If you’re in the market for a new dining table, you may be wondering which material to choose: hardwood or softwood. In this article we will explore the benefits and costs of both materials so that you can make an informed decision.
Softwood is a type of wood that comes from coniferous trees, such as firs and pines. Hardwoods are sourced from deciduous trees, including oak, maple, cherry and walnut.
Softwood is less expensive than hardwood because it grows more quickly and needs to be replaced more often. It is softer and dents and scratches more easily but has amazing knots and character. Hardwoods are exactly that. They tend to withstand the test of time. They are much harder for us to work with and are also more expensive to mill. We always suggest you upgrade to a hardwood if your budget allows, since this may be the last table you ever buy.
When purchasing a softwood table, be aware that these tables are alive, and will shrink and expand with weather changes. When weather gets cooler in the winter months, these tables tend to shrink as humidity in the air drops. In the summer, they may expand as they absorb more moisture.
Hardwoods are more stable throughout the seasons and tend to shrink and expand a little less. This is another reason hardwoods are more expensive. Their tighten grain structure helps repel moisture absorption over time as your new furniture settles into your home.
Overall, a whole house humidifier is the way to go. It will help keep moisture levels consistent regardless of the weather outside and will help your furniture ease the transition from our shop to your home. Without proper humidity control, your furniture could expand or contrast too quickly, causing cracking, splitting, cupping or bowing.