10 of the Most Common Wood in America (2023)

Popular woods in USA

Have you ever thought about the benefits of knowing about popular woods in USA?

By comparing hardwoods and softwoods in the united states, it is easier to find best type of wood and use them for manufacturing furniture or other woodworking projects.

Woods are important part of interior decoration in united states and are important for flooring, cabinetry, millwork project and etc.

Specially, if you want to have durable products with the best price, it is important to choose best types of woods that are more suitable and appropriate for your application.

Certain types of woods are not suitable for applications like flooring, making furniture, or similar applications. Also, the hardness of different types of wood and their resistant toward heat and humidity is not the same.

To give you a better idea about the differences that popular woods in united states have, we’re going to list them from the hardest trees to the soft species:

Popular Hardwoods in united states

Hardwoods are a group of woods and timbers that are produced from deciduous trees.

Deciduous trees usually give fruits or edible yields like nuts. they also usually go dormant in the fall or winter.

You may ask: how many varieties of deciduous tree do we have in united states?

Forests in north America and specially in united states have more than one hundred varieties of deciduous trees.

read more: The Most Common Wood In Sweden

Popular Hardwoods in united states

For example, we can list the following trees in north America:

Manufacturers can use the woods from these trees to make different woodworking products like furniture.

They can be also used for cabinetry or flooring. But, the important note is that each type of tree gives a wood with different hardness, color, texture, or grain pattern.

Therefore, it is important to learn about their similarities and differences as well as their price in north America (we’ll introduce several of them in the below).

Popular Softwoods in USA

Conifers or softwoods have needles instead of leaves. Their name come from a Latin name which means cone-bearing.

Popular Softwoods in USA

Popular softwoods in USA that are widely available in market are:

  • Cedar
  • Pine
  • Hemlock
  • Fir
  • Redwood
  • Spruce

It is important to note that softwoods in USA are used mainly as structural lumbers. They also have limited use in decorative applications.

What are tropical hardwoods?

Tropical hardwoods are a group popular woods used in USA that are from trees that grow tropical forests.

Remember that in USA, manufacturers usually import tropical hardwoods and they are not harvested from domestic forests in united states.

For example, some of the most well-known types of tropical trees are:

  • Teak wood
  • Rose wood
  • Mahogany
  • Wenge

The above-mentioned species are not among native trees or domestic species in us. So, to supply the demands in domestic market, they must be imported.

Where to use tropical hardwoods?

Several species of tropical hardwoods are suitable for manufacturing furniture. But, some of them are mainly used for flooring or cabinetry.

How ca I choose best wood for my project?

To choose one of best types of woods in us for your project, you need to compare their properties like:

  • Color
  • Grain pattern
  • Hardness
  • Heat resistance
  • termite resistance

If you have doubt about the best type of wood that are appropriate for manufacturing furniture, flooring, cabinetry, or other projects, you can refer to their characteristics. For example, compare their relative hardness.

How ca I choose best wood for my project?

List of popular woods in USA

In united states, there are more than 1 hundred type of hardwood and softwood. So, it is not easy to mention all of them and explain their characteristics.

But, it is important to note that in US, hardest type of wood, which is commercially available in domestic markets, is hickory.

Hickory is 5 times stronger than aspen wood, which ranks low in its hardness property and is considered as a softwood.

But, what about other species? What about their rank? How to choose them?

If you want to choose one of popular woods based on their hardness, there is a scale that helps a lot.

Hardness scaling system is a good tool to evaluate the hardness of popular varieties. For this reason, we’ve listed popular woods in USA based on their hardness properties:

Hickory wood

Hickory is considered as one of the most extreme types of woods. It is capable of withstanding almost everything.

Hickory wood rates 1820 on the janka system and for this reason is known as the hardest domestic type of wood in USA.

So, if you’re looking for the most durable and popular type of wood in the USA, it seems that hickory will be your preferred choice.

It is worth to mention that hickory has nearly 20 species. They are all from the same genius.

From them, only 12 species are native to the united states. They are among most long lived and toughest trees that grow in unite states.

Hickory price

It is a bit more expensive than oak per square meter (when used for flooring). But, if you’re looking for a hardwood in US for premium products, hickory is not as expensive as other types of luxury woods.

Hard maple

This hardwood is suitable for making woodworking products like furniture, cabinets, flooring, pool cue, and several other finished products.

It worth mentioning that hard and soft maple wood are harvested from the same species. But, hard maple has durable and strong wood with janka value of 1450.

This means that after hickory, hard maple is among hardest types of domestic woods in united states that is used for making furniture.

White oak

In united states, white oak wood is mostly used for interior decorations. Its application ranges from making furniture, millworks, caskets, and cabinets, to the flooring.

It worth mentioning that oak is a strong and large tree that has a stocky trunk with horizontal limbs.

The name of plant comes from whitish bark and its grey twigs that makes it a sturdy and handsome tree.

Oak tree can reach up to 4 feet in diameters and more than 100 feet in height.

Beech wood

The woods from beech tree are straight-grained and hard enough to be used in making furniture or cabinetry.

They are also suitable for making handles for utensils, plywood, sports equipment, and etc.

It belongs to a category of woods with hard-wearing properties. Also, as a non-porous wood, it has a strong surface with a solid dense texture.

This means that beech wood resists against pressure or chiping far more than several types of common woods.

Red oak

The wood of red oak is considered as a janka hardwood. It means that while red oak wood will not scratch easily, it can dent easier than other popular hard species.

So, if you are looking for a type of wood with high durability that is suitable for heavy uses, you may/should consider other types of woods with more hardness. For example, hickory or red oak is a good option for showing better hardness properties.

Yellow birch

The wood of yellow birch is very strong. The average hardness of this wood is 1260 lbs.

It is important to note that birch and oak are both respectable woods that are strong and hard. But, keep in mind that oak works a bit better than birch.

So, if you want to select one of them for cabinets or other products, oak can be a better option with a slightly better performance.

Green ash

The woods from green ash have an extreme shock resistance characteristic. So, they are among most popular types of wood that are used for making handles for tools.

For example, handles for shovels or hammers can be made by the wood of green ash.

Other types of woods in USA

in the above, we’ve introduced several hard species that are suitable for making decorative items like furniture.

but, woods and timbers are widely used for several applications in housing construction and other industries.

For example, the species that are listed below are among well-known types of woods in US:

  • Black walnuts
  • Soft maple
  • Cherry wood
  • Hackberry
  • Gum wood
  • Elm wood
  • Alder wood
  • Yellow poplar
  • Bass wood
  • Aspen wood

Pay attention that aspen wood is the less-hardest wood in the list above.

Why wood is important in USA?

Wood is one of the main elements for construction industry. Because, many people still prefer to use it in their houses.

On the other hand, it is easy to work with wood or repair it in buildings. So, even after development of the country and wide use of brick, concrete and iron alloys in buildings, wood is still a popular element in housing construction.

Does US imports wood?

Yes, United states have a large reserves of woods. But, it also imports wood from other countries like Canada.

Final thought

By learning about popular woods in USA, it is easier to compare their physical properties and determine their durability, suitability, and hardness.

For this reason, we tried to give a list of popular woods in the United states beginning from hardest woods to the soft species.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top