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The Various Types of Materials Popularly Used to Make Furniture

Types of Furniture Materials
Confused between the wide variety of furniture available? Not understanding what to choose and what not to? Go through the following post to find out types of materials used to make furniture and get sorted.
Snehal Motkar
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018
Furniture is in use since ancient times, but the only thing is that it appears in different forms, shapes, colors and patterns.
  • Selection of furniture in the first place depends upon your lifestyle; taste, design and the size of the room.
  • Secondly, it depends on the place where the furniture needs to be placed. For example, whether you want it for your home, office or garden.
  • It also depends largely on your budget.
Materials Used to Make Furniture
Since, there is a huge variety of furniture, there are various techniques used to make them as well as the materials used are many. Go through the next segment to get a gist of the furniture material types:
wood furniture
It is the most common and ancient type of material used to make furniture. It can be used for outdoor furniture as well as to add beauty to the interiors. The best thing about wooden furniture is that it is strong, tough and reliable to use. They add a texture, color and beauty to the handmade furniture. The two basic types of woods are soft woods and hard woods. The soft woods are the trees which are evergreen, whereas the hardwoods are the trees that shed their leaves in winter. Hard woods are well-known for their durability, whereas softwoods are known for being flexible and can bend easily. Softwood trees grow faster than hardwood trees and so they are cheaper. As the trees are tall, it is easier to cut a long plank of wood to manufacture a complete piece
Hardwood Types
oak tree
It is commonly used to make durable and fine furniture. Oak wood is further divided into two types namely, red oak and white oak. Red oak has a pinkish shade whereas white oak has a greenish color poured into it. Oak wood has a peculiar texture because of the open pores that it has. These pores allow the wood to absorb and hold any color. Hence, we can have a wide range of colorful oak wood furniture.
Mahogany tree
It is a highly preferred type of wood for furniture because of its strength and durability. It is excellent for carving fine designs and structures. One of the best qualities of mahogany is that it is decay resistant and does not swell or shrink when it comes into contact with water. It ranges from brown to reddish-brown color. It is mostly used to make high quality furniture.

Other not-so-very common types of hardwood are cherry, maple, ash, walnut and beech.
Softwood Types
Pine tree softwood
Ponderosa Pine, Eastern White Pine and Sugar Pine are commonly used to make furniture. Pine has an intricate knot texture that provides warmth and uniqueness to the furniture. As it is available in various shades of yellow, each of the crafted piece shows its individuality. It is usually meant for designing room furniture for children and beach cottages.
cedar tree softwood
It is divided into further types namely, Northern White Cedar, Eastern Red Cedar and Western Red Cedar. It comes in various shades, so each furniture piece shows its individuality. Another best thing about cedar is that it has a long-lasting fragrance, that helps to keep away from insects like moths. It is water-resistant and so it does not swell or shrink after coming into contact with water. It also has an extra softness because of its even texture. It can be used for kids' rooms, family rooms, beach cottages, etc.

Other softwood types are Spruce, Scots Pine, Piranha Wood, etc.
plastic furniture
Earlier, plastic was used only for office and garden chairs. But, taking into consideration its durability and portability, it is used for other furniture items as well. Plastic furniture is easy to store as it can be stacked into a store-room with other stuff. Plastic is further divided into two types namely, Thermoplastics and Thermosets.

Thermoplastics: These are more eco-friendly than the other type as they can be melted down and recycled. This type of furniture has loose molecular chain bonds, which makes the furniture flexible.

Thermosets: These are also known as thermosetting polymers. They are not recyclable and hence, heating the furniture made out these polymers will only burn the furniture and won't turn it into a liquid form. They play a supporting role in manufacturing a furniture piece. For example, phenolics are the thermosets used only as furniture adhesives.
metal furniture
Metals have the highest melting points and densities. Metals can also be turned into different shapes without breaking them. They can also be converted into wires. The types of materials used to make metal furniture pieces are steel, aluminum, wrought iron. The characteristics of metal furniture are:
  • They survive for long without much maintenance.
  • They do not rust.
  • They offer a traditional as well as a classic look to the room.
  • The metal furniture functions really well. They are available in different shapes and sizes which makes sitting, leaning, etc., comfortable.
  • The chairs have ventilation holes as well.
This was all about the types of furniture materials. You can use the above information while choosing your furniture, and I hope you will be able to decide on what you exactly want or what is good.
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