Which Wood Is Best For House Construction?

Which Wood Is Best For House Construction
Best Woods for a Timber Home Which Wood Is Best For House Construction If you’re interested in using timber to build a frame for your home, there are a wide range of options available to you. You’ll need to consider which type of wood species is right for your home, how the wood will be processed, and what finished look you’re going for.

  1. Some of the things to take into consideration when selecting the right wood species for your home include availability, sustainability, cost, strength, and suitability.
  2. We at The Moulding Company in Santa Clara, CA, have compiled information about some of the top wood species for new construction below to help you get started.

Oak The strongest and hardest timber choice, oak is an extremely popular type of wood for building timber frames in new construction. Both red oak and white oak are fast-growing and relatively abundant in North America, making it easily accessible in these areas.

White oak is more decay resistant than red oak but has a higher shrinkage rate that can contribute to difficulties when using it to construct a timber frame. Pine Pine is a very strong softwood known for flexibility and versatility. It is very abundant in much of the United States and is more affordable than oak, making it a good choice for budget-conscious construction.

Pine wood ranges from clear to knotty and comes in a blond appearance with darker streaks. It can be more susceptible to checking than other woods, meaning the grain separates and gives it a different appearance. Softwoods are also typically easy to work with in new construction, providing both flexibility and structural strength.

Cedar Cedar is lightweight and resistant to decay, making it an excellent choice for any new construction that features exposed timber. The wood holds up well under weather conditions. Plus, the aromatic oil in cedar helps ward off insects, dissuading damage from termites or other critters. That means it will likely require less maintenance over the years than other wood species used externally on your home.

Red cedar also offers a unique appearance with rich and beautiful tones. Due to its softer, lighter quality, cedar beams typically need to be larger than beams from other species of wood. Douglas fir An extremely popular wood species for use in new construction and timber frame homes, the Douglas fir is well-known for its structural strength.

It accounts for a quarter of all lumber produced and used in North America and is commonly used for key structural elements like posts and beams. Most prevalent in the Pacific Northwest, this wood species ranges in color from a reddish-brown to a lighter yellowish shade. Selecting the right wood species for your new construction ultimately depends on your own tastes and your budget.

You should talk with your builder, supply company, or the dedicated team at The Moulding Company to discover the best wood species for your application and your region. Need new construction help? : Best Woods for a Timber Home

What is the strongest wood for building?

1. Australian Buloke – 5,060 IBF – Which Wood Is Best For House Construction An ironwood tree that is native to Australia, this wood comes from a species of tree occurring across most of Eastern and Southern Australia. Known as the hardest wood in the world, this particular type has a Janka hardness of 5,060 lbf.

Which wood is best for house construction in India?

Types of wood in India: Teak wood – Teak wood is one of the best wood for furniture in India and most commonly used types of wood for furniture that is available locally. Some manufacturers also import teak wood from Burma and Ghana. In India, Kerala is one of the biggest suppliers of teak wood. Which Wood Is Best For House Construction

What wood is most used in construction?

The main types of wood used in home construction are hardwood, softwood, or engineered wood. Examples of softwood include spruce, pine, fir, cedar, and hemlock. Hardwood includes oak, teak, maple, mahogany, cherry, and walnut. Engineered wood includes the likes of plywood, MDF board, and composite board.

What is the longest lasting type of wood?

LOW MAINTENANCE AND MOISTURE-RESISTANT – The most sensible wood is both low maintenance and highly resistant to moisture, which is particularly important for outside projects such outdoor furniture, decks, and balconies. The best woods for water resistance are hardwoods that have a straight grain and dense woods that prevent moisture from penetrating a structure.

  • Among one of these options is cedar wood.
  • Cedar is insect-resistant because of its natural aromatic scent, which makes it ideal for outdoor furniture, as well as indoor furniture, such as hope chests and dressers.
  • It is also commonly used for closets, saunas, and house siding.
  • Cedar wood projects typically last more than 20 years without splitting, rotting, or warping.

White oak and teak are also long lasting woods that are resistant to decay, twisting, cracking, or warping. These low maintenance dense woods have a natural ability to repel moisture, insects, and rotting, which make them an excellent choice when building outdoor wood furniture.

Additionally, pressure treated boards such as pine are also options for longer lasting products, especially when it comes to decking, furniture, and pool enclosures. This ubiquitous material is usually less expensive and plentiful at a local lumberyard. Using furniture covers when your outdoor furniture is not in use will protect it from the elements and extend the life of your furniture.

