Which wood species is right for your furniture?

Jan 5, 2023

For the production of solid wood furniture, it is possible to use various types of wood, from soft coniferous trees to very hard exotic woods. When choosing the type of wood from which, for example, your new dining table will be made, you should take into account several properties that the material provides. When choosing functional and visually attractive furniture, the most important features are, for example, the strength, durability, colour and texture of the wood from which it is made.

Wood is one of the oldest construction materials and is still used today. Each type of wood finds its use in industry due to its physical and mechanical properties. In architecture and construction, conifers are most often used mainly as load-bearing elements of buildings or various construction and joinery products. In particular, the mostly used are spruce and pine, because they are cheap, light, have good thermal insulation properties and we also have plenty of them in local forests.

The use of conifers is also common in the furniture industry, but we at Kaplan furniture only work with hardwoods, which, thanks to their cellular structure, have better mechanical and physical properties for this area. We also opt for them because of a more attractive appearance, either in terms of texture or colour.


Strength of wood

Strength is one of the most important properties of wood, since it determines the material's resistance to damage to its internal particles. Practically, thanks to it, it is possible to process solid wood in various ways without breaking it as a whole. During woodworking processes, the behaviour and limits of wood must be known in order to avoid unwanted changes. Each type of wood has a slightly different strength. That’s why it is important to adapt it to its use in order to achieve the longest possible life of the product. Oak is a well-known, very hard and strong wood in our country. Therefore, it is used especially in the production of chests of drawers, cabinets, tables and chairs. In the Kaplan furniture portfolio you can see, for example, the Elica extendable table in natural oak.

Durability of wood

Durability is clearly a basic condition that quality furniture must meet. If we want our new design table to serve us in the interior for many years, we should pay attention to several factors. Even before the production process, it is important to know where the raw wood comes from and how and under which conditions it was processed. It is considered sustainable to use trees from local forests that are controlled and replanted for production. Such wood also has various certificates, most often it is the FSC certificate, which guarantees that the basic material of your table comes from a sustainably managed forest.


Already at the time of tree felling, experts know what they will use the wood for. Depending on the size, structure of the tree and the quality of its wood, they will determine the use, for example for a long table with extension or a dining chair. Usually, flawless material whose behaviour is well known is chosen. In some cases, however, wood with a large number of knots, for example, is deliberately chosen, which gives the product a unique appearance. Working with such material is more complicated and needs special care. At Kaplan furniture, however, we can meet your demands and offer a version made of oak wood called "wild oak". When filling the knots, we use a dark filler to further emphasize the unique look that is never the same. If you would be interested in such a unique design table, send us a request.

Further condition for quality product processing is its construction. In order to produce, for example, a strong and stable dining chair, one has to choose the most suitable method of joining the individual parts. In this step; the means of transport and the client's possibilities must also be taken into account. In general, we expect professionally assembled products to have a longer lifespan compared to furniture that the customers assemble on their own at home with using few screws. Our article "Pre-assembled chairs with mortise-and-tenon construction or flat-pack chairs? Which are better?" is specifically dedicated to chair constructions.


The long service life of a solid wood product depends not only on the very products, but also on how the would-be owner approaches it. Wood is a natural material and continues to work even after mechanical and surface treatment. This is why it is so unique and highly sought after. In order for it to continue to provide us with its benefits, it needs to be regularly cared for and maintained. Especially, if it is an extendable table that we use every day. We also have a more detailed article on this topic "What is the best way to care for your wooden furniture?".


Wood colour and texture

Paradoxically, the last parameter when choosing wood is what catches our eye at first glance. The colour and texture of the wood determine whether a particular design table is attractive to us. The whole family usually meets at the dining table and it becomes a dominant element of the interior. To choose the size of the dining table, we have prepared an article with recommendations "How to choose the right dining table size?". However, even a smaller table attracts a lot of attention and it depends on its shape, how it will affect the entire space and also the person. Subtler designs let smaller rooms breathe, while in larger and more spacious rooms, sturdy table legs and table tops will stand out. A larger surface sets off also the texture of the wood beautifully. With angular designs, the texture is visible in one direction of the cut, while with rounded and shaped pieces, the material will stand out in different directions and reveal original figure. Each wood has its own typical texture, which is always unique and creates a distinctive pattern in interiors.


Oak is the most popular for its texture. It is distinctive due to pore clusters on the cross-sections of the annual rings and the shiny spots called "tiger stripes". It is completed by an earthier tone that, despite the significant differences between spring and summer wood, has harmonious effect. The colour goes hand in hand with the wood texture and accentuates it.


Wood treated only with natural oil or transparent coating maintains its natural colour, but it is possible to change its shade using wood stains. These are absorbed into the wood and have an effect on accentuating or, on the contrary, softening the texture of the wood. They are often used when working with beech wood, which is light in itself with a not very pronounced texture. On the other hand, only natural colourless oils or varnishes are used for woods with a distinctive pattern, such as American walnut or heartwood beech, so that the wood retains its original colour. In general, it is recommended to choose elements from the same wood species and in the same colour shade, so that the interior looks harmonious.


If you are still not sure about the choice of wood or colour, write to us and we will gladly to advise you.


Summary of properties of woods used in Kaplan furniture

Beech – hardwood with a fine and even texture, paler colours. It can be finished with an oil/matte coating or have a changed shade with a wide selection of wood stains. In a stained version, for example, the Libra coffee table (third and fourth photo in the photo gallery). 

Heartwood beech – hardwood, characteristic transitions between sapwood and heartwood – dark and light streaks. Surface treatment with transparent coating/natural oil only. Design, for example, on the Libra table (eighth to twelfth photo in the photo gallery), Libra bench wholly wooden or Ancora chair wholly wooden (fifth to eighth photo).

Oak – hardwood. Darker and earthier in colour than beech. A more pronounced texture with distinct pore clusters in the cross-section of the annual rings. Also characterized by shiny spots called "tiger stripes". We recommend surface treatment with natural oil/matte transparent coating, but it is also possible to change the shades with wood stains. Design of product, for example, on the Gatta sideboard, the Gatta table and the Elica dining chair.

Wild oak – oak wood, that is specially selected with a large number of knots, these are filled with black filler to make them even more pronounced. Each piece is original, and we can make a table top from such material upon request.

American walnut – hardwood imported from Canadian forests. Characteristic dark brown colour and velvet transitions of annual rings. Higher price category but especially elegant. Surface treatment only with natural oil/transparent matte coating. Design can be seen, for example, on the Arca chair wholly wooden or on the Edita chair with an upholstered seat.

We use cookies on our website

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our visits. Cookies are small text files which can be used by websites to improve the user's experience.

The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are absolutely necessary for the operation of this website. For all other types of cookies we need your permission.

You can find more detailed information, in particular about data storage duration and usage, in our privacy statement.