Hardwoods and Softwoods - The Difference and What's Best for a Garden?

Along with the development of technology, more and more new materials are born and applied to the interior. However, wood is still a popular material and is used mainly in the interior thanks to the gentle color and warm feeling that wooden furniture brings. If there is a change in furniture trends, it is that people combine wood with a variety of other materials to create new furniture.

Basically, based on the characteristics, we can classify interior wood into different types of wood for furniture, they are:

       Hardwood

       Softwood

       Industrial wood (also called synthetic wood, industrial board)

Hard wood

Hardwood is the most valuable and different type of plywood. Hardwoods have a more complex structure than softwoods and often grow much more slowly, thus having a more solid structure. It takes a long time for the hardwood to mature enough to be harvested. For example, the average harvest age of oak is 25-30 years.

Do you think people distinguish hardwood from softwood based on hardness? In fact, not 100% hardwood will be harder than softwood. Some softwoods have a better hardness than hardwoods. Yew, for example, is a soft wood that grows domestically, but is harder than other hardwoods. Hard or softwood trees are distinguished based on their reproductive structure. Hardwood trees are angiosperms, with flowers and fruits. The seeds are in the fruit, reproducing based on the seeds. Softwood trees are coniferous trees without flowers or fruit. Reproduction is based on cone cells. Some common hardwoods are oak, walnut, ash, aspen, maple, poplar, hardwood etc.

Soft wood

Softwood accounts for 80% of world wood production. The regions supplying the largest softwood production are Scandinavia, Russia, North America and China. Some common softwoods are pine, red, fir, cedar, cypress.A simpler feature to quickly identify softwood is that the softwood does not change leaves, keeping its green color all year round.

Wood Industry

Industrial wood is also derived from natural wood, but undergoes a process with glue, heat, and technology to create large, flat, and lightweight wood panels. This is difficult to achieve in natural wood. Because it is rare and expensive to obtain natural trees with a large diameter of wood. Industrial wood can be classified into different types of wood for furniture the following categories:

       Chipboard

       Plywood

       MDF

       HDF

People often equate industrial wood as low quality. However, not all industrial wood is made from low quality natural wood. High-grade industrial wood has plywood. Average quality is MDF, HDF. The lowest grade is particle board. Depending on the purpose of use, climate and humidity of that area, sometimes industrial wood will be a wiser choice for your interior. Industrial wood, when applied to the interior, is often combined with veneer. Veneer is a selected thin, natural veneered surface material. Veneer gives furniture a beautiful color, wood grain like natural wood, but more durable, more aesthetic. At the same time, it overcomes the common shortcomings of monolithic natural wood when making furniture such as easy to crack and warp.

What is the difference between hardwood and softwood?

Despite their name, hardwoods are not harder than softwoods and softwoods are not always softer than hardwoods. The real difference depends on the species of plants they came from. Hardwoods include deciduous trees (trees deciduous in winter) and seeds with a fleshy or seed mulch. Examples of hardwoods include oak, elm and teak. Soft trees, on the other hand, come from evergreen trees like pine and juniper trees. Their seeds are bare and open (coniferous).

Hardwood - especially teak - is known for its use in garden furniture due to its durability and weather resistance. It is also commonly used for shipbuilding, including furniture, floors, instruments, musical instruments, crates, etc. A hardwood tree is heavier and more expensive than a soft one.

Soft wood is also used to make garden furniture, but must be fabricated to protect it from the elements. In general, it is used more than one hardwood because of its low cost and ease of operation. Soft wood is widely used in construction.

Which is the most expensive?

Hardwoods originate from slow growing trees in tropical regions of the world, and are more expensive than soft, fast-growing trees that are abundant in Northern Europe. Hardwoods are thicker than soft trees and are therefore heavier and require more drying time due to the amount of natural fat in it - both are expensive.

Due to its relatively low cost, hardwoods are used for "good" applications - high-quality furniture, etc. - or under conditions of inactive plant functions. But that doesn't mean that a soft tree is cheap and bad. The two are simply different and are suitable for different purposes.

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