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The Best Type of Wood for Outdoor and Indoor Projects

Choosing wood types

Making the correct wood selection will either contribute toward breaking or making a lumber project.

Some factors extend beyond the look, availability, and price that has an influence over the long-term success when it comes to your project.

It is very important to gain an understanding of the differences between indoor and outdoor lumber when using wood as your primary engineering material.

Knowing what type of wood you need can assist you in building indoor and outdoor projects that not only look good but will also last for a long time.

Common Wood Types for Outdoor and Indoor Projects

Working with wood types

How to Select The Right Wood for a Project

Once you have decided on a project you would like to work on, whether it involves building a deck for your patio, or a kitchen table, your next step involves gathering the necessary building materials.

The primary obstacle that many people are faced with when they build a customized project, whether it is complex or simple, involves the selection of wood.

You may want a classic and visually-appealing feel for the end result, but it is also important to ensure that the wood will last for a long time.

It becomes important to select a wood type that matches up to the visual appearance you are after, but it also needs to be durable and strong so that it maintains its appeal and charm over time.

There are a few factors that you need to account for before you decide on a wood type for the project you are working one.

The most important deciding factor when it comes to the wood that you choose is whether the project is for outdoor or indoor use.

Indoor Projects

Assembling wood furniture

Oak is a wood that is highly versatile when it comes to indoor projects as it is resistant to scratches and dents. It is also durable and soft and can offer a classic appeal for both outdoor and indoor furniture.

The two main oak types that are commonly used include the White Oak and Red Oak. Red Oak is a lot easier to manipulate and work with. It also responds well to steam-bending, which makes it a great choice for many indoor projects.

In addition, it is also a more affordable option in materials and works really well with painting and staining. White oaks are more commonly used for projects outdoors, as it is more resistant to decay and water.

Pine is also another wood that is used commonly for indoor wood projects, such as a main-frame structure in furniture. It is a lightweight material, yet still strong and durable enough in order to support the weight of a table-top.

When it comes to accessibility, plywood happens to be an outstanding choice due to its stability and affordability.

Outdoor Projects

Building a wood deck

When looking for the right wood for an outdoor project, it becomes important to find materials that can withstand different weather conditions.

Cypress and cedar are popular choices, as both are tough and resistant against common enemies such as the sun and insects.

Other wood types for outdoor projects include chestnut, walnut, and cherry. These woods are resistant to most weather conditions and a solid choice for outdoor pieces and furniture.

In general, most wood works well for outdoor projects provided it is regularly maintained and kept dry. However, certain woods do have a much higher resistance when it comes to decay when compared to others:

Very Resistant

Black Walnut, Iroko, Ipe, Idigbo, European Oak, and Cedar.

Moderately Resistant

Larch, Meranti, Sapele, Douglas Fir. When using hardwood vs softwood for an outdoor project, the wood will undergo color changes and it will require regular maintenance.

When left bare, most hardwoods will start to crack and turn grey, and in some cases, they can start to warp when they absorb moisture followed by drying out repeatedly. Constant exposure to the sun can also drain the grain and color features if the wood is not maintained.

For this reason, a topcoat or finish is recommended to protect the wood.

To protect your outdoor project from fungus, choose one of the hardwoods that are resistant to decay. This includes the oily and dense woods that absorb water much slower when compare to other woods.

Redwood is a common material that is used for building an outdoor deck as it is durable and naturally decay-resistant. This wood provides strength along with an elegant appeal due to the attractive red coloring.

Final Thoughts

Knowing the type of wood that is going to match up to your customized project will depend on whether it will be used outdoors or indoor, along with the type of look that you are planning to achieve for the end result.

Once you have made your mind up on what you want to do there are many wood types that you can choose from that provide excellent results.

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