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While interior design trends constantly change, wooden furniture remains evergreen. Furniture made of wood is strong, long-lasting and requires minimal maintenance, as compared to other materials. However, there are different kinds of wood that are used for making furniture for Indian homes. Consequently, while buying furniture, one should understand the pros and cons of different kinds of wood and the precautions that owners need to take for its maintenance.
Different types of wood
Primarily, on the basis of hardness, there are two types of wood – hardwood and softwood. Unlike popular belief, hardwood is not necessarily harder and denser, as compared to softwood. In simple terms, hardwood comes from flowering trees while softwood comes from conifers. Both types of wood are used for making furniture.
Teak wood is one of the most commonly used wood types, available locally. Some manufacturers also import teak wood from Burma and Ghana. In India, Kerala is one of the biggest suppliers of teak wood. It is strong and very durable and is often used for building door frames, cabinets and tables. Teak wood is resistant to decay and can outlast all other types of wood. Since it is a hard wood, it can also withstand extreme heat and cold and therefore, it is also used for creating outdoor furniture.
Furniture or articles that have a vintage look, are made of satin wood. It is an affordable material and is available locally and is supplied from central and southern Indian states. However, satin wood requires regular maintenance. Satin wood furniture is also hard and durable and can be given the desired look or finish, by using different types of polish. Satin wood furniture usually has a very lustrous look, since its grain is varied. Usually, satin wood furniture is bright yellow-coloured and in warm shades.
White cedar wood
Also known as Marandi, it is a good veneer for light-weight furniture, such as display shelves, trunks or even decorative items. This type of wood requires minimal maintenance and therefore, it is most preferred for items which are not used often. White cedar wood is mostly imported from Malaysia and it requires month-long seasoning, before it becomes ready for use. Since it is a soft wood, it is used to create the interior parts of sofa and dining chairs, which are later covered with upholstery. It is an affordable wood, which looks great and is very effective in terms of strength and load bearing.
Sal wood is considered one of the most high-quality grades of wood, used for furniture and construction purposes. Sal wood is a type of timber, which does not require layers of polish to protect its durability. It has an ability to withstand water and underground damp conditions. Sal wood furniture is termite-resistant and usually used for manufacturing door frames, staircases and beams. Sal wood is usually found in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Also known as Sheesham, Indian rosewood is a favourite for making furniture. It is also a hard wood and can be used with different polishes and finishes. Although rosewood is the most expensive type of wood available in India, it is mostly preferred due to its termite-resistant quality, durability and versatility. Rosewood can be used for making kitchen cabinets, sofas and even wooden flooring. Sheesham is also used in musical instruments and is largely found in south India.
Features of different types of wood
|Type of wood||Advantages||Colour||Prices|
|Teak wood||Aesthetic appeal, durable and resistant to rot and decay.||Deep yellow to dark brown||Rs 2,000 per cubic ft onwards|
|Satin wood||Easy to care, requires very little maintenance and is very durable.||Warm and bright yellow||Rs 1,250 per cubic ft onwards|
|White cedar wood||Most durable type of timber, resistant to termites and very strong.||Pale brown or tan||Rs 900 per cubic ft onwards|
|Sal wood||Beautiful texture, aesthetic appeal and versatile.||Very light in colour but may turn dark when exposed to the sun||Rs 1,250 per cubic ft onwards|
|Indian rosewood||Attractive wood grain, versatile nature and very hard and tough.||Dark||Rs 1,500 per cubic ft|
Also read all about engineered wood
What kind of wood comes from India?
Usually, only five types of wood are predominantly used in India, as listed above.
Which wood is best for doors in India?
Usually teak wood is used for making doors in India.
What is the cheapest wood?
Pine wood is considered the cheapest but it is not much used in India.
What is the highest quality wood?
One of the types of high-quality wood used for making furniture is teak wood as it is durable and highly fire-resistant. Other types of wood include rosewood, deodar, oak and mahogany.
What is the longest lasting wood?
Teak, oak, cedar, mahogany and cherry are some of the types of wood that can last for centuries.