Learning about the various wood types on the market will help you pick the best option for furniture manufacturing
- Finding quality wood is essential for furniture manufacturers
- Many wood types are available
- Getting suitable wood at an affordable price is challenging
- Doing your research helps you make better decisions
Furniture manufacturing can be a highly lucrative business because nearly every household in the developed world has furniture. However, you can’t jump into the business without developing a plan and determining the type of furniture you want to make.
Selecting a suitable wood type is essential when manufacturing wood furniture. After all, you don’t want to skimp out on quality because your customers will notice and might not return in the future.
At the same time, you don’t want to spend too much on wood because it increases your expenses and could make selling your finished product more challenging. Researching and learning about the various wood types available can streamline your decision by helping you determine the best material for your products. Here’s some information about finding quality wood for furniture manufacturing.
The qualities of hardwoods
Hardwood comes from flowering trees like maple, oak, and walnut, and has a rough texture. It’s also porous and denser than other wood types.
Examples of hardwood include mahogany, walnut, oak, ash, birch, maple, cherry, beech, teak, and rosewood. These wood types are durable and likely to last for decades when turned into furniture and other products.
Many hardwoods are common in North America but aren’t turned into lumber at the same rates as softwoods. As a result, they’re rarer and more expensive. Hardwood is also costlier because it’s such a quality wood and is very beautiful. Because of this cost, it isn’t always the best choice for every furniture manufacturer.
Typically, furniture manufacturers will opt for oak or maple when selecting hardwoods. Hard maple is great for tables and other furniture that experiences heavy usage because it has a 1,450-pound pressure rating. Soft maple is useful when fabricating cabinet doors in the bathroom and kitchen because it’s temperature- and humidity-resistant.
All things being equal, hardwood is often the way to go when selecting wood for furniture. However, there are more affordable options on the market that you might consider after looking at the pros and cons.
The qualities of softwoods
Softwoods come from coniferous trees like cedar, fir, pine, redwood, spruce, and hemlock. Softwood lumber is typically used in home construction in North America because the wood is more limited in its decorative applications than hardwood.
The fact that 80% of the world’s lumber is softwood means it’s also readily available from most exporters. You can expect to pay lower rates when purchasing softwood compared to hardwood because it’s so common.
Pine and cedar are versatile products you can stain or paint before using in furniture fabrication. These products also have a fine texture, are non-porous, and are less dense than hardwood, making them easier to use.
Softwood is a solid choice when making furniture because it’s highly durable and readily available. You can get your hands on softwood without sacrificing the quality of your products.
Softwood might not look at good as hardwood, but it’s just as durable and easier to obtain. This makes it an excellent alternative for furniture making.
Wood composite materials
There could be scenarios where you would want to select a less expensive alternative like a wood composite material. These materials aren’t as high quality as hardwoods or softwoods, but some of them remain viable options when making furniture.
One option is oriented strand board or OSB. This wood is engineered by layering cross-orientated timber stands and wood flakes, then using resin and waterproof adhesives to keep them in place. The result is wood that is uniform in appearance and durable enough to use when making some types of furniture.
Plywood is another option that manufacturers create by connecting thin sheets of cross-laminated veneer using heat and pressure. Although you can’t compare plywood to solid wood in terms of quality, it’s a viable alternative if you want to save money. The same goes for MDF and other engineered woods you’ll find on the market, although you should know that the quality decreases quickly when using these products.
You won’t want to cut too many corners when building furniture because the goal is to create high-end furniture that keeps your customers happy. Hardwood and softwood are the most efficient ways to reach those ambitions because of the wood quality.
Which wood should you choose?
The wood type you select will ultimately come down to your budget and furniture-making goals. If you’re mass producing furniture and shipping it worldwide, plywood or OSB could be useful because they’re light, easy to work with, and less expensive than other options.
Those looking to provide quality furniture to customers at affordable prices could opt for softwood because it costs less than hardwood and is far more abundant. It’s also equally as durable but not quite as decorative.
Manufacturers looking to enter the luxury furniture space will undoubtedly go with hardwood because of its aesthetic appeal and quality. However, your overhead will be higher because of the wood’s cost.
Your choice depends on the business you’re looking to operate, so develop some goals and begin looking for wood exporters that meet your needs.
Importing the wood you need
As you look through the various wood types on the market, you’ll have some decisions to make. Of course, you don’t want to overpay for lumber, but building high-quality furniture is vital if you want your business to survive and thrive.
Gulf South Forest Products, Inc. is a worldwide exporter of hardwood, softwood, and plywood. We source the highest-quality lumber available for your furniture manufacturing business and get it to you in a hurry, no matter your location. We also offer credit to international buyers. Contact Gulf South Forest Products, Inc. today to learn more or get a quote.