Hardwood comes from broadleaved trees such as oak, ash and beech. Most of these trees are deciduous; they lose their leaves in the winter. There are about a hundred times as many hardwood species as softwood. Hardwood is generally far more resistant to decay than softwood when used in exterior work.

Ash is normally found in eastern America, Western Europe, North Africa and southwest Asia. Ash is known for its strength but at the same time it is elastic in nature. Due to its elastic nature it is commonly used to make walking sticks, baseball bats, tools, etc. Ash is most preferred wood as it easy to maintain i.e. easy to use with nails, screws and glue. Ash is used mainly for construction, flooring, ceiling, etc. Ash is approximately 10% harder than Oak.

  • COLOUR: Warm brown heartwood with narrow light brown sapwood.
  • PATTERN: Straight moderately open grain.
  • CHARECTERISTICS: Heavy, hard, strong, stiff and high shock resistance with excellent blending qualities and above average workability.
  • USES: Interiors, furniture, handles of tools and implements, sporting and athletic goods.

Birch is an excellent shock resistant wood. It is very fine grained and used widely for making furniture. Birch has excellent machining properties. Birch is lighter than other woods and light yellowish in colour. Yellow birch is an important source of lumber. It is used for furniture, cabinetry, charcoal, pulp, interior finish, veneer, tool handles, boxes, woodenware, and interior doors.

  • COLOR: Cream or light brown tinged with red, with thin, nearly white sapwood.
  • PATTERN: Rotary and sliced, plain and often curly or wavy.
  • CHARACTERISTICS: Heavy, very strong, hard closed-grained, even texture.
  • USES: Furniture, interiors, interior and exterior doors, store fixtures, accessories.

Beech is another versatile wood. Its colour ranges from light cream to tan brown. Due to its hard texture and resistance to impacts, it is used for floorings, etc. Beech is also used as fuel wood as it had great burning qualities. Beech has about the same hardness as oak. It is also widely usedin furniture framing and construction. It has good nailing and gluing properties as well.

Oak is the most widely used hardwood and has density of about 0.75 g/cm3. . It has great strength and hardness. Due to its high tannin content, it is resistant to fungal and insect attack. Oak is widely used for construction, furniture, barrels, floorings, caskets, etc. Oak is available in variety of colours ranging from white, red to light brown in colour. Oak is also excellent firewood.

  • COLOUR: From light brown with a greyish tinge in the heartwood to shades of ochre in the sapwood.
  • PATTERN: More pronounced and longer rays than red oak, and more frequently rift-sawn for the comb-grain, pin striped figure than red oak.
  • CHARACTERISTICS: suitable for water-tight containers (barrel staves) and where water resistance is required. Tannic acid in the wood protects it from fungi and insects. Closer grained than red oak.
  • USES: Nearly all common uses of hardwoods, and especially popular where strength and durability are required. Also for water-tight or water-resistant purposes.

MAPLE: Maple is classified into two groups – Hard maples and Soft maples.
Hard Maples are sugar maple and black maple. Hard Maple is light reddish brown in colour. It has a uniform texture. It is stiff, hard, strong and heavy. Hard Maple is used mostly for lumber and veneer. Maple is used for flooring, furniture, cabinets, cutting boards and blocks, pianos, billiard cues, handles, novelties, bowling alleys, dance and gymnasium floors, etc.

Soft maples are red maples, silver maple, big leaf maple and silver maple. The wood is somewhat light brownish in colour. The soft maple resembles the hard maple but is not as heavy, hard and strong as them. Soft maple is used for railroad crossties, boxes, pallets, crates, furniture, veneer, wooden ware, and novelties. Soft maple is an important source of saw timber and pulpwood but is often overlooked as a wood resource.

  • COLOUR: Cream to light reddish-brown heartwood, thin white sapwood tinged slightly with reddish-brown.
  • PATTERN: Usually straight-grained, , scattered over entire tree or in irregular stripes and patches.
  • CHARACTERISTICS:The soft maples are roughly 25 per cent softer than the hard maples. Heavy, fairly strong, close-grained, stiff, uniform texture. Good resistance to impact, however Hard Maple is stronger and more resistant.
  • USES: It is used for railroad construction, boxes, crates, furniture, veneer, wooden ware and novelties. In many countries it is used for construction of bowling alleys and used in making many musical instruments.


