Jul 13 2010

What is the difference between softwood and hardwood?

Category: Flooring,Home Improvement


Hardwood and softwood are designations of wood that are characterized by the way in which a tree reproduces. It can be confusing since in some circumstances softwood can technically be harder. An easy way of remembering is hardwood trees will lose their leaves during winter, while softwoods will not. See the wood descriptions below.

Hardwood is wood that is harvested from a range of trees like oak, maple, beech, ash, maple, cherry, walnut, and mahogany. This type of wood comes from trees that produce a hard shell around their seeds. Hardwood trees are called angiosperm trees and are used for a variety of applications such as furniture, flooring, and other construction projects.

Softwood, on the other hand, develops from cone bearing trees also known as conifers. Although about 75% of harvested wood is softwood. There are far fewer types of softwood trees than that of hardwood. Examples of softwood are pine, cypress, spruce, and douglas fir.

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