If you have questions regarding what materials you should use for your next project or wish to learn more about which wood will provide you with the longest lasting results, let our specialists help. You may contact us either by calling (909) 920-5430 or filling out our information request form,

Which wood is waterproof in India?

1. Teak Wood – Which Wood Is Best For House Construction Other than bed frames, teak wood is also among the types of wood used for doors in India When it comes to the types of wood for furniture in India, teak wood is possibly the most commonly used. Interestingly, this isn’t only because it’s one of the types of wood found in India, specifically in Kerala.

So, what makes teak wood the best wood for furniture in India? The answer is simple. Teak wood is cost-effective and strong, which makes it ideal for crafting essential furniture such as bed frames and cabinets. It’s one of the more durable types of wood with natural waterproofing abilities, making it ideal for outdoor use as well.

If you’re looking to install wooden flooring at home among the many types of wood for furniture in India, teak wood is your best bet.

Which wood is costly in India?

Teak (Tectona grandis) is considered to be the best type of wood to make furniture as it is highly fire-resistant and durable. Teak is also one of the most expensive woods in India.

What are 3 types of wood?

Wood There are two main types of wood – hardwoods and softwoods. Hard woods Hard woods come from broad leaved trees. These trees have flowers and produce seeds such as nuts and fruit). Examples are oak, beech and mahogany. Hardwoods are denser than softwoods and are stronger and more durable too. They are used for furniture making. Beech is often used for making toys. Hardwoods are much more expensive than softwoods. For more information click here Soft woods Soft woods come from cone bearing trees. Examples are pine, redwood and fir. Softwoods can be used for furniture and doors but are mostly used in construction for roof trusses and stud partitions. For more information click here Manufactured boards Manufactured boards are processed timber. They have new and useful properties. MDF (medium density fibreboard) is now widely used. Plywood made up from alternating layers of thin sheets of wood is strong in all directions. Chipboard made from softwood chips and sawdust is cheap but only attractive when coated with melamine – used for kitchen cupboards (carcases). For more information click here

What is the strongest material for construction?

Dependable Concrete – When you compare as a building material, it’s no contest. Since people discovered that they can strengthen concrete with rebar, it’s been a top choice for all kinds of construction. You can’t beat concrete when you’re building a high rise building, it’s affordable and extremely versatile.

What wood is better than plywood?

Solid wood vs Plywood There are several things to consider, the most important of them being, Is plywood as strong as solid wood, and is spending money on solid wood furniture really worth the cost? We will come to that, but first of all, here’s a quick introduction of the two materials, so as to get on a common footing.

  1. Plywood is an engineered wood product.
  2. It’s made by glueing individual layers of plies (called veneers) over one another.
  3. These individual veneers are in turn obtained from logs by rotating them and peeling off thin layers from the logs.
  4. Solid wood on the other hand, does not need much introduction.
  5. It’s the natural wood that is obtained from trees.

The trees are first felled, and the timber logs are then cut in the saw mills to smaller sizes and these wooden blocks are then used for making furniture. Amongst the most popular solid woods are teak wood, oak wood, cherry, maple, mahogany, and indian rosewood (sheesham wood).

Strength comparison between plywood and solid wood: Solid wood is considered to be stronger compared to plywood since it is a homogeneous material. It also depends on which wood we are talking about. Good quality hardwoods (obtained from deciduous trees such as teak or sheesham) are denser, heavier and stronger compared to softwoods such as pine wood or mango wood.

Plywood on the other hand is made up of sheets that have been artificially glued together and if the ‘Glue shear strength’ is low, then the individual plies can come apart. This depends on the quality of the plywood though. The better quality plywood sheets in India are often made from hardwood veneers such as Gurjan wood, which is very stong.

  • Which one looks better? For this point also, Solid wood again scores better than plywood.
  • For example teak wood is so popular not only because its strong and durable, but also it looks nice with its straight wood grain patterns and its golden brown colour.
  • The faces of the usual commercial plywood available in local plywood shops is not decorative.
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So it requires additional cost and efforts to increase the beauty of plywood by glueing either natural wood veneers or decorative laminates (such as Sunmica or others) on its top faces. Which of the two is easier to care for? Laminated plywood surfaces are easier to maintain, because they are scratch resistant, moisture resistant and can just be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

For best results, its better to go for a laminate that has a higher thickness. Very thin laminates can get damaged and are difficult to replace. Good quality solid wood such as teak wood is water resistant, and great for outdoor furniture also. It does not require much care, though every once in a while (couple of years) it will become darker with age, and hence sanding and application of wood polish is required to help regain its original shine and colour.

