Guide to Wood Types
Select The Perfect Type for Your Home
At Langley Interiors we offer a wide selection of different finishes to create beautiful furniture suitable for a huge range of styles and tastes. We offer a range of real wood finishes from classic through to exotic timbers. Something to suit a broad range of tastes and budgets.
We offer a huge range of exotic and unique veneers that are hard to come by. Some finishes such as Pippy Oak or Birds Eye maple due to their very nature are only available in veneer form as opposed to a hard wood such as Oak.
Attention to Detail
As a family run business of three generations we pay close attention to every customers needs for their home, with each being unique . If you have ever commissioned furniture from Langley Interiors, you know that our designers will guide and advise you, giving you the space to make decisions without pushy sales people.
When designing your furniture our designer will ask you about your home and your goals for it. He will personally carry out the site survey to view the space and understand how to make the best of it.
Stained or Unstained Wood
Wood staining is used to saturate the colour of wood in it’s natural state or give it a distinctive tint. Unlike painting, staining soaks the wood with a pigment, changing the colour of the wood itself not covering it with a layer of colour.
Staining can help the designer achieve interesting results by combining intricate grains. It can also help to darken many types of wood and achieve time served, antique look on a new piece of furniture.
The ever popular finish Oak is a hard wearing, durable and versatile finish that suits many designs. It features a lovely open wood grain. As a natural wood, the colours of Oak can vary slightly from tree to tree and also from branch to branch. Depending on how it is cut – straight across the tree for a flowery grain as pictured, or by cutting the tree in four sections for a ‘Quarter Cut’ finish, will offer a differ effect to the grain. Our showroom has both finishes available to view.
Oak comes in two main varieties White and Red Oak. Both of them look very similar with the Red Oak having a prominent reddish tint. In a number of our projects we have combined oak with painted frames or other elements, often in white or cream. The contrast helps to bring out the grain of the wood, and prevent the room becoming over powered.
Beech is a hard wearing and strong wood perfect for furniture. Due to its fine and tight grain and even texture it looks great on larger pieces. Depending on the age of the tree beech can develop a reddish tint or irregular colour intensity. Langley Interiors always ensure only one batch of wood is used on a project, so the colour integrity will be maintained.
Beech wood is a good choice for rooms with less natural light coming in with it being a light finish. The simple texture is a great background for someone looking for a more adventurous wall paper or some other strong accents.
Maple wood is a popular choice for furniture. One ideal property is the fact that it is highly moisture resistant, making it a great choice for bathroom furniture.
Maple can also be stained. It is useful used in rooms that need to be brightened or have less available light. With its soft colour Maple reflects light very well and can not only brighten the room but also visually enlarge it. Similarly to Beech, we often advise using it in conjunction with other exotic woods or contrast it against darker ones.
Very popular in cabinet making and fine furniture – Cherry is perfect for a traditional home. The wood can vary from deep, rich red to reddish brown with a golden hue and will darken with age and when exposed to sunlight. Cherry has a characteristic straight, fine grain and a beautiful smooth texture.
Cherry wood can be easily stained to achieve darker tones of red or deeper browns. The wood has a very recognisable colour and can be a great feature all by itself. Due to its flexibility cherry is perfect for intricate workings and making elaborate design elements. In our projects you can mostly find Cherry wood on its own in satin or high gloss finish. Both of those options help to bring out the natural beauty of the wood and its grain.
Warm and versatile – Walnut is a stunning selection for any home. It can range from lighter pale brown all the way to dark chocolate-like colour with darker streaks. Walnut is a straight grain wood and can be easily recognised due to its sparse dark brown rings.
The striking grain lends itself to being book matched in furniture, with the grain being the main feature of the room. Due to its darker colour walnut is a great selection for brighter rooms and tends to be a top selection for offices and media units. The narrow grain allows for high gloss as well as satin options.
Unique and beautiful – Zebrano wood (or Zebrawood) is an exotic hardwood sourced mainly from regions of West Africa. The wood has characteristic alternating light and dark stripes on a light brown background, giving it the zebra-like appearance.
Zebrano looks best when complimented by more subtle colours and for that reason our designers often match it with cream or white painted finishes. Zebrano can also be quite light-absorbing and therefore using it in a well lit room, preferably with a lot of natural light coming in can really make the difference.
Lustrous and fine grained – Sycamore wood is a fine selection for modern and traditional interiors. Sycamore comes from the same family as maple and shares some of its characteristics as well. Sycamore trees are native to the UK and are fairly commonly found from well managed sustainable sources. The trees themselves can grow to enormous dimensions, providing many furniture manufacturers with beautiful selection of grain and great uniformity of pattern and colour.
Sycamore wood comes in a creamy yellow colour with marked growth in rich read brown taint. It has a distinctive almost graphic wood grain, making it a very interesting choice. The timber is also very durable making it a great selection for cabinet and furniture makers.
Unique and interesting – Masur Birch is not a species of wood, but an intricate type of grain, that has its own category. The intriguing structure is mostly seen in Downy Birch and Silver Birch it is also sometimes referred to as Karelian Birch. The peculiar grain pattern is a great way to embellish any type of home furniture. Due to its beautiful pattern we often use it in conjunction with Maple or Birch to bring out the beauty of both of the finishes.
We often advice use of Masur Birch to create a distinguished, elegant interiors, but can also be used for more modern pieces.
Bird’s Eye Maple
One-of-a-kind and beautiful – Bird’s Eye Maple is similarly to Masur Birch, not a specific type of wood, but a figure that appears in sugar maple trees. The distinct little knots creating the unique pattern are reportedly a result of unfavourable growing conditions for the tree. The Sugar Maple is trying to grow new buds, however with the poor growing conditions they get absorbed back into the tree with the tiny knots appearing in the grain.
Similarly to Maple, Bird’s Eye Maple is a beautiful and lustrous timber. It has a warm golden taint and is highly moisture resistant and durable. The intricate knots in the pattern make it great choice for more traditional furniture. We often use it as a feature alongside maple to bring out the beauty of the grain.
Classy and unique – Pippy Oak is a stunning wood sourced from trees with ‘epicormic growth’. These can appear almost like tumours on the outside of a tree and can sometimes consume the whole trunk creating one big ball of burr. The growth creates a unique pattern looking like bundles of little knots and that is sometimes compared to cats’ paws. The clusters turn oak into an incredible feature perfect for furniture.
Pippy Oak has very similar properties to Oak. It is hard wearing, durable and very versatile. With the beautiful colour of oak the wood can help to create a dignified look. Pippy oak is a great wood for feature front panels or as a contrast to more simple timbers.
Choosing the right type of wood for your furniture can be tricky. You need to consider the look you want to go for, as well as more practical considerations such as moisture. Plus not all woods work in conjunction with high gloss if that is also a consideration. Our designers will happily guide you through the process of finding the perfect selection for you. Book an appointment with a member of the team below, or call us for more advise.