What are the types and characteristics of hardwoods we use?

Hardwood timber comes from slow-growing, broad-leaved, deciduous trees. They grow across Europe, America, and Africa, and the main varieties are Ash, Beech, Birch, Cherry, Elm, Walnut, Mahogany, Oak, and Teak.


People often favour hardwood timber as it is longer lasting, weather better, and typically more robust than softwood timber. It is also famous for requiring less maintenance and is easy to clean compared to some softwood varieties.


Nowadays, hardwoods gained popularity due to their high-quality appearance and ability to add character to homes when used in joinery, furniture, construction, and flooring industries. 


Using hardwood for a floor can become carbon positive due to how forests are managed. For example, an Oak floor can last even 500+ years, enough time to grow numerous new hardwood trees to full size. The materials will have regenerated by the time a new floor is needed.


The type of hardwood needed to create a piece of furniture depends solely on the kind of furniture being made and the strength and colour desired. 

 

Ash

Ash's robust, straight-grained, good-looking, and shock-resistant nature makes it suitable for many timber products but particularly suited to furniture making. It is often highly sought after to create chairs, dining tables, doors, other architectural features and wood flooring.

It is also a light/ medium brown colour making it very attractive for tables and desks


It looks beautiful in minimalist and Scandi inspired interiors. 

 

 

Here’s an example of our Andrade Bedside Table in solid Ash and Walnut bow tie details.

 

Maple

The colour of Maple ranges from nearly white to an off-white cream colour, sometimes with a reddish or golden hue, and displays curly or quilted grain patterns.

Its smooth grain pattern is another aesthetic that many people like about Maple wood. It is one of the most favoured hardwood materials used in furniture creation, and you'll see it a lot in Scandinavian and Boho style rooms.

 

 

A perfect example of Maple’s beautiful grain is this bespoke bedside cabinet which was designed and made for one of Bergman & Mar’s projects. 

Photo credit Edmund Dabney.

 

Oak

Oak is preferred by many people due to its character as it ages and because it is tough and durable. 

It comes in a light to medium brown colour, typically with an olive cast, though there can be a fair amount of colour diversity. Sections display prominent ray fleck patterns.

 

 

The Oliveira Dining Table with an organic live edge slab resting on elegant 3-point round legs on either side.

 

Pippy Oak

In general terms, 'pippy oak' refers to clusters of small knots usually caused by cattle nibbling shoots from the trunk of a tree as it grows, causing new shoots to grow and be nibbled off again.

The heartwood of English pippy oak ranges in colour from pale straw to dark honey brown. The grain moves around the knots and clusters to create beautiful wild patterns and figures, highly prized by fine furniture makers.

 

 

Beautiful Pippy Oak grain on this bespoke desk, designed and made for one of Bergman & Mar’s bespoke projects. 

 

Walnut

Walnut has a dark and rich tone, and it adds a layer of luxury to the space; the precise nature of the timber adds to that sense of majesty. 

The colour is creamy white on the inner region, going to a light brown to dark chocolate brown, occasionally with a purplish or reddish cast and darker streaks on the outer.

The grain is generally straight but sometimes has beautiful curly or wavy grain.

 

 

Bespoke bean shaped vanity desk, designed and made for one of Bergman & Mar’s projects. 

Photo credit Edmund Dabney.

 

Black Ash

We have mentioned Ash earlier, and we also love using this timber for black furniture pieces. Its wide grain resembles Oak and looks beautiful and elegant after stain application. 

Also, Ash is fantastic with stains application, and it takes colour well. 

Every hardwood we use is vital to ensure our products are durable, sturdy, and long-lasting. 

 

 

Beautiful Bookcase and Magazine Stand in black stained Ash and brass details, designed and made for one of Bergman & Mar’s projects. 

 

Every hardwood we use is strong so that we can be sure our products are durable, sturdy and long-lasting. If you like to see more of our products click here.

March 16, 2022 — Monika Equi