Which one will last longer? Depends on the wood used in both cases. Plywood of qood quality (Waterproof grade) is better than the commercial MR grade (moisture resistant) plywood. Marine grade plywood is even better than the two of them. Better the plywood is, the longer its life will be.

The durability of solid wood depends on the wood used. Hardwood (such as teak wood or sheesham wood) is stronger and more durable than softwoods such as Mango wood or Pine wood. What about the cost? Good quality solid wood is much costlier compared to plywood. This is mainly because of the high demand and low supply.

The supply of wood from forest reserves has to be controlled and kept limited because of ecological concerns, whereas the wood from plantations takes a long time to mature. In my opinion, more than anything else, this low supply of natural wood has been the no.1 reason why newer engineered wood products such as particle boards (made from sawdust) and MDF (made from wood fibres) were able to gain a foothold in the furniture market.

  • Comparison based on the type of furniture: For furniture such as book Shelves, and wardrobe doors, plywood is not the most suitable material since it has a tendency to bend in the middle when very long pieces are used.
  • Better suited for such cases is blockboard (which is cost-effective) or solid wood.

For cabinets, solid wood is considered the best available choice, the next best can be veneered plywood or laminated plywood. For example, a solid teak wood cabinet would be better than teak veneered plywood, though it will also cost more. (A decorative veneered plywood is one, where the base material is plywood on top of which a better looking natural wood veneer has been glued).

  1. For single and double beds, diwans and settess, the material used most often is plywood.
  2. For doors, plywood is not the best choice, because of its tendency to bend.
  3. Considered better are solid core flush doors decked up with a decorative veneer, or solid wood doors.
  4. For desks, chairs and dining tables, either solid wood or plywood can work equally well.

To summarize, I would say that natural solid wood is better than plywood in most respects. The only major downside is that it costs little more. : Solid wood vs Plywood

Which engineering wood is best?

What is Engineered Wood? – As forests began to get depleted, natural wood became scarce and was difficult to source; and as a result, furniture made out of solid wood became very expensive. Different varieties of engineered wood started to be used as a substitute for solid wood which was not readily available.

Engineered wood is a composite material formed by binding strands, particles, fibers or veneers, or thin wood boards together with adhesives to make a range of products such as plywood, fibreboards, and so on. MDF, Particle Board, and Plywood are the different kinds of engineered wood that are popular in the market. Surfaces are enhanced with natural wood veneers or decorative laminates. Laminated surfaces are easier to clean and maintain since they are water-resistant, and only need to be wiped down. Veneer surfaces are similar to real wood as they are topped with a paper-thin slice of natural wood, and can be polished like real wood. Good quality engineered wood is durable and resistant to moisture. Marine ply is most suited for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Engineered wood is suitable for making modular kitchens, bookshelves, and wardrobes, and can be finished with veneers or laminates. Furniture made out of engineered wood is affordable, easy to manufacture, and durable. However, it does not match up to the timeless aesthetic appeal of solid wood.

Which Wood Is Best For House Construction

Which wood is waterproof?

The best water resistant wood types & species – Iroko, Oak, Western Red Cedar, Cherry, Maple and heat-treated woods are just a few examples of timber that boast excellent dimensional stability and high resistance to shrinking and warping in the face of moisture.

  1. To maximise their performance, these woods can be further treated with a sealant.
  2. Starting with external woods and then moving indoors, let’s explore these species in a little more detail, before touching on some finishes for your wood.
  3. All of those we select in this guide are commercially available in the UK, unlike some recommendations in guides you might find elsewhere.

So, you can be sure of it being a realistic option for your project when you enquire.

How many years wood will last?

Timber Durability – In a fully protected environment (indoors, free from moisture and protected from insect attack) most woods will last 50+ years; However, when used outdoors in above and in-ground settings, a timber’s natural durability rating can provide an indication of its expected lifespan.

Which wood is the most stable?

Wood Species Hardness and Stability Although over 90% of wood flooring that Jeffco sells is red or white oak, many other options are available for your flooring. American walnut has become a popular option because of its warm rich brown tone and beautiful patina with age.

  • But how does the specie desired affect the long-term performance and appearance of your new floor? All wood floors scratch and dent (compress).
  • The finish on your floor is just as hard as the wood under it.
  • Do not think for a second that more finish will make your wood floor harder.
  • It just doesn’t work that way.

