Types of wood: how to choose right for your home

Types of wood: how to choose right for your home
Robert Rivera

In a house, wood is always welcome, besides bringing feelings of comfort and coziness to the environment, it makes the space much more sophisticated.

The various types of wood have differences in their colors, textures, strength, and durability, so they can be used in various elements in a house according to their specificities.

Some types of wood are more suitable for construction and are used as main or secondary structures. Others can serve in the decorative and functional part of the house, such as windows, doors, shutters, floors, ceilings, panels, and panelling. Or, still, some types of wood are ideal for the manufacture of furniture.

If you are thinking of using some types of wood in your home, either in construction or decoration, but are in doubt about which type to choose, check out below the most used woods, their main characteristics and uses:

Natural Woods

Wood in its natural form is distinguished by its durability and strength. In addition, its appearance stands out in spaces with exuberant beauty. It is widely used in construction and for making elegant and durable furniture. If it is your main choice, it is worth knowing some of the types of wood available and their characteristics:


Easy to be worked. It allows a good finish and guarantees durable furniture. It has a fibrous appearance with a coarse texture and is distinguished by its light or dark reddish-brown tone with dark spots.


It is a wood with a slightly pinkish color. It has a rather glossy and smooth surface. It is widely used for fences, sleepers, and in construction - in beams, laths, rafters, and floorboards. It can also be used for furniture and turned pieces.


It is one of the most versatile and durable types of wood, and is widely used in the construction of floors, cabinets, paneling, and furniture. Its appearance is usually a dark reddish tone. It goes well with a more contemporary to a more traditional style of decor.


With a reddish brown color, it is used to make tables, chairs, cabinets, beds, benches, windows, door frames, and doors. It is durable, insect and moisture resistant, so it can be used both inside and outside the house.

Cherry tree

With a light yellowish brown tone and moderate brightness, its main characteristics are durability, softness, and beauty. This wood is widely used for the manufacture of high quality decorative furniture, as well as frames, paneling, and lining.


It is highly resistant to fungi and termites, which guarantees excellent durability. It can be applied both inside and outside the buildings. Commonly used for beams, window and door frames, ceilings, and floors, it accepts polishing, painting, and varnish. Its robustness combines with rustic and industrial decorations.


With a light yellowish-brown tone, it can present blackish stains and streaks. Freijó has a glossy surface and, therefore, is a high-quality wood for fine furniture. In construction, it is used for doors, shutters, frames, moldings, panels, ceilings, and laths.


A heavy, light yellow wood, it is used in construction for beams, rafters, and door casings. Inside the home it can be used for panels, paneling, ceilings, floors, and furniture. It has low resistance to fungus and termites.


Its tonality varies, generally with the presence of dark veins. It is widely used in the manufacturing of luxury furniture and also in interior decoration with decorative panels, partitions, and panelling. It is well received with varnish and paint. In construction, it always appears as beams, laths, rafters, and doors.


Hardwood, with a brownish-brown tone and greenish reflections, it is used in beams, rafters, window and door frames, skirting boards, ceilings and panelling. It can also be applied as planks, parquet or stair treads. It has high quality for decorative parts in furniture.


With a dark greenish-brown color, without drawings and with little shine. It is difficult to work with, but provides a good finish. It is used for beams, rafters, joists, door and window frames. For flooring, it is indicated as planks or parquet. It can also be seen in furniture manufacturing.


Besides its beauty, jacaranda also offers quality, durability, and resistance to insect attack and humidity. It is used in furniture, always with a rustic and elegant touch to environments. It is also used in decorative panels and fine coverings.


It has medium resistance to fungus and termite attack. It is normally used to manufacture general-purpose and decorative furniture. It is also used for door jambs, doors, windows, panels, linings, slats, and as secondary parts of structures.


It is one of the most durable woods with an excellent natural finish. It has a great versatility of use, used in the manufacture of high quality furniture, doors, floors, and panels.

Demolition wood

Demolition wood is that natural wood reused from old pieces or constructions, which after treatment is ready to be used again. Its appearance is great for projects with a rustic look.


Its unmistakable tone is a reddish brown. It has high stability, durability, and resistance to fungi and termites. Easy to be worked with, it is a noble and sophisticated wood. Indicated for furniture, decorative panels, internal linings, paneling, and shutters.


It is a durable and resistant wood. Its light color is great for a clean or minimalist decoration. It is used as laths, ceiling boards, forms for concrete, baseboards, furniture structure, and shelves.


It is a reforested wood and easy to work with. It has multiple applications, such as laths, baseboards, and ceilings. It is also recommended for making furniture, shelves, and bookshelves. Its light, soft tone is great for environments with classic or retro tendencies.

Industrial Timber

Industrial wood types are widely used for furniture and decoration. The main advantages of these types, compared to natural wood, are their low cost and the preservation of forests. Learn about the main types available and the advantages and disadvantages of each:


It is formed by mixing wood waste and then pressing it. It accepts paint and varnish well and is used for making furniture and drawers. Its main advantage is its low cost, however, it has low resistance to humidity, can withstand little weight, and is short-lived.

Laminated Plywood

It is made with several sheets of wood, of the same thickness, successively glued together to form sheets. It has a good mechanical resistance and is used in the manufacturing of furniture and shelves.

Saddled Plywood

It is composed of boards with cut wood slats that are glued side by side in one direction. This board is more resistant and with a lower degree of warping. It is indicated for the production of doors and furniture structures.


