Most of our solid wood furniture is made from either Oak, Maple,
Pine, mostly within BC. Below are some characteristics of each wood and bamboo (a grass!).
Alder was used by several manufacturers, however the price of the wood
became prohibitive, so most of these manufacturers switched to using Maple, as
it has a similar look. We have a limited amount of alder furniture. Harder than
Maple, but softer than Oak it is the most expensive of the three.
Sustainable, Bamboo is a renewable resource and is one of earth’s fastest
growing plants; it reaches full maturity in 5 years or less. In addition, it
sequesters carbon and releases approximately 35% more oxygen than comparable
hardwood with a fine tight grain, it has conspicuous wood rays with tiny, almost
invisible wood pores. Beech is excellent for furniture due to its stability, durability and shock resistance. It is also takes stain very well which results in a beautiful consistent finish.
This is another hardwood which comes from the East Coast, hence it is often the
preferred wood of many
Quebec and Ontario manufacturers.
It's finished look is similar to Alder and Maple.
The East coast Maple comes in two types. One is softer, the other harder than
West coast Maple. Maple is generally harder for manufacturers to work with,
doing the reverse of Oak. It is a fast growing wood, and the tension in the wood
is often released upon cutting in the form of twisting or splitting. However it
gives a beautiful finished look. Unlike Oak which has a marked variation of grain
Maple is generally more homogeneous, with large swirls and less tightly knit
It lends itself to contemporary designs with darker stains providing clean looking furniture,
particularly condo style furniture.
Often thought to be the hardest of the woods, it is in fact softer than the
denser Maple varietal. Oak is predictable to work with.
When it's cut, it doesn't twist or split, and there is less wastage. Oak is
slower growing, so there is less tension in the wood.
Oak furniture is often known for it`s very traditional furniture, such as
Mission or Shaker styles, and Quarter sawn.
The softest of the wood types that we supply, it is also the least expensive. However there are
many types of pine, each with varying degrees of hardness.
For instance Alpine uses Lodgepole Pine exclusively, which is the hardest of
pines and is used for making telegraph poles.
Pine is usually associated with a country or rustic
feel as the surfaces are easily marked due to the softness of the wood.
This marking is not necessarily undesirable, as it adds to the patina over time. The knots
are quite prominent which results in more variation in the look of the
furniture's surface. As a result this furniture is most often styled in a casual
or farmhouse design.
Over time wood furniture will change in colour. For instance Oak usually gets progressively darker
in the first 2-3 years and then stops; Fir
will just continue to get richer and richer in colour. The finished look of a
piece of furniture will not only vary depending on the choice of stain; Different types of wood, even different
batches of the same type of wood
will take stains differently and even a single piece of wood will not absorb
stain uniformly; Different manufacturers may use a stain with the
same name, but they are not
necessarily identical. In addition, each manufacturer has their own way of
applying stain. We are able in many cases, to get unstained furniture and then have it stain matched to
your needs. For more information look at our
solid wood care instructions and