Most polyurethane finish systems perform best with only one to three coats applied to unfinished flooring. If you desire a floor that does not scratch, then consider luxury vinyl plank (LVP), a composite material with an image of wood on top. The domestic hardwoods in order of hardness, from softest to hardest are as follows: AMERICAN CHERRY, AMERICAN BLACK WALNUT, RED OAK, BEECH, ASH, WHITE OAK, MAPLE, and HICKORY.

  • Exotic species are generally much harder than domestics, are more costly, and offer fewer color options.
  • Most exotic species are dark.

Other common wood flooring species include BAMBOO, RECLAIMED ANTIQUE HEART PINE, CARIBBEAN HEART PINE, WHITE PINE, and SOUTHERN YELLOW PINE. Vertical and horizontal bamboo are similar in hardness to oak, but the newer stranded bamboo, which offers a completely different look, is extremely hard.

Reclaimed antique heart pine and Caribbean heart pine are about as hard as oak. Although used in some restaurants, white pine and southern yellow pine are extremely soft. This may be too technical for most selecting a wood floor specie, but everyone needs to be aware that all species were not created equally.

The differences you can expect between specie may be noticed in the depth of compression marks in the wood from dog claw scratches, a pot being dropped on edge in the kitchen, or the depth of high heel compression marks from a guest with worn off heel caps.

Compression will occur, but the depth of the compression mark is determined by hardness of species. Finish wear will occur regardless of the species. As discussed, solid wood flooring expands and contracts as humidity levels change. Species differ in stability as they do in hardness, and the wider the plank, the larger the seasonal gap will be in the heating season.

Antique heart pine and American cherry are the most stable with respect to seasonal movement. Oak, walnut, and ash are average, but hickory and beech are the most unstable of domestic hardwood species. Don’t allow wood flooring stability to affect your specie selection though, the differences are minor.

Which wood floor is best?

Your Guide to the Different Types of Hardwood Flooring If you’re thinking of putting in hardwood floors, you can’t go wrong. All types of hardwood floors have unmatched natural beauty and go with any decor — modern, traditional, country, you name it. Hardwood flooring goes in any room, although kitchens and basements warrant special considerations.

  1. Unfinished hardwood flooring is a good option if you want a custom stain applied before the final finish, or if you want to match the color of existing flooring.
  2. After hardwood flooring installation and staining, the flooring is given several coats of protective finish.
  3. If you’re thinking of adding hardwood flooring in your kitchen, unfinished flooring is a good choice because the finish will penetrate and seal the seams between boards, helping to prevent water from seeping between boards.

Prefinished hardwood flooring comes from the factory already sanded and sealed, meaning the whole installation job goes quickly. There are no odors and VOCs from finishing on-site, and the floor is ready to walk on immediately. Solid hardwood flooring is all wood and is usually 5/8″ to 3/4″ thick.

  • Because it’s solid wood, it can be sanded and refinished many times.
  • However, it’s susceptible to changes in humidity, and isn’t recommended for below-grade basements.
  • Engineered hardwood flooring is a veneer of real wood glued to several layers of wood underneath, like plywood.
  • This gives engineered wood excellent stability over time and makes it a good choice for any area of your home, including below-grade basements.

Depending on the thickness of the hardwood veneer, engineered hardwood flooring can only be sanded and refinished once or twice during its lifetime. The best hardwood floors are made with wood species that are readily available and — you guessed it — very hard.

  1. Oak flooring, maple flooring and cherry flooring are all good choices.
  2. Other species include bamboo (which is actually a grass), walnut, ash and mahogany.
  3. You’ll pay a premium price for more exotic species, such as teak, jarrah and mesquite.
  4. Check to make sure the hardwood flooring you choose comes from sustainably harvested forests.
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Another option is reclaimed hardwood flooring, which you can find at salvage yards. It likely has some signs of wear and age, but you’ll pay about half what it would cost for comparable new flooring. If they don’t have what you’re looking for (and you have the time), ask to be put on a waiting list.

Salvage flooring is an especially good choice if you’re renovating an older house. Although oak still accounts for about two-thirds of all installed hardwood flooring in America, it’s losing ground to its exotic cousins. A wide range of hardwood from other countries, especially Brazil, Australia and parts of Asia, is gaining a foothold and nailing down homeowners’ interests.

“There has been a trend for several years for exotic hardwoods to grow,” says Anita Howard of the National Wood Flooring Association in Chesterfield, Mo. The number-one reason: price. “They’re more reasonable than they used to be,” she says. They’re also more available, as interest grows and lower pricing makes them more attractive.

