Wood Comparison Chart

Wood Comparison Chart

by Greg Schenck, for Houston Design Resources Magazine
WOOD BEST FEATURE DESIGN STYLE COLOR RANGE STAINABILITY DURABILITY
Australian Cypress Sometimes used as a substitute for heart/longleaf pine Rustic, casual Wide variation;
golden tones; high knot content
Typically not stained; natural color 6% harder than red oak
Bamboo Considered a “green product;” is a grass, not a tree; plants regenerate quickly Contemporary or modern often used where minimal grin or pattern is desired Comes as a light cream or caramel color Accepts stain well Similar to oak in hardness
Brazilian Cherry Extremely durable Traditional to contemporary Deep red/orange/brown tones; minimal knots; tight straight grain Accepts stain well; darkens with exposure to light; dominant red tones return 82% harder than red oak
Domestic Cherry Beautiful delicate grain with character Formal/traditional for select grades; casual/rustic for character grades Golden/honey tones; wide color variation common within a plank Difficult to stain evenly; darkens with exposure to light 26% softer than red oak
Hickory Popular substitute for oak, walnut or mesquite; delicate grain with lots of character Casual or rustic Beige/tan; wide color variation within a plank Accepts stain well; color stable 41% harder than red oak
Sugar Maple Minimal grain, extremely tight color range in highest grades Contemporary, minimalist or modern; used where minimal grain or pattern is desired Creamy white in highest grade; wide variation in lower grades Difficult to stain evenly; ambers slightly with exposure to light 12% harder than red oak
Mesquite The most stable and one of the most durable woods; exquisite character Casual or rustic for character grades; traditional /formal for select grades Deep reddish brown or mahogany Accepts stain well; natural mahogany tones are dominant; darkens with exposure to light 82% harder than red oak
Oak The standard or basic floor material for years Grade and grain pattern can be manipulated to be formal or casual Red oak is slightly pink; white oak is beige/tan Accepts stain very well; color possibilities are almost endless Oak is typically used as the benchmark for hardness
Pao Rosa Beaufiful character and grain pattern Traditional or formal Deep mahogany or brown with orange tones Most attractive with a natural stain 26% harder than red oak
Reclaimed Pine Beaufiful character patina, grain pattern, tight growth rings, stable Rustic, primative, Mission, casual, Old World, southwestern; pristine grades can be very formal Natural color is honey toned Difficult to statin evenly; most attractive with a natural color Durability is dependent on age; ranges from slightly softer than oak to similar hardness as oak
Walnut Rich deep color with delicate grain and lots of character Very versatile: casual to formal Natural color is deep chocolate brown Accepts statin readily 22% softer than red oak
Wenge Traditional to formal Very versatile: casual to formal Natural color is darker than chocolate grain can be manipulated to be very busy or very formal Accepts statin well; however the natural color is so dark, it is very attractive with a natural stain 26% softer than red oak
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