The different types and species of Hardwoods?

Believe it or not there are literally hundreds of species of hardwoods. Exotic, temperate and tropic species to name but a few.

Here at George Hill Timber, we love to educate our customers so they can make an informed decision about what are the best types of wood to use for their projects. Here is a small insight into the most popular day to day species of Hardwoods that we sell at George Hill Timber.

  • Meranti
  • American White Oak
  • Sapele
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Ash
  • European Oak
  • Maple
  • Beech

Meranti meranti
Meranti is a timber from South East Asia and is probably the the most common and widely used of all hardwoods.  External Doors. If you have a hardwood front door on your home, the chances are that it will be constructed from Meranti.
Meranti has excellent machining properties and can be used for doors, skirting boards, architraves, flooring, picture frames, window frames, furniture, conservatories, mouldings, carving, panelling, veneers and is used in to face external quality plywoods.
Meranti can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled and varnished.  It can be used for both internal and external use and is durable to weather.

American White Oak American White Oak
American White Oak has shown a great increase in popularity over the past few years.
As its name suggests it is an American species grown most commonly in the Eastern areas of the USA. It is also grown in South Eastern areas of Canada.
American White Oak should only be used internally, as it tends to react badly to damp wet conditions.  It has excellent machining properties and can be used for skirting boards, architraves,  flooring, picture frames, furniture construction, mouldings, and panelling.  American White Oak is a popular choice for veneers on sheet materials, as in plywood and MDF sheets which are widely used for furniture and cabinet making.  It has also become commonly used for veneering internal doors.
If used in it’s solid state American White Oak can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled and varnished.

Note: If American White Oak has been used as a veneer on a door, plywood or MDF, then please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions before applying any kind of treatment, as some stains and varnishes can react with the adhesive that has been used to apply the veneer.

SapeleSapele
Sapele is a species from Western and Central areas of Africa.
Sapele has excellent machining properties and can be used both internally and externally. Sapele can be used for skirting boards, architraves, flooring, picture frames, furniture construction, mouldings, doors, conservatories, and panelling.  Sapele is a popular choice for veneers on sheet materials, as in plywood and MDF sheets which are widely used for furniture and cabinet making.
Sapele hardwoods can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled and varnished.

Western Red CedarWestern Red Cedar
Western Red Cedar originates from the North Western areas of the Pacific.
Cedar although classed as a hardwood is in fact quite soft in it’s properties. It machines well and can be used for furniture making, roof shingles (timber roof tiles) and internal and external cladding.  Cedar is an extremely durable timber and can be used outdoors without having any treatment applied to it.  It will however, if left untreated, lose it’s red colour over the years and will turn a silvery grey colour.  It is widely used in a cladding format on the outside of buildings.  Before the chipboard and MDF revolution took over from traditional furniture making, cedar was used as the base for drawers in cabinets and the backs of wardrobes.  The reason for this, was that the aroma from cedar would keep moths at bay and stop them eating the fabric, thus your clothes would remain hole free!
Cedar can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled and varnished.

AshAsh
Ash is a species widely grown in America and Canada.
Ash is not a very durable timber and is normally only used for internal use.
It uses are handles for chisels and other tools, skirting boards, architraves, furniture making, sports equipment, flooring, internal use on boat building, shop fitting, veneers and high class joinery.  It is also available as a veneer on plywoods and MDF sheets.
Ash can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled and varnished.

European OakEuropean Oak
European Oak is a species from the UK, France, Germany and other other European countries.
It has excellent machining qualities and is a strong and durable timber.
European Oak can be used both internally and externally.  It can be used for furniture making, doors, windows, skirting, architraves, mouldings, flooring, doors, boat building, gates and fencing, and is the main timber used in coffin manufacturing.  In larger sized dimensions it is a popular choice for structural use, and can be used for floor joists, roof purlins, and supports.  If you look at the internal beams that make up the construction of old barns, churches etc, they are more than likely to be Hardwoods of European Oak.
We supply this species on a regular basis to conservation companies. We recently supplied European Oak for the renovation of George Street Chapel on George Street in Oldham Town Centre.
European Oak can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled and varnished.

MapleMaple
Maple is a species widely grown in Eastern America and Canada.
Maple is not a very durable timber and is normally only used for internal use.
It uses are handles for chisels and other tools, skirting boards, architraves, furniture making, sports equipment, flooring, internal use on boat building, shop fitting, veneeers and high class joinery.  It is also available as a veneer on plywood and MDF sheets.

BeechBeech
Beech is a UK and Central European species of Hardwood.
Beech is a perishable timber so is best used for internal use only.  It can be used for flooring, furniture making, workbenches, desks, tables, worktops, and high class joinery.
It also used as a veneer on plywoods and MDF sheets.
Beech can be stained, polished, waxed, oiled and varnished.

If you would like more information about the range of Hardwoods or Timber we stock at George Hill Timber, feel free to contact us.

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