Brazilian Cherry The seasoned wood has a russet or reddish-brown color, with a medium to somewhat coarse grain. It’s slightly more stable than red oak, but it requires a longer than normal acclimation period. It also is more difficult to saw due to its high density. Cork It comes in a spectrum of shades from light to dark and has a familiar grain that’s unlike other woods (it’s actually the bark of a type of oak tree). It’s become popular for a lot of reasons, because of its durability, sustainability and its cushioning effect underfoot. “We get a lot of calls about cork flooring. It’s very hot right now.” Bamboo Technically, bamboo is a grass, but it is considered a wood due to its hardness. Bamboo has become popular with “green” building proponents due to its rapid regrowth, which makes it highly sustainable. “You can cut it and have a fully mature tree in four years,” Howard explains. It comes in manila/yellow tones as well as dark shades. The grain pattern shows nodes from the bamboo stalks, she says. Wenge This nearly black wood, which comes from Africa, is difficult to obtain but has become popular as an accent wood. It can be hard to cut and requires carbide tools. Bubinga Burgundy in color, this African wood has a fine grain and saws easily. But it splits easily when nailed with machine tools, so hand-hammering works best. Sydney Blue Gum Over time, this wood’s color mutes from a spectrum of pink to burgundy red to become a medium brown-red. Its hardness requires carbide blades to cut.

As these differences show, exotic woods will react differently to cutting and installation techniques, as well as to the environment, Howard stresses. “It requires a professional who is familiar with the local area and its humidity and weather conditions, as well as with the wood, to install it properly.

What wood is stronger than metal?

This site uses cookies to enhance your user experience. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our COOKIE POLICY, ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN Which Wood Is Best For House Construction Credit: Courtesy of Liangbing Hu/University of Maryland Liangbing Hu holds pieces of super wood made by removing lignin from and compressing basswood. The super wood is as strong as steel yet lightweight, making it ideal for structural uses. Regular old wood becomes a wonder material in Liangbing Hu’s laboratory.

What wood is the hardest to break?

This scale measures and ranks the relative hardness of wood. Hickory is the hardest, commercially available common wood. Next in line are pecan, hard maple and white oak.

Which is the toughest wood?

What’s the Hardest Wood in the World? The thing about trees is that there are a lot of different kinds of them. found something more than 60,000 different species in the world, and this does not even include plants we think of as trees, but that are secretly something else (like all the species of, which are more closely related to grasses than oaks).

My local lumberyard stocks wood from a tiny percentage of the world’s trees, but still felt overwhelming. Pine, oak, cedar, maple, walnut, poplar—I just wanted to make a garden bed. A quick search told me that cedar is a good option, owing to its resistance to rot. Sure. One way to get familiar with something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question.

If they’re good-natured, they’ll help, and half the time you find out that that really stupid question wasn’t actually stupid at all. Enter wood expert Eric Meier, who runs the and has written several encyclopedic books about the subject. So I asked him what the world’s hardest wood is. Which Wood Is Best For House Construction There are many many ways that wood can fail, and experts test a lot of them. Geraint Rowland Photography/Getty Images These measure all the different ways you can destroy a piece of wood. You can bend it until it splinters, either with or against the grain.

  • You can try to pull it apart from both ends.
  • You can twist it.
  • You can stack heavy stuff on it and see how much weight it can take before it busts out the sides, and how long that takes.
  • You can perform repetitive tasks with it until it eventually undergoes “complete failure.” There are tests for each of these, some of them with better data than others, and those tests can all be done carefully and scientifically, although some are a little silly.

To measure “impact bending,” you drop a hammer onto a piece of wood from increasing heights. Hardness is just one of these measurements. What hardness measures is not, though it can be related to, scratch-resistance, strength against bending, or how much weight it can carry. Which Wood Is Best For House Construction Wood carving involves very carefully and artfully making wood fail. Kelly Cheng Travel Photography/Getty Images To measure hardness, the standard test is called the Janka test, named for its creator, Gabriel Janka. Janka worked for the USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory, and his test was formalized by the American Society for Testing and Materials, which creates standards for tests like these.

  1. You take a steel ball, precisely 0.44 inches in diameter, and put a little belt around its equator.
  2. Then you take a piece of wood and press that ball into it.
  3. When the ball is pressed halfway in—up to the belt—the test is over, and your Janka score is the amount of force it took to get there.
  4. This test is, though, far more complicated than that.

The wood being tested has to be at precisely 12 percent moisture content. It has to be two inches thick, two inches wide, and six inches long. The test has to be performed on each side of this block, for a total of six scores, which are then averaged. The wood must be free of knots.

