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Custom Made Furniture Timber Selection

May 12

Is Hardwood Furniture Better Than Softwood?

It is time to buy a new furniture piece such as a dining table for your new home or renovated home in Brisbane.

But what type of timber should you choose for your dining table? 

Australians usually buy furniture that looks great and is practical.

We are less inclined to buy showpiece furniture rarely used in a formal dining or lounge room.

Spending time with family and friends is important and most of this time happens when entertaining around the dining table!



Why choose hardwood timber over softwood with a dining table?


The real difference between softwood and hardwood is the structure of the wood.

The hardest types of timber have a molecular structure that creates a stronger bond.

This results in a different wood structure, giving it different properties.

Softwood, in Australian terms, usually relates to coniferous trees (Pine)

Softwood is not delicate, and pine feels just as hard as oak to the average person! 

But the way the timber copes are measured is based on the wood's resistance to denting and wear.

Dining tables are typically used daily for meals and work tables for homework or study. 


What Hardwood Timber Should I Use?


Common hardwoods used for furniture in Australia are native timbers.

Their names can be confusing as they are descriptive rather than an actual tree species.



Tasmanian Oak

For example, Tasmanian Oak is not from an English oak tree.

It is derived from three Eucalypt species that are found in Tasmania.

It ranges in colour from pale pink to brown straw. 


Victorian Ash

This is also a Eucalypt species - Victorian ash is an Australian hardwood made from two species of Eucalypt – Alpine Ash and Mountain Ash. It is very closely related to Tasmanian oak. 



is also a Eucalypt from the southern states, and it can also be named as 

Tasmanian oak, stringybark Brown top, and Australian oak.



Blackbutt is also a eucalypt species native to the coastal regions of New South Wales and Queensland. 


Rosewood or Rose Mahogany

This is also a descriptive name for a family of tree species worldwide. Australia has a native tree that is part of the species.


Which is better: hardwood furniture or softwood furniture?

When deciding between hardwood and softwood and choosing the right furniture for your home, there are various factors to consider:


Environmental sustainability

Softwood and hardwood have different environmental impacts.

In general, hardwoods take longer to grow than pine. 

Pinewood for furniture is usually grown on plantations. 

The pine trees are constantly harvested and replaced by new seedlings in an area specially created for this purpose. 

This means that new trees are constantly growing while older trees are harvested.

There are Australian hardwood plantations, and 80% of the hardwood used for timber and flooring is from plantations.


If you're genuinely environmentally conscious, more and more recycled timber is available for furniture making, and we at Custom House furniture love creating tables from recycled timber.

Messmate or Tasmanian oak has a much smaller environmental footprint because their manufacture involves recycling old wood instead of cutting new.

See the full article here