Softwood Vs Hardwood, Healthy Home & Green Living Guides, Explanations, & Definitions

When architects and engineers look for the best in structural lumber, their first choice repeatedly is Douglas Fir. In the Inland Region, east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains, Douglas Fir and Western Larch often grow in intermixed stands. Common uses for softwood timbers include structural framing, cladding and panelling, benchtops, flooring, decking, joinery, beams and poles. Larch is very similar in appearance to Douglas Fir and in many respects has similar properties.

Woodworkers prefer knotty pine for making tables, chests or any other project because pine has the beauty that fir lacks. Although we hold only a small stock of Douglas Fir in ‘squares’, we do keep an extensive stock of round logs ready to cut, so your order can be turned around very quickly. Indeed, this is exactly what many wood lovers may crave when installing wood floors with a softwood under-layer.

Examples of hardwood trees include alder, balsa, beech, hickory, mahogany, maple, oak, teak, and walnut. If you can do those simple things, your Douglas fir flooring will last a lifetime, with durability that ranks up there with any so-called hardwood” on the market. It is therefore ideal for use on porches, balconies and cladding which are exposed to the elements and if you decide to use Douglas Fir internally for your frame, then Larch can be used externally to give continuity of appearance. Fir seasons quickly, and when it is dry it is truly delightful, trouble free wood!

Australia has approximately one million hectares of established softwood plantations (mostly radiata pine) and about 70 percent of the softwood timber we consume is domestically grown, highlighting the ready availability of softwood timbers for the Australian building industry. However, installers must beware to leave enough room between the softwood planks for expansion due to fluctuations in the subfloor’s MC. While this rule-of-thumb applies to all wood species, it is especially important when softwood plank subfloors may be sandwiched underneath ¼” plywood and hardwood flooring.

If the subfloor did end up looking really beat up, it would be a while before I could save up to install hardwood. Green hardwood lumber purchased directly from a sawmill can seem reasonably priced, but by the time it’s been kiln dried and planed smooth, it can end up being quite expensive. Douglas does grow long and straight so getting above 6m isn’t so much of a problem depending on your widths. As an example, Sharron uses the hardwood Alder, which is indigenous to Oregon and might be blended with its Douglas-fir softwood. Once pelletized, the difference between softwood and hardwood fiber is minimal.

It has a fine texture and straight grain, and its nearly yellow color silvers exquisitely upon exposure. Whether you are looking for structural timber or an appearance grade lumber, let us handle your diverse Douglas Fir requirements! Softwood also scores with its feel and by radiating a feeling of warmth – natural oiled larchwood floors are demonstrably the warmest of all.

Hem-Fir is a species combination of Western Hemlock and the true firs (Noble, California Red, Grand, Pacific Silver and White fir). But, if you’ll have a look at our fuelwood chart, you’ll notice that a cord of hardwood weighs more than a cord of softwood. Softwood lumber is usually marked with a stamp specifying which species of tree it was cut from.

Mountain Hemlock and Alpine Fir are distinguished from Western Hemlock and the other true firs by having lower assigned design values, which is relevant only in structural applications. Because poplar is not the most beautiful wood, it’s rarely used in fine furniture, and if it is, it’s almost always painted. French and UK grown Douglas Fir is also offered in ‘construction’ grades and mainly used for exterior joinery (if preservative treated) or roof trusses etc. Today’s hardwood flooring can be so costly and so finely finished, that you’re best to avoid walking on it. But I’d prefer not to tippy-toe around my own home.

Douglas Fir grows throughout Western forests with the most abundant region being in the coastal climates of Oregon, Washington and northern California. Available exclusively at Davis-Hawn, so come see us and cast your vote for Doug Fir as Best All-Around” softwood! There is a large difference between a 100% Cleanfire Douglas Fir pellet and a douglas fir blend. Hardwood is not necessarily a harder material (more dense) and a softwood is not necessarily a softer material (less dense). It takes a tightly-constructed stove with a decent size firebox to go the night on a load of softwood. Properties & Uses: Cedar is a knotty softwood which has a red-brown color with light streaks.