  • The ball should be pressed down at a rate of 0.25 inches per minute.
  • The wood must come from the main trunk of the tree, rather than any branches.
  • The Janka rating tends to be correlated very strongly with plain old density, which makes sense; the denser the wood, the harder it is to press a steel ball into it.

But how useful is this test, really? How much does it matter how many pounds of force it takes to slowly press a ball into wood? “I think that’s one thing that people tend to oversimplify, like, ‘Oh, we’ll just take hardness and that’ll be a measure of the strength or quality of the wood in general,'” says Meier.

  1. But that Janka test is not only incredibly specific, it’s also not necessarily representative.
  2. Hardness is a rather specific attribute: resistance to indentation.
  3. First off, not all wood has precisely 12 percent water content.
  4. For many types of wood, you’re unlikely to be using completely knot-free samples.

Wood has different measurements in different trees and in different parts of the same tree, even different parts of a single trunk. And the measurements will vary depending on how long ago the tree was cut down. But that doesn’t mean the Janka score is useless.

  1. It’s actually most ideal for flooring, though it’s an imperfect test, because most of the concern would be from impact,” says Meier.
  2. Higher Janka scores do correlate, generally, with more resistance to scratching and denting, and theoretically that could make for a more durable floor.
  3. It definitely is part of the marketing for flooring and decking,” says Meier, but it’s really just one piece of the puzzle.

Besides, above a certain level—and not even a particularly high level—you’re unlikely to see much difference in the durability of your floors at all. Most scratching and denting you’ll see in a hardwood floor isn’t even the wood itself, but the finish on top of the wood. Which Wood Is Best For House Construction Australian buloke is a very hard wood as well, sometimes called the hardest. Courtesy Eric Meier/The Wood Database If you search around, you’ll commonly see a tree called the Australian buloke listed as the “hardest tree in the world.” Meier doubts this.

While one source does list the buloke’s Janka score at an incredible 5,060 lbf (pounds of force), another source Meier found clocks in at half that—and the first source, the huge one, doesn’t specify who did the testing, where, or when. Even if that one measurement was correct, Meier doesn’t think it’s likely to be representative of the species as a whole.

Maybe it was just one insanely hard piece of wood. Maybe it had a far lower moisture content than the standard 12 percent, and drier wood is harder. Who knows? There’s quite a bit of doubt around that figure. Meier’s own list ranks quebracho, with a Janka score of 4,570 lbf, as the hardest wood in the world.

  1. Quebracho is found in Paraguay and Argentina.
  2. Also on the list is the lignum-vitae (a small shrub from the Caribbean, and Central and South America), gidgee (an Australian tree that apparently smells like rotting cabbage), snakewood (an extravagantly patterned Latin American tree), and camelthorn (a dangerous spiked tree from southern Africa).

Most of the hardest woods in the world share a set of characteristics. They are typically from tropical or subtropical zones; woods tend to get harder the closer you get to the equator. (Some of the world’s softest woods, such as pine and hemlock, grow well in cold climates. Which Wood Is Best For House Construction The very hard quebracho tree has been extensively logged in its native range in South America. Christian Ostrosky/Alamy The other big thing these trees have in common is that, almost without exception, you should be very wary of purchasing them. Quebracho has been extensively logged.

  • That 85 percent of the quebracho trees in Argentina were cut down in the last century or so.
  • African blackwood, or mpingo, has been overharvested as well, though it’s listed only as “near threatened” by the IUCN, but conservation groups doubt that data.
  • Estimates of mpingo populations, extraction rates and remaining habitat are, for the most part, guesswork,”,
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The idea of sustainable lumber can work, sort of, to a point, with specific species of tree. Fast-growing trees can be grown in reasonably environmentally friendly ways—pine, spruce, fir, that kind of thing. Tropical hardwoods, though, those extremely slow-growing varieties, simply can’t be replaced as quickly.

There are ethical certification labels, the biggest being the Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC. FSC creates standards, sometimes though not always specific to each country, that forest managers can meet in order to get FSC certification, which allows them to charge more. Those standards include all kinds of stuff: how much is being cut versus replanted, maintaining habitat for native species, water cleanliness, protecting the rights of Indigenous communities, and many more.

FSC doesn’t itself inspect forests. They rely on various auditing companies to do that. (This often results in auditors competing with each other for business, which has occasionally led to some fudged certifications, though FSC does have an additional service that audits the auditors.) “There are anywhere from approximately 300 to 400 requirements that they’re looking at,” says Brad Kahn, FSC’s communications director.

