Hardwood v Softwood Furniture and Decking

What are the key differences?

Contrary to popular belief it's not necessarily anything to do with whether the wood feels hard or soft.

Most outdoor furniture is made of Hardwood as it tends to be more solid, a good example of a very long-lasting hardwood is oak.

The real differences lies with the seeds. If a tree's seeds have a covering, like a shell or fleshy fruit coat, it’s a hardwood. If the seeds are open and bare to the elements it's a softwood.

Another key indicator is if the tree is an evergreen. In the main, trees such as spruce and pine keep their foliage and leaves all year round are also classed as softwoods.

Hard wood offers many advantages. The maintenance for hardwood is very simple all that is needed is cleaning with a damp cloth. You can apply polish or mild detergent if required .

Visual differences...

If the woods are untreated the colours of the woods are very different:-

  • Hardwoods are red or golden brown.
  • Softwood that has been treated usually is a pale green brown but after a month or so will turn honey brown.
  • Softwood can be made to look like hardwood with a good quality wood stain .

Wood Lane Timber Merchants Ltd supply top quality timber, joinery and sheet materials at competitive prices. For additional product information please call 0115 964 0888 or email us on sales@woodlanetimber.co.uk.

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