Friday, 8 June 2018

Difference Between Softwood and Hardwood

Many people are often confused when it comes to softwood and hardwood, thinking that softwood means that it is soft, and hardwood means that it is hard. Though the names don’t relate to the hardness or density of the wood but rather how the grows and he plant reproduction. For example, balsa wood is one of the lightest, least dense woods and is easy to manufacture, although it is actually considered a hardwood.

All trees reproduce by producing seeds although the seed structures vary between the types of tree. Hardwood trees are angiosperms, which produce seeds with some sort of covering. This could be a fruit, such as an apple or a hard shell, like an acorn. Softwoods on the other hand are gymnosperms which means that the trees let the seeds fall to the ground as they are, with no form of covering. Most of their seeds are released into the wind once they mature which means that the seed is spread over a wider area.

What Does This mean for Bedroom Furniture?

Hardwoods are more likely to be found in high-quality furniture, decks, flooring and construction that needs to last for a long time and withstand wear and tear. Most hardwoods have a higher density than softwoods, and so are harder to work with. Hardwood has a slower growth rate, which therefore means that it is typically more expensive than softwoods. There are more rings in hardwood which means that it is typically more work that needs to be done to manufacture your products.

Due to the nature of softwood and the fact that they are readily available, it means that there is more softwood production than hardwood. Around 80% of timber comes from softwood and there are a wide range of applications for them. Some of these being building components like windows and doors, furniture, MDF, paper, Christmas trees and many more. Although softwoods are easier to work with, they actually have very poor fire resistance and will need the specific finishes to ensure the durability of the product that it is being made from.

Depending on what you want from the wood, it is important to not only look at the aesthetical properties of the wood but also the functionality and durability. When it comes to wardrobes, some people may be looking to spend as little money as possible or paint over the wood to match the d├ęcor of the room and so it is best to use softwoods. Hardwoods are typically chosen for their longevity with products and for those who would like their wardrobe to still maintain the look of the natural wood, it would be best to use hardwoods.

Types of hardwood include; balsa, beech, mahogany, oak and teak. Types of softwood include; pine, cedar, spruce and yew. It is essential for you to do your research to see what type of wood may be beneficial for your circumstances. If you are the type to change your mind on the interior designs of your rooms or move frequently, it may be beneficial for you to stick to lighter and cheaper wood. If you feel like you want high quality furniture that will last for years and years then you should stick to hardwoods.