Hardwood Lumber vs Softwood Lumber
when most people hear of hardwood and softwood, the assumption is that this is a literal meaning of hard and soft. While that assumption is at most times true, it’s not always the case.
There is some hardwood lumber that is softer than softwood lumber and there is softwood lumber that is harder than hardwood.
The difference between European hardwood lumber and European softwood lumber is from the type of trees they are gotten from.
Hardwood lumber comes from angiosperms – flowering plants – such as oak wood. These types of trees have broad leaves and produce seeds with some covering. What is considered? a covering can be either a hard shell or fruits with seeds inside. Hardwood trees are also deciduous – meaning they shed their leaves annually. Examples of hardwoods include balsa, mahogany, maple, oak, walnut, beech wood etc.
Softwood lumber comes from gymnosperm trees. They also produce seeds but unlike angiosperms, their seeds do not have a covering. Their leaves are needle-like and the trees do not shed leaves throughout the year. They are usually referred to as evergreens. Examples are cedar, pine lumber, redwood, spruce lumber, and yew.
Uses of Hardwood and Softwood Lumber
Each of these two types of European lumber has certain properties that make it suited for different purposes.
Hardwood timber is generally hard and strong and is used for furniture. This is because they do not warp or shrink so that the products can retain their shape. Some hardwood like ash lumber are shock absorbers and are used to make handles for various working tools. Oak wood is also popular for building boats, ships, and frames used in a building.
Sycamore lumber and beech wood can be used for kitchen woodwork as it does not stain and have some colorful hues. It should be noted that in every category, every hardwood lumber has its certain characteristics and not all are good for all the above uses, each of which is good and suitable for its specific use.
Hardwood lumber is expensive and this can be attributed to the growth rate (slow) of hardwood trees and the demand in the market for the product they make. This means there are not as many hardwood suppliers as there are softwood suppliers.
Advantages of hardwood
• Great appearance
Softwood timber are lighter and easier to work with and are used for purposes like artistic woodwork, making medium-density fiberboards, paper, and wooden furniture. This type of lumber is cheap and readily available.
Advantages of softwood
• They grow quickly and can be supplied in a fairly fast manner
• Cheap to use in large quantities
Are less fire resistant than hardwood
Their products have a shorter lifespan than hardwoods
Due to the unique properties that make them suitable for different uses. Which are better for them? It only depends on the application and your needs. Hardwoods are usually like they sound, they are hard, strong, durable, and dense. They are great for outdoor projects and will last a very long time. Softwoods are also good woods, some better than others and most have natural preservatives that are suitable for your indoor DIY projects, building tables or bookshelves.