This is a prized quality for builders, and fir is so reliable that it is even shipped, cut and installed on homes while it is still green. Douglas Fir is North America’s most plentiful softwood species, accounting for one fifth of the continent’s total softwood reserves The wood of Douglas-fir varies widely in weight and strength. The straight grained and exceptionally strong Douglas Fir tree is one of the most dominant species in the Northwest forests. Overall Douglas fir firewood is a great all around, user friendly firewood choice.

Compared with hardwood species, softwoods such as larch, spruce, pine, stone pine and Douglas fir are softer and lighter. Southern Yellow Pine – Framing lumber (especially joists, headers and rafters), pattern stock (sidings, flooring and paneling), and treated lumber. Softwoods come from coniferous trees such as cedar, fir, and pine and tend to be somewhat yellow or reddish. Softwood plywood can be handled with ordinary woodworking tools and basic skills.

Unless you are shooting steel balls into your floors on a regular basis, you should have no problems with the durability of your Douglas fir flooring The Pacific Northwest is full of homes dating from the early part of the 20th century whose original Douglas fir floors are still beautiful—80 to 100 years after they were first installed. At ETH we do carry over 5000m3 of various imported softwood (Pine, Spruce, and Douglas Fir & ETC.) and Imported Hardwood (White Oak and White Ash) at our warehouse located in Telok Gong. Softwood dimensions can change as seasons change and as ambient (RH) changes occur.

Make sure your Douglas fir floor has a quality finish , keep the floors clean with sweeping and occasional mopping, and maintain the finish when necessary. Many designers state the aesthetic appeal of clear, light, straight, vertical-grain Douglas Fir is unsurpassed among the world’s softwood species. If you walk into the flooring section of your local home center, you might not actually find any softwood floors for sale. If you’re not sure which hardwood floor is right for you, contact our Customer Care reps for assistance.

Savvy stakeholders can invest in moisture meters for wood in order to mitigate the potentially damaging effects of changing MC levels in softwood flooring. The pores in hardwoods are a lot of what gives hardwood its prominent grain, which is quite different from softwood’s light grain. The project is a sustained growth patch of mixed age Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine.

Properties & Uses: Birch is a hard, heavy, close grained hardwood with a light brown or reddish colored heartwood and cream or light sapwood. For example, you can typically get pine for half the cost of oak, perhaps the most ubiquitous hardwood flooring material. For versatility and beauty, few woods in the world match the magnificence of Douglas Fir. In contrast softwood grows much faster maturing in 25-30 yrs and the timber is therefore less dense. Due to lower wood SG’s, most softwood species are softer than hardwoods and less fir a softwood

It is priced much closer to Yellow Pine, but offers the beauty, stability and finishing of Doug Fir (looks great paired with Doug Fir beams). Hardwood species provide wood used for durable construction projects, hardwood flooring, decking, and high quality furniture. Softwood trees are evergreen or needle-bearing (e.g. pine, fir, spruce, redwood, cedar, cypress, and hemlock).

Performance aspects such as durability, stainability, grain pattern and color stability will vary depending on the type and the specific characteristics of the tree, including whether it is a softwood or hardwood. It has a much lower moisture content than a hardwood and loses its moisture more quickly meaning that by the time a frame is constructed and raised it is already much further towards being seasoned than one would expect from a hardwood.

Also some imported species such as spruce, imported pine, Douglas fir or the spruce pine fir (SPF) mix will seasoned and locally produced), Radiata, pinaster, slash, Caribbean pines. Like Oak, there’s not alot it can’t be used for externally, it is naturally durable and will fare better than another softwood in the ground, but it can be difficult to treat due to it’s density and resin content. A hardwood is an angiosperm, a plant that produces seeds with some sort of covering such as a shell or a fruit.

Douglas Fir is very straight grained and this means that you wont find any curves in a Douglas frame, unless they are very gentle curves ‘forced’ out of larger sections. For example, the hardness of woods varies widely, so certain hardwood species are not recommended for flooring because they are not hard enough to withstand heavy wear and tear. Siberian Larch has outstanding qualities that provide a durability normally only found in hardwood. Hardwood fundamentally comes from trees that lose their leaves in the winter, so trees such as Oak, Ash, Beech etc.