  • FSC is a little bit like the certified organic label, in that it’s not perfect, or even especially great, but it’s kind of all there is to tell consumers anything about the ethics or sustainability of these products.
  • There isn’t nearly enough research on this, but studies have shown mixed results with regard to how well FSC-certified forests do, in the long run, compared with non-certified forests.

“I’m not trying to make excuses, but, you know, I’m the communications guy, always looking for good positive stories,” says Kahn. “And we have lots of them. But it’s never as simple as I want it to be.” Which Wood Is Best For House Construction Pecan trees are a hard wood variety found in the United States. Philip Gould/Getty Images Whether you should actually buy any of these tropical hardwoods is not a question with an easy answer. “On the one hand, we absolutely need to create an economic model that keeps tropical forest as tropical forest,” says Kahn.

  • Some of the FSC-certified managers are small, Indigenous communities that rely on the sale of a small number of tropical hardwood trees to survive.
  • The other option might be to sell the land to, say, an agricultural operation that wants to burn the whole thing down to graze cattle.
  • On the other hand, shipping,” says Kahn.

“Shipping tropical hardwoods halfway around the world because of somebody’s aesthetic choice, arguably, we should be looking at that with a more skeptical eye in the era of Anthropocene climate change.” The United States, being a ridiculously varied country when it comes to climate and ecosystem, has plenty of excellent hardwoods.

There’s the Osage orange, originally from Texas but now found nationwide. Pecan (and other hickory trees) in the Southeast. Black locust from Appalachia. Desert ironwood, in Southern California and Arizona. Flowering dogwood, spanning most of the East Coast. These are, despite their presence right here, not always easy to source, but several of these very hard hardwoods are even available FSC-certified.

So, don’t go seek out quebracho wood. It’s enough just to know it’s there, in all its incredibly hard glory. : What’s the Hardest Wood in the World?

What is the most durable hard wood?

Most Durable Hardwood Flooring – Ebony, cherry, live oak, or bamboo are the most durable choices. These extremely hard woods (and wood-like bamboo) wear well and are more resistant to minor damage than other options.

What wood has highest compression strength?

3.Wood Strength (You are here.) – ● 4. Nature of Wood Resources Looking for something? Try these navigation aids: ● Site Map ● Site Index ● Search the Workshop Companion Something to share? Please: ● Contact Us!


hen building with wood, consider how each part will bear the load that will be placed upon it. Also consider how the wood joints will transfer the loads from part to part. GRAIN DIRECTION AND STRENGTH To take full advantage of a woods strength, pay attention to the grain direction. Wood is a natural polymer parallel strands of cellulose fibers held together by a lignin binder. These long chains of fibers make the wood exceptionally strong they resist stress and spread the load over the length of the board. Furthermore, cellulose is tougher than lignin. Its easier to split a board with the grain (separating the lignin) than it is to break it across the grain (separating the cellulose fibers). Remember this when you lay out the parts of a project. Always orient the grain so the fibers support the load. Whenever possible, cut the parts so the grain is continuous, running the length of the board. This also applies to wood joinery! When cutting a tenon, for example, the wood grain must run the length of the tenon and the board so the grain is continuous. The wood grain in the legs of this pedestal table runs parallel to the longest dimension to make the legs as strong as possible. Were the grain to run parallel or perpendicular to the pedestal, the legs would be weak at the ankles. A “three-point” test to measure bending strength. Straight-grained boards are stronger than those with uneven grain, knots, and other defects. Parts such as shelves will support a heavier load if the weight rests on straight grain. SPECIFIC GRAVITY When strength is paramount, grain direction may not be your only consideration. Some species of wood are naturally stronger than others. Chairmakers, for example, typically use maple, birch, and hickory for legs, rungs, and spindles. These parts are fairly slender, and weaker woods wont hold up. A good indicator of a woods strength is its density the weight for a given volume. This is measured by its specific gravity the weight of a volume of wood divided by the weight of the same volume of water. Generally, the higher the ratio, the denser and stronger the wood. This is not always the case, but specific gravity is a useful reference nonetheless. ADDITIONAL MEASUREMENTS OF STRENGTH In some woodworking situations, strength is an ambiguous term. To say oak is strong doesnt tell you whether an oak shelf will sag when loaded with heavy objects, or whether its surface is hard enough to resist scratches and dents. You may need better information. Engineers have devised ways to measure specific types of strength.

