Criteria to consider when researching wood for furniture
Choosing the right kind of wood for your home may be a daunting task especially if you have never given much thought to the various kinds of wood out there as well as their uniqueness. Gone are those days when we would simply buy wood only after we have verified whether they are hard or soft. Choosing wood for a home has gone beyond just considering the hardness of that wood.
These days, factors to consider when deciding which wood deserves to be a part of your home are grain, colour, strength and value for money. Another factor that cannot be overlooked is whether you are trying to produce indoor furniture or outdoor furniture pieces. The latter factor is an absolute determinant in the choice of wood you end up with because the kinds of wood used for indoor furniture are most often not the same as those used for outdoor furniture and it all boils down to durability.
Types of wood for furniture on the market
An abundance of wood types abounds. Mahogany, birch, ash, oak maple, walnut are examples of hardwood while typical softwoods include: pine, spruce, cedar, fir. Sometimes, a typical softwood may not be exactly soft and a hardwood may be soft all the same. This is the more reason why extra attention is paid especially when choosing wood for outdoor furniture which require durable woods due to exposure to rain, sun and humidity. In South East Asia, tropical woods types are also available: durian wood (do note that is does not smell like the fruits that it bears!), coconut wood as well as mango wood are used to make furniture across many countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.
At Kulture, we do offer products make from such woods. For instance, we recently made this wood trunk bench (made to order) for one of our customers:
Teak wood is king
An example of a very durable wood which is excellent for outdoor furniture as well as indoor furniture is the teak wood. Teak wood is prized over oak and some other woods because of its excellent durability and elegance. The teak wood contains natural oils and rubber which it retains after being felled and even processed. This is what gives teak wood its great natural weather-resistant property which other woods cannot contend. In addition to this, the teak wood is able to withstand attack from fungi, parasites and rot. Therefore, oiling or treatments are not needed to maintain furniture produced from the teak wood.
Another exciting property of teak is how its colour changes from honey brown to an elegant silver grey after a long period of time. Now picture how beautiful your outdoor furniture pieces would continue even after a long time and more, how you can cut the cost of maintenance. Teak wood is one of Indonesia’s most valuable natural resource and so the quality of teak from that region is top grade.
Teak wood mirrors from Bali
Is suar wood a good alternative to teak?
Another type of wood you would want to add to your collection especially for the creation of indoor furniture pieces is suar wood. Suar is a species from the Albizia family and it makes for an excellent wood in the making of tables, console tables, stands, mirror frames, chests and a host of others. Suar wood possess straight grains with coarse textures and is known for its sturdiness and strength for heavy uses. Each layer of this wood is multi-coloured making it awesome for pattern-designed furniture. Indonesia is also home to suar wood.
Suar wood is less expensive than teak wood, however, it requires mild wood oil and soft cloth for maintenance.
A great example of suar wood panels incorporated into a door (thank you to our customer for sending the photo)
So when next you are either up for creating furniture for that awesome backyard or for a cosy room, remember that teak wood and suar wood are most likely your best shots!