Types of Furniture-Grade Wood: Why, Where and How Much?

At CottonwoodCo, all our wood products are made with either hand-selected, premium-quality hardwoods or select Radiata (a hard variety of pine with no knots and very few imperfections).  We source most of our our hardwoods from a local mill that uses only sustainable methods and yields the highest-quality slabs and dimensional lumber available.  Although you can count on CottonwoodCo to select the best quality cuts of wood for your bench, table, shelves or other products, it's helpful to understand the differences between hardwoods, not only for their various aesthetic and visual appeal, but for the characteristics and nature of the wood itself. 

We have compiled a profile of the woods most commonly used in furniture products at CottonwoodCo and how these living works of art and craftsmanship can enhance the beauty of your home. 

Ambrosia Maple

One of our best-selling series of products at are the Foundry benches and tables found here. Our Foundry Maple benches and console / sofa tables are the best-selling, most popular of the entire Foundry Series.  The ubiquity and beauty of maple hardwood makes it a great addition to almost any home or decor, in part because, while Maple is generally a lighter-colored wood,  Ambrosia Maple exhibits dramatic swaths of blue, gray, dark-brown and even green coloring in gorgeous, willowy shapes throughout.  Ambrosia Maple often also contains 'spalting', a name given to a fungus that leaves thin, dark streaks in the wood, giving it a beautiful, almost cartoon-like visual appeal.  

CottonwoodCo products featuring Ambrosia Maple:

Foundry Bench No. 102
Foundry Bench No. 101

Black Walnut

Black Walnut Hardwood

Black Walnut is one of the most popular and inarguably beautiful hardwoods, used throughout history in high-quality furniture and other goods.  Walnut is a very hard, durable wood that can be used to make furniture that will last a lifetime and beyond.  Some antique walnut furniture and other items have endured hundreds of years and are still in use today despite being made in the 15th and 16th centuries.  It's beauty makes it a much sought-after wood for home decor and furniture items and can be the high point of any room or decor.  Dark, deep and rich, it has a luxury to it unmatched in most domestic hardwoods, but is common enough to be readily-available to most wood shops and furniture makers.  CottonwoodCo uses Black Walnut in benches, console and sofa tables, cabinets, shelves, end tables and more.  The typical piece of Black Walnut will have a dramatic, deep, dark  chocolate brown heart wood with rich gradients and grain patterns, as well as a striking and contrasting sap wood that can range from near-white to a pale tan.  

CottonwoodCo Products Featuring Black Walnut:

Foundry Bench - Walnut Edition
Foundry Console Table - Walnut Edition 


Cherry Hardwood

Cherry has been a mainstay American furniture hardwood since the founding of the country.  It's grain pattern is complex and dramatic and its warm, slightly-reddish tone can blend into the room or be a highlight in almost any decor.  It can be clear-coated to accentuate its natural beauty and also takes stain well to match other wood types and colors in your home decor scheme.  Cherry is a HARD wood and as such, can be a challenge to work with from a carpentry perspective, but its beauty never disappoints and it's often one of the most sought-after woods for furniture use.  CottonwoodCo uses Cherry in benches, shelving and very often for table tops, to highlight its beauty and character.

CottonwoodCo Products Featuring Cherry:

Foundry Console Table - Cherry Edition
The Joan Table - Night Stand with Drawer

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