They are wood fibers that go through an agglutination process with a lot of pressure. The plates are homogeneous and have a uniform surface. They can be painted, varnished and laminated. It supports weight and wins larger spans without the need for reinforcements, allows cuts and notches, and is good for bottoms and sides of furniture. HDF has a higher cost than MDF.


It is a panel produced by the agglutination of wood fibers with synthetic resin and additives. It is homogeneous, without layers. Its surface is ideal for the application of paint, varnish, lacquer, and laminates. MDF allows furniture with rounded shapes and parts. It is widely used in the manufacturing of furniture, sides and bottoms of drawers. It has high resistance to warping.


It is used for residential and commercial furniture, preferably rectilinear. It has good stability and guarantees good finishing. Besides, it has good fixation of the hardware, less humidity absorption compared to MDF, and a lower price.


It is a board composed of pressed wood strips. As it is a rough material, it only accepts varnish and paint application. These boards are used in panels, construction and furniture siding. It is resistant to humidity and can be used outdoors.

20 types of wood used in environments

The various types of wood can have many uses and be used in various components of a house, from its structure to decorative elements and furniture:

1. house with ipê and freijó

With an asymmetrical shape, this house uses woods such as Ipe and freijó for the roof structure, window frames, and for the deck that goes around the existing tree.

2. the versatility of wood

Wood is very versatile, as you can see from this picture. In this project different types were used for the windows, the floor (for the flooring and the planks), and the lining.

3. cumaru for the pergola

Some types of natural wood, such as cumaru, can be used in the exterior of the house. Here the wood composes the deck and the pergola, creating a great environment for rest and relaxation.

4. freijó wood house

This house uses wood as the structure for the roof, ceilings, and frames. The wood is used to make up several beams, which also play a key role in the lighting effect of the house.

5. room with various types of wood

Different types of wood make up this environment. Wood is used in the lining, in cabinetry, and in accent pieces, such as the table.

6. ipê panels on the façade

The facade of this house is composed of slatted Ipe panels. When open, they provide movement, and when closed, they camouflage the openings and become a large wooden panel.

7. white oak and MDF panels

In this small apartment, the use of various types of wood makes a difference. Oak appears on the floor, and white laminated MDF appears to make a shelf for decoration and for the table.

8. bed headboard made of demolition wood

In the bedroom, wood always evokes more comfort. This large headboard was made with demolition wood. The various brown tones of the wood stand out with the fish-scale pattern.

9. freijó wood panels

In this apartment, the highlight goes to the panels and to the door made of freijó wood.

10. pine panel for the living room

In the living room, the large panel of this type of wood houses the TV and camouflages the door to the intimate area of the house.

11. cumaru lining

In this veranda, the wood contrasts with the metal structure and creates a cozy atmosphere. The lining and the floor are made of cumaru wood.

12. mdf in the kitchen

Industrial wood types are widely used for planned furniture, especially in kitchens. This kitchen has the MDF cabinets covered with freijó veneers.

13. plywood and OSB

In this room, the TV stand and center table were made from plywood, and the bench below the window uses OSB.

14. wood for decoration

The wood here appears in many elements of the decoration: the living room panel, the MDF TV cabinet, the chairs, and even the side table, with a more rustic appearance.

15. itaúba counter

Here the wood used is itaúba, both for the counter and the floor. The entire structure of the house is also made of wood.

16. furniture and MDF slatted panel

In this apartment of reduced measures, the MDF furniture ensures the flexibility required by the small dimensions. The slatted panel, also made of MDF, separates the environments.

17. wood for the bedroom

In this room, the various types of woods in darker tones, such as imbuia, for example, give a cozy touch of comfort. The wood is used as a beam in the ceiling, as the headboard of the bed, in the furniture, and in the window frames.

18. panels with various types of wood

The wall covering mixes several types of wood, including cedar, to create a variety of patterns. The table is made of demolition wood.

19. wood in the wall and ceiling

The wooden wall cladding unites with the ceiling paneling. Together, they even out and unify the room. The niche in the wall serves as a space for decoration. Wood is also used for the dining table and side table.

20. pine laths

The pine slats, in different sizes, make up the headboard of this bed that goes up to the ceiling, forming a portico. The light color of the pine harmonizes with the colorful and youthful decoration of the room.

To leave no doubt, one last tip: when choosing, the most important thing is to think about where you want to apply the wood and the features that are essential for you and your family.

Surely, it is now much easier to get the right types of wood for your home!

Robert Rivera
Robert Rivera
Robert Rivera is a seasoned interior designer and home decor expert with over a decade of experience in the industry. Born and raised in California, he has always had a passion for design and art, which eventually led him to pursue a degree in interior design from a prestigious design school. With a keen eye for color, texture, and proportion, Robert effortlessly blends different styles and aesthetics to create unique and beautiful living spaces. He is highly knowledgeable in the latest design trends and techniques, and is constantly experimenting with new ideas and concepts to bring life to his clients' homes. As the author of a popular blog on home decor and design, Robert shares his expertise and insights with a large audience of design enthusiasts. His writing is engaging, informative, and easy to follow, making his blog an invaluable resource for anyone looking to spruce up their living space. Whether you're seeking advice on color schemes, furniture arrangement, or DIY home projects, Robert has the tips and tricks you need to create a stylish, welcoming home.