Know Your Wood Types (Part 1)

Walnut, maple, mahogany and birch are popular wood species used in furniture production.

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Popular Wood Species Used in Furniture

Discover the popular types of wood for furniture, how to identify them and their unique characteristics.


Walnut grows from Vermont to the Great Plains and south through Louisiana and Texas. It's color varies from white to dark brown, and it's known for its large burls. Famously hardy, walnut was used to make airplane propellers in World War I.


Maple is found primarily in the Great Lakes region. Its color ranges from cream to reddish-brown, and it has a straight grain with occasional bird's-eye or fiddleback patterns. Many scholars believe maple was used to build the inner frame of the Trojan horse.


Mahogany is native to Mexico, Central and South America, but it's grown throughout the tropics. Its color varies from pale to pink to reddish-brown with a generally straight grain. It's often used in musical instruments, giving the sound a rich, warm tone.


Birch grows in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions and along the Appalachians. its color ranges from cream to light reddish-brown with a fine grain. Howard Hughes' famous H-4 Hercules aircraft, known as the "Spruce Goose," was actually made of birch.

Check out our Know Your Wood Types blog post to learn more!