Famous for its sapwood which is turned into Maple syrup. The sapwood is cream-coloured, with a tendency to reddish brown, and the heartwood varies from light to dark brown with red highlights. It usually has fine figuring with straight, but sometimes slightly wavy, grain. Hard Maple is 10-15% harder than Oak and undergoes a medium degree of colour change, from a creamy white to golden over time.

  • COLOUR: Cream to light reddish-brown heartwood, thin white sapwood tinged slightly with reddish-brown.
  • PATTERN: Usually straight-grained, scattered over entire tree or in irregular stripes and patches.
  • CHARACTERISTICS: Heavy, hard, strong, close-grained, tough, stiff, uniform texture. Excellent resistance to impact. Can change colour over a period of time.
  • USES: Furniture, interiors, fixtures, flooring, woodenware, cutting surfaces, and other industrial uses, school furniture, decorative inlays and overlays.

Cherry is a very versatile wood, with its colour ranging from creamy white to reddish brown colour. Cherry is softer than oak. It is a medium density wood with uniform texture. Black Cherry is a commercially important tree. It is used for panelling, interior trim, veneers, and handles, crafts, toys, and scientific instruments. This wood has good machining properties and it is quite durable. As the wood ages, its colour changes from light cream colour to reddish brown.

  • COLOUR: Light reddish-brown.
  • PATTERN: Straight-grained and satiny
  • CHARACTERISTICS: Light, strong, hard and fine-grained.
  • USES: Fine Furniture, veneer, toys, handicrafts and scientific instruments.

Walnut wood ranges from white in colour to light brown to dark, chocolate brown, often with a purplish cast and darker streaks. The wood is heavy, hard, and stiff and has high shock resistance. The wood changes its colour over a period of time. Walnut is 20% softer than oak. Walnut is used for many purposes – indoors and outdoors. It is mostly used for making furniture, cabinets, desks, tables, bedroom furniture, etc. It is also used in making several shotguns and rifles. This wood is highly durable and has excellent machining properties.

  • COLOUR: Light grey-brown to dark purplish-brown.
  • PATTERN: Plain to highly figured in pattern. Most of the woods have purplish cast and dark steaks.
  • CHARACTERISTICS: Moderately heavy, very strong for its weight, exceptionally stable.
  • USES: Furniture, architectural woodwork, gunstocks, novelties.

Rosewood’s colour ranges from dark brown to deep purple with black streaks. The wood changes its colour to dark brown over a period of time. Rosewood is very hard and durable. It is ideal for making furniture, cabinets, instruments, floorings, etc. Rosewood is often used in the martial art weaponry, particularly as the shaft of spears and in the gun staves.

  • COLOUR: Dark brown to deep purple colour with black streaks
  • PATTERN: Plain to highly figured in pattern. Most of the woods have purplish cast and dark steaks.
  • CHARACTERISTICS: Extremely dense and strong. It is stronger than teak and very durable.
  • USES: Furniture, musical instruments, weaponry, industrial purposes. It is also used in making perfumes and oils.

The sapwood’s colour ranges from light pinkish colour to reddish brown with dark streaks. Over a period of time it changes its colour to dark reddish brown colour. The wood is pretty hard and durable. This wood is among the most popular of all species of wood. The wood is mainly used in making furniture, handrails, sports equipment and flooring due to its exceptional hardness. Jatoba is rated as being very durable wood and is rot resistance, and is also resistant to termites and most other insects.

  • COLOUR: from light pinkish colour to reddish brown with dark streaks
  • PATTERN: Medium course texture with long grains. They are mostly wavy and interlocked
  • CHARACTERISTICS:Strong and durable. It is also resistant to rot and insects. It has good machining properties.
  • USES: Furniture, sport equipment, flooring, musical instruments and other industrial purposes.


Ash Excellent Good Excellent Good Fair Very good
Birch Excellent Fair Fair Good Excellent Very good
Beech Excellent Fair Fair Good Excellent Very good
Oak Excellent Good Excellent Good Very good Very good
Maple Very good Fair Good Good Very good Very good
Cherry Excellent fair fair Very good Excellent Excellent
walnut Excellent Fair Good Good Excellent Excellent
Rosewood Excellent Good Good Good Good Excellent
  Excellent Good Good Very good Very good Excellent


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