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The 4 most used types of wood for furniture

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Be it because you’re looking to add the warm and natural touch of wood in your home, or because you’re looking for an aesthetic and lasting material, there are some details you should know about this type of furniture and decoration before taken them home with you. Withstanding your desire some more minutes won’t be difficult, and it will really be worth it. After all, good things take time.

In order to choose a wooden piece of furniture (if it’s handmade, the better), it is basic that you know the different types of wood which can be used in its making and the properties each one has. It is more probable that you get your purchase completely right, since depending on the use you want to give it you will need a different type of wood, as it happens with outdoors furniture.

Los 4 tipos de madera para muebles más usados

Knowing what type of wood it is not only does it tell you what qualities and properties they give the piece of furniture, but also provides you with very valuable information about its departure point and origin of that material. This information is especially important if you don’t want to contribute to the deforestation and deterioration processes which are putting at risk the health of both people and the planet with your purchase. At Hannun we encourage you, now and always, to be part of the change towards a conscious and responsible consumption model.

Having made these two reasons clear, and maybe insisting again in that you can provoke a positive impact on the society and the environment much more significantly than you can imagine, now we’ll tell you everything you must know about the main types of wood which are used to make furniture.


To refer to different types of wood, we talk about two main categories: hardwood and softwood. It is a first classification which helps us segment the different types of wood there are and, although on some occasions it keeps a direct relation with the wood’s hardness degree, it’s not always the case.

That is, not necessarily they are harder or softer types of wood. Thus, another aspect you should take into account when we talk about hardwood or softwood is that one type is not better than the other. One again, it has to do with what we are looking for and to choose the category in which we can find better options which fill our need.


Hardwood proceeds from angiosperm tress such as maples, oaks or chestnut tress, which have flowers, seeds and fruits. Another characteristic of these trees is that they are deciduous and, so, they lose their leaves when winter arrives. Being it a slow growing variety, the price of this type of wood is usually higher than that of softwood. Generally, it is thicker and more resistant, proper for its use outdoors.


On the contrary, softwood comes from gymnosperms tress such as pine trees and fir trees, with no flowers, seeds or fruits. The quick growing and the sowing easiness which are inherent to this variety of tress make them the favourite and most used in the making of wooden furniture. Therefore, they are more economical wood types, but which require to be treated more carefully than hardwood.


Now that you know what the difference between hardwood and softwood is, we have selected the two most representative types of each category so you can value which is the one that best suits you: they are pine tree and fir tree wood and walnut tree and olive tree, respectively.

Pine tree wood

Pine tree wood is one of the best known and used in the making of furniture. It has very good properties and qualities for handcraft work, such as flexibility, lightness and relative endurance. Within this variety there are many different pine species (Scots pine, maritime pine, ponderosa pine, black pine, Monterey pine…), each one with its own characteristics and uses.

Besides, it is a tree which is abundant in nature and of an easy repopulation, so its impact on environment is minimum as long as we can assure that its origin is sustainable. The FSC and PEFC will give you the key to know if this wood has been extracted in a respectful and responsible way.

It being a softwood type, the use of the pine is more suitable indoors with a lesser exposition to weather conditions. However, it is possible to treat this type of wood with eco-friendly varnishes or any other type of products to provide it with a greater endurance before humidity and outdoors. The knots in the wood, generally whitish, are characteristic of the pine tree and provide the piece with a unique and personal style.

Mesa de comedor Umay - Mueble de pino

Fir tree wood

Light, with a characteristic light colour and the proper endurance, fir tree wood is another of the favourite options for many decoration pieces and indoors furniture. As it happens with pine tree, there are different species of fir tree, each one having its own characteristics and uses, although all of them have an homogeneous wood aspect in common. When it comes to handle it, the craftsmen must be carful if they use screws or any other elements which could scratch or damage the wood.

On the other side, it a difficult to coat wood type, so it not usual to treat it with varnishes or special treatments and, generally, it is characteristic of furniture with a natural style or finish.

Espejo Amarie - Mueble de abeto

Walnut tree wood

Walnut tree wood is one of the most appreciated for the making of furniture. It is considered as one of the most resistant and lasting types of wood, with a characteristic colour between reddish and dark coffee and a marbled fibre which provide it with an original aspect and which distinguish it even more from the rest of wood types. Despite being a strong and robust type of wood, its touch is smooth and can be handled easily, even with handmade techniques. The absorption of varnishes and natural dyes to get different finishes is also characteristic of this type of wood.

It is not difficult to sense that it is a type of wood which is more expensive in the market due to its high quality and elegant aspect.

Olive tree wood

We reserve the last place on this list for one of our favourite types of wood, especially for craft work. It is olive tree wood, considered one of the hardest and most resistant types of wood and which is greatly appreciated for its beautiful irregular marble and imperfections. It is frequently used for headboards, tables, shelves or for decoration objects.

This wood type resists years of daily and intensive use, so it is also employed in kitchens and bathrooms. It also resists scratches and blows well, and its low porosity makes it a practically waterproof surface, though which liquids don’t soak. Nevertheless, we are talking about a slow growing tree, and whose compact shape and size make it difficult to extract big pieces out of it. These two characteristics of the olive tree, together with the unique aspect of its wood, make it a very precious type of wood. Inevitably, we will have to consider that this will be shown on the price of our piece of furniture, but without losing worth.

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