So, what is the difference between hardwood and softwood?

Published Wednesday 17th May 2017

We all know that hardwood and softwood exist, but a lot of people don’t actually know the difference between the two. We’re here to shed some light on these differences so that you know exactly what type of timber you need for your next project.

Let’s go!

 

The difference between hardwood and softwood

This may come as a shock to some of you, but hardwood isn’t necessarily harder than softwood, and vice versa! We know, crazy. For example, balsa wood, which is known as one of the lightest woods in the world, is actually a hardwood!

The distinction between the two woods lies within their reproduction. Hardwood comes from a tree called the ‘deciduous’ tree, which produces seeds with a form of covering, whilst softwoods are gymnosperms, which let seeds fall to the ground as they are with no covering at all. So the type of seed a tree produces decides whether the seed will grow into a softwood or a hardwood!

There is, however, some truth behind the density of the tree putting it into the hardwood or softwood category. Evergreens on the whole tend to be less dense than deciduous trees, and as such are seen as a softwood! However, as balsa proves, there is no weight requirement to being a hardwood.

 

What can I use these types of wood for?

Hardwood and softwood can be used for all kinds of construction projects, so it depends on what your project is. If you’re planning on creating some high-quality furniture or tackling some construction that really needs to last (e.g. a house), then hardwood is the one for you.

Realistically however, it all comes down to the aesthetic you want to achieve and what wood you love the most. At International Timber, we can help you pick out the best possible wood for your project – our hardwoods and softwoods are of a very high quality, and we also offer them as modified woods, so if you let us know your requirements, we can send in our best troops to help you achieve your goals!

 

Need some help choosing the perfect wood for your project?

Now that you know the differences between softwood and hardwood, we hope you’re feeling more confident in your construction project. If you need some material, get in touch and we’ll be able to help you out! If you want to have your say on our blog, don’t forget to tweet us