What is the difference between hardwood and softwood?

Posted by Yuri on March 25th, 2021


How many people started to do DIY during the lockdown? If you did or started to decorate/redecorate your house by yourself, you’ve noticed there are many varieties of woods and each woods can use for a different purpose. Whether you are fixing the deck in your garden or making new furniture for your home, you should learn what is the difference between hardwood and softwood before you do DIY. Here are the differences.



Hardwood is sourced from broad-leaved trees that are grown in temperate climates. They tend to be slower growing. Hardwood is denser, stronger, harder, and longer-lasting than softwood and hence much more expensive.

It is versatile materials that can be used for floorings, furniture, garden furniture, instruments, and constructions. Hardwoods can vary from being extremely pale to very dark in colour to choose from.

The most common types of hardwoods are Oak, Teak, Iroko, Meranti, Beech, Ash, Walnut, Jatoba, ElmCherry and Merbau. Hardwoods are usually longer-lasting with natural weather resistance and require less maintenance than cheaper softwood alternatives.

One thing you should consider is when you use solid hardwood for floorings if you live in an area where a high level of humidity or the area is subject to drastic changes in air temperature within a short period of time, it might be not a good idea as solid hardwood floors are susceptible to high levels of moisture in the air, as well as drastic changes in temperature, which will cause the floor to buckle or bow. 


On the other hand, softwoods come from the fast-growing coniferous trees of Northern America, Scandinavia and Eastern parts of Northern Europe with a large breadth of applications and a remarkably aesthetic appeal. Example of softwoods is Pine, Douglas Fir, Western Red Ceder, and Spruce.

They are flexible, lighter in weight and less dense than most hardwoods. Softwood is relatively cheap and is used for construction, cladding, interior mouldings, the manufacturing of windows, construction framing and making inexpensive furniture. Softwood is usually shorter life than hardwood, however, if you regularly maintain it properly, it will last long for decades.

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Joined: January 12th, 2021
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