what your wood need is, you will find one that suits you perfectly.


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