What Are the Different Types of Timber That Exist on the Market Today?

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Humans (or our ancestors) have been using wood for more than a million years.  If you’re looking to purchase some timber, you have a wide range of options.

Which choice you make will depend on the type of job the timber is for, and the properties of the different timber options.

Read on as we look at some of the most popular types of timber in the lumber industry.


All timber falls into two main categories: hardwood and softwood.

Hardwood tends to come from deciduous trees that lose their leaves each year, and softwood is usually from evergreen trees. Because hardwood trees grow more slowly, their wood is denser, making it more versatile and hardwearing. That’s why it’s ideal for high-contact jobs and why there are many hardwood flooring options.

Here are some of the most popular hardwood options.


Ash is popular because it’s easy to work.

It’s quite a pale wood and is often used in furniture production.


Birch is heavy, hard, and strong, and glues and finishes well.

It’s another great wood for furniture which is why it’s used a great deal by companies such as Ikea.


Mahogany has historically been seen as the best timber for furniture, due to it being very stable, and easy to machine and cut.

It is no longer as popular for furniture as it once was, as it isn’t sustainably grown.


Oak is still one of the most sought-after woods for furniture. It’s extremely strong and durable and resistant to decay.

It is available in both red and white varieties.


Softwoods grow at a quicker pace than hardwoods, so are usually a more affordable option.

Their lower density makes them lighter than hardwoods and easy to work. Here are some of the most popular.


Cedar is relatively soft but is a good option for outdoor furniture and decking since it is highly weather resistant.

It’s not the strongest wood but is fairly durable and usually reasonably inexpensive.


Fir is fairly soft but has a good strength-to-weight ratio.

It makes it a good material for construction and is often used in rafters for homes. It is a reddish-brown wood and is also not too expensive.


Pine comes in a range of different varieties such as Cypress and Hoop.

It’s a popular wood for framing in houses, although it’s susceptible to decay and termite infestations. A good timber supply company will be able to offer treated pine that is more resistant to these problems.

Different Types of Timber Are Suited to Different Jobs 

As we have seen, different types of timber have different properties which may make them more or less suitable for the job you have in mind. You wouldn’t want to use softwood for your flooring, for example.

Make sure you understand the properties of the wood you’re choosing before you make a purchase.

For more useful content, please be sure to check out the rest of the site.

Bella Duckworth

Bella Duckworth

Total posts created: 2152
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand, it’s about shelter, but it’s also about pleasure.” – Zaha Hadid

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