Selection of Proper Species



The selection of the proper wood species for an architectural design can be the end result of a number of contributing factors and conditions. Appearance, intended use, costs, hardness and relative stability are the more important among many considerations.


(See our Prefinished Doors page to view different species.)


The unique quality that wood relates to design is that each species has its own distinguishing characteristics. Once the species is chosen, its effectiveness may vary according to the manner which it is sliced, veneered, treated, and finished. (See Veneer Cut Options.)


An informed choice will reward the owner with the best possible performance by a natural building material.


Wood as a Plant


Heartwood- Consists of inactive cells formed by changes in the living cells of the inner sapwood rings, presumably after their use of sap conduction and other life processes of the tree have stopped. The cell cavities of heartwood may contain deposits of various materials that provide a much darker color, though all heartwood is not necessarily dark.


Sapwood- Contains living cells and performs an active role in the life processes of the tree. It is located next to the inner bark and functions in sap conduction and storage of food. Sapwood  is lighter in color and can be up to six inches in thickness.


Medullary Rays- Extend radially from the pith of the log toward the circumference. The rays serve primarily to store food and transport it horizontally. They vary in height from a few cells in some species to four inches or more in the oaks, and produce the flake effect common to the quarter sliced lumber in these species.


Growth Rings- Most species grown in temperate climates produce well defined annual growth rings, which are formed by the difference in density and color between wood formed early and wood formed late in the growing season (early wood/late wood, or "spring wood and summer wood.") Early wood cells are characterized by large cavities and thin walls. Late wood cells have smaller cavities and thicker walls and are more dense than early wood. The distinguishing features of the various species are enhanced by the differences in growth ring formation.


Stocked Premium Wood Veneer Faces

Birch, Natural, Rotary

Birch, Red Select, Rotary

Cherry, American Black, Plain Sliced

Mahogany, African, Plain Sliced, Quarter Sliced

Mahogany, Honduras, Plain Sliced

                     Maple, White Select, Plain Sliced

Oak, Red, Plain Sliced, Rotary, Rift Cut

Oak, White, Plain Sliced

Oak, White, Rift Cut

Walnut, American Black, Plain Sliced

Walnut, American Black, Quarter Sliced