Wood adds so much to the beauty and artistic flair of a house yet is seldom considered seriously in a building or remodeling project. But what of wood exactly? And how do you go about selecting the best wood, for the best placement and appearance inside a house?
Having an intimate understanding of the different types of wood is a good place to start. Knowledge arms you with the subtle hints that can make the difference between something ugly and something beautiful, and functional. Wood, after all, has far more natural beauty than say stone.
The best place to start, then, is with the absolute fundamentals in terms of discerning wood for building purposes. In this regard wood comes in two basic forms: hard and soft. The difference between the two is as much a technical, perhaps biological one, as it is also one of function.
Hardwoods, which come from deciduous trees – those trees that shed its leaves annually – tends be denser in their composition. Softwoods, on the other hand, come from trees that remain evergreen all year round and tend to be softer in their composition.
In building houses both forms of wood are used, whether it is for structural work or just simply to add decorative beauty to various sections of a house. In a way, a potential housebuilder who hires someone to do the actual building need not worry too much about understanding the deeper differences between hard and soft; what is more relevant are the actual types of woods than can be selected from.
There is one caveat worth keeping in the front of your mind. Hard wood has staying power and so it can typically appreciate in value as a decorative or structural prop. Softwood is just the opposite.
The real knowledge that helps you to select the best wood for your building needs is founded upon the different types of woods used in building and construction. Of these, about five are of relevance and importance to you when making a selection.
These are the five woods that have adorned the very best examples of architectural achievement. These five woods can be found in the great cathedrals of Europe; they complement the still luxurious American country houses that help define the essence of good taste, status, and privilege.
The first of the five we’ll deal with here is Oak. The favorite of the discerning builders for almost 3,000 years, Oak has the unending quality of being durable. Oak ages well and was the wood of choice for the great designers in Europe. The hard, durable and rich grain of oak is the main reason it was used well over 9 centuries to design the choir stalls in the cathedral at Amiens, in France.
A finer display of the durability and beauty of oak is hard to find; and it is this timeless value of the wood that makes it still to this day, the preferred wood of choice for those people aiming for something truly special.
Maple is another fine wood that is the go-to choice for people who want to add something aesthetically pleasing to their house. Its light ivory color gives it a beautiful appearance and as a hardwood, it holds up well to the ravages of time and use. Maple is typically used for lightly presented reception rooms and chambers.
Pine comes in from the other end, being softwood. Due to its softness, you cannot count on any decorative work enduring with the same luster and beauty when new. But pine of the white variety is especially beautiful and finishes well. The first few years of using pine will deliver pleasing beauty but be prepared to either refinish, or replace due to its relatively short lifespan in holding onto its finish.
The woods described so far have it all in terms of beauty, but none can match sycamore for its versatility. Sycamore can be used on a greater variety of surfaces and finishes well, attracting the eye well with its sometimes rugged assorted of grains. Sycamore’s versatility lends it well to the creation of hardwood floors.
No exploration of wood finishes for beautifying a house would be complete without the inclusion of one of the most popular types: mahogany. A member of the hardwood family, mahogany is noted for its deep, rich reddish hue and the beauty of its straight-grained appearance. This type of wood is used heavily in making furniture, but is also a well called upon addition to the design of doors and other solid surfaces inside a house.
There are other woods you could consider, of course; but these are the ones that will give you the most mileage, quickly. Not only that, these wood types are used extensively by Orange County kitchen remodel companies. Now that you understand these wood types, you should therefore be able to communicate your design ambitions with the confidence to any builder versed in using them.