Know the types of woods and their best usage in furniture | homify

Know the types of woods and their best usage in furniture

Vartika Gupta Vartika Gupta
Cantina in stile asiatico di uttara and adwait furniture Asiatico
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In India you are spoiled for choices in wood. There are so many varieties of wood, and the wood craftsmen are so talented and detail oriented they can create anything out of any type wood. Though this sounds pretty interesting, but it also does make it vital for you to understand the types of wood, their properties, their strengths and their weaknesses in order to make the best use of it. You could discuss with an interior designer, and decide which type of wood to use where, but it is a good idea to have a fair knowledge yourself.

Basically wood is classified into two main types, softwood and hardwood. Softwood is the wood that is derived from evergreen trees like cedar, pine, balsam etc. Hardwood is the wood that is derived from flowering trees like Teak, Sheesham (Indian Rosewood), Sal, etc.

In this ideabook, we will take you through the types of wood and their properties, their advantages and disadvantages and where exactly in your house should you use it, for the best balance between durability, beauty and cost effectiveness.

First things first, before we dive in the types of woods, it is important to understand why the cost of woods differ? The cost of wood depends on its availability, its strength, its resistance to moisture and parasites. Also it is important to remember that wood needs to be thoroughly seasoned before use, to make it long lasting.

Walnut wood

Walnut wood is native mostly to the region of Kashmir. Walnut wood is dark in color and allows intricate carvings that makes it a popular choice in making ornamental furniture. Walnut wood shines with polish and is used to create doors, partitions, furniture and even fruit bowls. Have a look at these 7 tips to take care of furniture material at home.

Teak wood

Teak wood is predominant in the southern state of Kerala, but to suffice the demand of such a wood loving nation, Teak is also imported from Myanmar and a few other countries. Teak wood is very close grained, which makes it look beautiful with just polish. Teak is hard, strong and pretty resistant to moisture, and is able to take detailed carvings.Teak wood is used to make carved beds, dining chairs and sofas with intricate royal carvings. Teak shines to a smooth finish and can be easily maintained with just a coat of polish.

Teak wood laminates are very popular for making doors and cabinets owing to its close grains that give a very earthen and natural feel to the room.You should use teak wood for Interior Doors, Sofa, Bed, Chairs, Study Table etc. Here are 10 wooden furniture perfect for your home.

White Cedar or Marindi

Marindi wood is also often known as the white cedar wood, and is a light colored rough wood that has a lot of strength. White cedar or Marindi is used to create the infrastructure of sofas that are to be completely covered with upholstery, and the dining chairs which are to be upholstered. Marindi is relatively cheap, and also comes in various grades owing to the quality. White Cedar might not be a great looking wood but it is very effective in terms of strength and load bearing and hence is a popular choice of the furniture makers. Marindi wood is used in raw form when creating the framework of furniture that will be covered with fabric. It can however be polished and used when required, though it does not show much grains or color.


Indian Mahogany is also dark like sheesham (Indian Rosewood), and looks almost as good but is more prominently available, and hence lesser in cost as compared to Indian Rosewood or sheesham. Indian Mahogany is comparatively lighter, and is used for its wonderful acoustic properties in the back sides of guitar. Indian Mahogany is widely available in a tropical country like India in the north eastern states. Indian Mahogany centre tables, TV units and and wall decor are a great idea for Indian homes which will not load it too much, and be cost effective at the same time. Mahogany takes on polish quite naturally and is resistant to termites. Here are some clever tips to restore your wooden furniture.


Sal wood is an extremely strong wood available in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and a few more states. Sal wood's special property is that it gets stronger as it ages. Sal wood's limitation is that it has cracks on its surface, which makes it a little hard to polish. It however works perfectly will will just a protective coating and is a great choice for door frames, window frames and staircases.

Sal wood is termite resistant, but does need to be seasoned very well, or it can bend/twist if not seasoned properly. Here are a few ideas to paint your furniture in style.

Pine wood

Pine is a hard wood, and is used in making door frames, window frames and furniture. Pine wood is rough, and does not finish to the smoothness of teak or rosewood. Pine wood has coarse grains, and is great for making patterns on furniture. See how to choose your bedroom furniture.

Deodar wood

One of the most popular woods for cost effective furniture in India is Deodar. Deodar wood has annual rings and is a little rough and very strong, and hence it is very commonly used to create furniture, structural work and even packing boxes. Here are 25 pictures of wooden furniture for Indian households.

Indian Rosewood or Sheesham

Last but definitely not the least is the Indian Rosewood or Sheesham. Indian rosewood is dark in color, and very hard and durable. It is considered to be ornamental owing the deep color and texture. Sheesham is used for making intricate, detailed designs with see through cutting (called the jali work) owing to its strength that does not gets compromised even when in net form. Indian rosewood or sheesham has dark veins, and reddish brown color makes it look rich and grainy.

Sheesham is abundantly found in south India, predominantly in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.

Hope you have got a fair idea of the types of woods and their efficient usage in your home!

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