Hardwood Species Guide

Choosing a Wood Species for Your Furniture

Selecting a wood for your new furniture may seem intimidating, but don't worry, we're here to help! This guide explains the features and differences between hardwood furniture options including Brown Maple, Cherry, Hard Maple, Hickory, Oak, and Quarter Sawn White Oak. More questions? Give us a call to talk with a specialist. Already figured out your wood choice? View our hardwood furniture stain options.

Select a Wood:

Janka Hardness Scale

In our wood description below, we include the numbers from the Janka Hardness Scale. What do we mean by, “Janka Hardness Scale”? This test measures the force needed to embed a 0.444-inch steel ball up to half its diameter into a piece of the wood. The hardwood industry uses this scale to gauge how effective each type of hardwood will be in tolerating normal wear and denting. The Janka hardness number also indicates how much effort it will take to nail and saw a specific wood type. The higher the number, the tougher the wood.

Amish craftsman making wood furniture in a wood shop

Brown Maple Wood

Brown Maple Solid Wood Grain Pattern

Cherry & Rustic Cherry Wood

The difference between Rustic Cherry vs Cherry can be summed in 'grain variation'. In Rustic Cherry furniture, there is more grain variation allowed. Meaning, small grain burls and even small knots are allowed. Because there is less waste using Rustic Cherry, the cost is less than regular Cherry. In many cases, our customers want this variation and cost savings and prefer the Rustic Cherry.

Cherry Wood and Rustic Cherry Solid Wood Grain Pattern

Quarter Sawn White Oak Wood

Just like with Cherry, we can build our furniture out of regular Quarter Sawn White Oak (QSWO) or Rustic Quarter Sawn White Oak. The difference can again be summed in 'grain variation'. In Rustic QSWO furniture, there is more grain variation allowed. Small grain imperfections, burls and even small knots are allowed. In many cases, Rustic QSWO costs less than Regular QSWO. Many of our customers want this grain variation and cost savings and prefer the Rustic QSWO.

Quarter Sawn White Oak Solid Wood Grain Pattern

What is Quarter Sawn White Oak?

The term 'quarter-sawn' actually refers to how the log is milled. Quarter sawing is a type of cut in the sawing of logs into lumber. The log is cut once, then turned a quarter turn and cut again. The resulting grain pattern on White Oak is a very tight grain with horizontal 'flakes' called tiger stripes. This grain pattern has been widely preferred for generations.

Reclaimed Barnwood: Smooth vs Rough Sawn

Our reclaimed wood is not distressed new wood. It's literally pulled from an old barn. We take a 100+ year old antique, rework it, and make it last for another 100 years. Each piece is unique with nail holes, knots, and all sorts of rustic charm. Both the smooth and rough sawn barnwood are shown below with natural finish. You can also mix or match on any piece of reclaimed wood furniture (ie. smooth top, rough legs).

Reclaimed Wood Rough Sawn and Smooth Grain Pattern Comparison

Elm Hardwood Grain Pattern

Hard Maple Hardwood Grain Pattern

Hickory Hardwood Grain Pattern

Oak Hardwood Grain Pattern

Walnut Hardwood Grain Pattern

All set with your wood choice?