Compressive strength tells you how much of a load a wood species can withstand parallel to the grain. How much weight will the legs of a table support before they buckle? Bending strength (also known as the modulus of rupture) shows the load the wood can withstand perpendicular to the grain. How much weight can you hang on a peg? The stiffness or modulus of elasticity indicates how much the wood will deflect when a load is applied perpendicular to the grain. How far will those shelves sag? The hardness reveals how resistant the surface of the wood is to scratches, dents, and other abuse. How long will that kitchen counter stay looking new and unmarred?

To compare the strengths and specific gravities of common domestic and imported woods, refer to the charts below in Relative Wood Strengths, Wood has several kinds of strength. For a rough, general estimate of strength, refer to the specific gravity or density of the wood. When you need more detailed information, there are additional choices. Engineers measure the compressive strength by loading a block of wood parallel to the grain until it breaks, and the bending strength by loading a block perpendicular to the grain. Both are measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Stiffness is determined by applying a load to a beam until it deflects a certain amount, and its measured in millions of pounds per square inch (Mpsi). To find hardness, engineers drive a metal ball halfway into the woods surface. The force used is recorded in pounds (lb). In each case, the higher the number, the stronger the wood. NORTH AMERICAN HARDWOODS

Wood Species Specific Gravity* Compressive Strength (psi) Bending Strength (psi) Stiffness (Mpsi) Hardness (lb)
Alder, Red 0.41 5,820 9,800 1.38 590
Ash 0.60 7,410 15,000 1.74 1,320
Aspen 0.38 4,250 8,400 1.18 350
Basswood 0.37 4,730 8,700 1.46 410
Beech 0.64 7,300 14,900 1.72 1,300
Birch, Yellow 0.62 8,170 16,600 2.01 1,260
Butternut 0.38 5,110 8,100 1.18 490
Cherry 0.50 7,110 12,300 1.49 950
Chestnut 0.43 5,320 8,600 1.23 540
Elm 0.50 5,520 11,800 1.34 830
Hickory 0.72 9,210 20,200 2.16
Maple, Hard 0.63 7,830 15,800 1.83 1,450
Maple, Soft 0.54 6,540 13,400 1.64 950
Oak, Red 0.63 6,760 14,300 1.82 1,290
Oak, White 0.68 7,440 15,200 1.78 1,360
Poplar 0.42 5,540 10,100 1.58 540
Sassafras 0.46 4,760 9,000 1.12
Sweetgum 0.52 6,320 12,500 1.64 850
Sycamore 0.49 5,380 10,000 1.42 770
Walnut 0.55 7,580 14,600 1.68 1,010


Wood Species Specific Gravity* Compressive Strength (psi) Bending Strength (psi) Stiffness (Mpsi) Hardness (lb)
Cedar, Aromatic Red 0.47 6,020 8,800 0.88 900
Cedar, Western Red 0.32 4,560 7,500 1.11 350
Cedar, White 0.32 3,960 6,500 0.80 320
Cypress 0.46 6,360 10,600 1.44 510
Fir, Douglas 0.49 7,230 12,400 1.95 710
Hemlock 0.45 7,200 11,300 1.63 540
Pine, Ponderosa 0.40 5,320 9,400 1.29 460
Pine, Sugar 0.36 4,460 8,200 1.19 380
Pine, White 0.35 4,800 8,600 1.24 380
Pine, Yellow 0.59 8,470 14,500 1.98 870
Redwood 0.35 5,220 7,900 1.10 420
Spruce, Sitka 0.40 5,610 10,200 1.57 510


Wood Species Specific Gravity* Compressive Strength (psi) Bending Strength (psi) Stiffness (Mpsi) Hardness (lb)
Bubinga 0.71 10,500 22,600 2.48 2,690
Jelutong 0.36 3,920 7,300 1.18 390
Lauan 0.40 7,360 12,700 1.77 780
Mahogany, African 0.42 6,460 10,700 1.40 830
Mahogany, Honduras 0.45 6,780 11,500 1.50 800
Purpleheart 0.67 10,320 19,200 2.27 1,860
Rosewood, Brazilian 0.80 9,600 19,000 1.88 2,720
Rosewood, Indian 0.75 9,220 16,900 1.78 3,170
Teak 0.55 8,410 14,600 1.55 1,000

After kiln-drying. Specific gravity may be slightly higher in green wood. Rating not available species has not been tested. Back to the top *Indicates that you can enlarge a photo by clicking on it. To reveal the information in a “Superphoto,” first enlarge it and then move the cursor over it.

Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be without wood.” Eric Sloane in Reverence for Wood