It's been ingrained into all of us - solid wood is king. However, with so many different types of wood, how can you tell which is best for your home? Your lifestyle, taste and budget all come into play.
Is ash better for high quality furniture, or is walnut the best wood for furniture? Many of us carry around little nuggets of information that may or may not be correct. Maybe our grandfather raved about the benefits of oak, or we've watched so much HGTV that only shiplap will do for those handcrafted heirlooms.
It's okay to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of wood species. After all, there are thousands out there! Here is how to choose wood based premium factors that matter to you - grain, color, durability and sheer conversation starting appeal:
Ash. Known for its strength, resistance to dents and chips but with plenty of elasticity, ash is a popular pick for high-traffic pieces. It's easy to polish, fast to dry, and acids don't stand a chance against it, making ash perfect for a kitchen table or bathroom vanity. Ash is used to make some of the best baseball bats in the world, including the 1951 "hot heard around the world". However, an insatiable little beetle is now threatening ash groves in New York which make these bat beauties (so, you know, get it before it's gone!). The subtle grains blend with any decor, and the natural lightness of the wood make it simple to stain nearly any color.
Walnut. This true hardwood is considered one of the best types of wood for good reason. Those traditional grains, extreme durability and easy maintenance are perfect for any type of furniture. Its toughness means it can handle raucous parties (or the arrival of kids), and the straight grain lines provide a uniform appearance. Harry Potter tried out a walnut want in 1991, so you know the wood's magical. Walnut naturally comes in a variety of colors from fair to nearly black.
Cedar. A classic for chests, the warmth and addictive smell of cedar is a great match for much more than "just" a storage unit. Cedar has developed its own defenses to ward off rot, temperature swings and insects so it can handle humidity and moisture without any cracks or complaints. It doesn't shrink or expand, warp or waver. Featuring a fine grain and a naturally warm hue, it's the perfect pop of color for a statement piece - and it can manage any spilled beverage. No coasters required.
Oak. With over 600 types of oak trees and shrubs, saying you like "oak" can mean hundreds of things. Like walnut, oak wood for furniture is very tough, durable and can easily last a lifetime with basic care. Solid and dense, oak is very heavy and it's easy for oak furniture to dominate a room. Don't let the trauma of your parents' house in the 1980s and 90s turn you off from this gorgeous wood. With striking, often standout, grains, this wood can be elegant and very luxe in the right woodcrafter's hands.
Cherry. Sweeten up your digs with this strong wood. Its rich, warm hue is often paired with luxury-laden and elegant pieces. Subtle, wavering grains offer a touch of texture to the otherwise lavish reddish hues. Similar to copper, cherry wood "patinas" over time, the red naturally deepening. You'll find cherry embraced in east Asian-inspired designs as well as the simplicity of Amish furniture. Want to see the ultimate in cherry decor? Check out "the famous cherry wood bar", also known as The Irma, if you've ever in Cody, Wyoming.
From pine to beech and everything in between, your furniture's wood says a lot about you - make sure it's all rave reviews. Once you find your perfect match, treat your piece right.
Wood Care Tips
A reputable craftsman and furniture supplier will always provide care and maintenance tips for your latest conversation starter. They want you to love your latest addition for life. Every wood type might have slightly different care approaches, but here are some basics to keep in mind:
1. Always dust damp. Usually, water and a soft wool or microfiber cloth is all you need. For sticky stains, mix warm water with gentle liquid soap. Dry cloths can scratch fragile furniture (which is why it's always a good idea to go with a durable wood!).
2.Don't spray directly onto wood. A spray dust and furniture polish should be used sparingly. A well-crafted piece of furniture won't need such touch-ups. However, if and when you do spray anything from polish to water, spray on the cloth, not the furniture.
3. Keep wood away from heat and light. Sunlight and extreme heat can damage even the toughest wood over time. Steer clear of windows, skylights and hot tools or appliances.
4. And the most important tips of all? Have fun and let yourself fall in love with a piece that speaks to you. The Dovetail Collection offers a gorgeous selection of high-quality wood and craftsmanship that really is the whole package - plenty of brawn, an excess of beauty, and a lasting look that you'll love showing off.