What is the variation between hardwood and softwood?
Despite their names, real wood isn’t necessarily harder than softwood, and softwood isn’t often softer than hardwood. The actually comes down to the type of forest they come from. Hardwood derives from deciduous trees (trees that shed their leaves within the winter) and has seeds having fleshy or nutty addressing. Examples of hardwood include walnut, elm and teak. Softwood on the other hand comes from the evergreen forest such as pine and jazz. Their seeds are basic and exposed (think conifers).
Hardwood – in particular teak wood – is popular use in garden furniture due to its longevity and weather resistance. It is additionally often used for indoor household furniture, flooring, tools, musical equipment, barrels and shipbuilding among other things. Hardwood tends to be heavy and more expensive than softwood.
Softwood is also used to help make garden furniture but has to be taken care of in order to protect it from the weather. In general, it is more commonly employed than hardwood due to its more affordable and easy to work with. Softwood is widely used in buildings.
Which one costs the most?
Hardwood comes from slow-growing trees present in tropical regions of the world which makes it more expensive than softwood, which grows faster and is abundant in northern Europe. Hardwood is denser and therefore weightier than softwood and requires lengthier drying times due to the quantity of natural oil it contains — both of these factors drive up the price.
Because of its relatively high cost, hardwood tends to be used for ‘fine’ programs – high-quality furniture and so forth – or in instances where softwood just isn’t because of the task. But that surely doesn’t mean that softwood is usually cheap and nasty. Both are simply different and suited to distinct purposes.
New softwood tends to look very paler yellow or light darkish, whereas hardwood tends to be deeper brown or reddish-brown inside colour. Note that softwood must be treated before you can use it out-of-doors, which can give it a light yellowish or sometimes greenish shade.
Both types of wood may eventually weather and become any silvery colour when kept outdoors. Both can be tarnished, painted or otherwise coated if you need a different colour.
When accustomed to making garden furniture, treated softwood is usually cut thicker and possesses a pleasingly chunky, solid physical appearance. Teak and other hardwoods are generally cut thinner. Both have another style, and which is very best is simply a matter of taste.
Usefulness and comfort
The big downside when it comes to hardwood garden furniture is excess weight. It’s costlier to transport, maybe trickier to assemble and more hard move around the garden. On the additional side, it has more healthy weather resistance and can likely last for decades if you look after the item well.
Softwood is easier to reduce and work with, allowing makers to easily create comfortable curved shapes and soft edges. Often the lighter weight can also produce assembly more straightforward in addition to moving it around the garden a smaller hassle.
Weather resistance in addition to lifespan
As we mentioned prior, softwood must be treated to make it appropriate for outdoor use. Although it can’t really compete with hardwood when it comes to life expectancy, you can still expect dealt with softwood to last for at the very least fifteen years. Most of the strain treated items we offer come with a manufacturer’s 10-year assurance against rot. There are various skin oils, stains and paints that will extend the lifespan of your respective wooden garden furniture even further (more this further down).
It’s also important to observe that wood (both hard and also soft) is a natural substance and it’s normal for it to be able to bend, warp and sometimes even break. This happens due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, in addition, it shouldn’t be a major cause of consternation.
Which is best for the environment?
Softwood is the clear winner of the following. Hardwood takes longer to progress, takes longer to dry, features farther to travel to get to England and uses more strength to transport due to its extra weight. Furthermore, it tends to be cut into finer sections, requiring more slices to be made and using considerably more energy to do so.
Some will argue that hardwood lasts a little longer and needs replacing significantly less often, off-setting the initial environmentally friendly impacts. But whichever you chose to go for, make sure that the hardwood has been farmed responsibly and also hasn’t been cut down illegally. Be aware of the FSC mark to make sure that your furniture was found responsibly.
Treatment and maintenance
Wood requires very little maintenance as a result of the natural oils it contains. It will need any washed once a year with a remembers brush and soapy water to remove lichen and lichens. If your furnishings are good quality and you want them to weather and also turn silver, then they shouldn’t need much maintenance in any way. If you want to preserve the colour then you can definitely apply a teak guardian, but this can remove the healthy layer of patina which protects the wood.
High-class softwood furniture will be created with 100% pressure treated solid timber. Treated timber is sturdy enough to last for decades without any maintenance, but at this time there are a few extra steps you can take to grant its lifespan. Wood spills and paints that contain real wood preservatives are available in most Shops and should be applied in dried up weather. Occasionally washing your personal furniture and covering that during the winter will also aid.
Has a deeper colour
Is somewhat more expensive
Lasts for several many years
Is naturally weather-resistant
Includes a greater environmental impact
Has a lighter colour
Will be lighter in weight
Is less expensive
Can last for more than a decade
Is weather tolerant when treated
Has a fewer environmental impact
Both types of outdoor furnishings have their advantages and disadvantages, and many of the differences between the two basically come down to taste and private preference.
Although hardwood provides its natural weather battle, softwood beats it with regard to weight, affordability and durability, not to mention comfort. By using tension treated softwood we believe you will get the best of both oceans – it will still be several years and comes with the many other advantages mentioned above. In the event you really like the look of teak, that may stain your softwood pieces of furniture to replicate the wooden look.
At Garden Furniture Area, we believe that pressure addressed softwood is the best kind of real wood to use for garden furniture. Narrow models look great we use them in all of your products, and we take care to utilize trustworthy suppliers that benefit sustainability as well as quality.
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