A Guide to Common Residential Woods

Essentially since humans began erecting structures, they’ve used wood as a construction material. Today, wood remains immensely popular for everything from framing a house to laying hardwood flooring. If you’re thinking about doing any sort of remodeling project involving wood, it is important to pick the right type of wood for the job.

There are many different wood species that can be used for residential construction and renovation purposes. As you look over this guide, you will learn about some of the most common sorts of wood that are used in households throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. Hopefully, this will help you make the right choice next time you’re doing a project around the house!


Hardwoods are, as their name indicates, harder than softwood species. The wood hardness scale uses density to determine whether a specific type of wood is classified as a hardwood or a softwood.

Hardwoods that are commonly used for residential projects include:







Oak is one of the most popular hardwoods. It is available in both red and white varieties. Red oak trees grow more quickly, so it is the less expensive of the two options. Due to this, red oak wood is generally used for larger projects, such as flooring, large pieces of furniture, and cabinetry. White oak is more frequently used for molding and trim and smaller furnishings. 


Because they scratch and dent more easily than hardwoods, softwoods are not usually used for projects in high-traffic areas. Instead, they are typically utilized for structural work, such as installing studs during new construction, and decorative finishes, like scrollwork on a mantle. Softwoods, particular cedar, and redwood, are also common for decking due to their attractive red color.

Popular softwoods are:






Exotic woods are the most expensive option on the market. Teak is the most common exotic hardwood and, therefore, the least expensive. Due to its durability, teak is often used for outdoor furnishings. All exotic woods are incredibly long-lasting, but they are priced above many homeowners’ budgets.

If you are interested in exotic woods for your next project, though, consider these options: 

-Acacia – Often used for serveware and cutting boards, acacia wood also makes beautiful flooring. Acacia trees are found in Europe. 

-Pink Ivory – One of the world’s rarest woods, African pink ivory is incredibly costly and incredibly gorgeous. It is only sold in small board sizes and generally isn’t used for large projects, such as furniture or flooring. 

-Movingui – Also hailing from Africa, movingui wood is unique in that it is both extremely dense and easy to use. If you can afford movingui, it is an excellent choice for flooring, cabinets, and heavy furniture.

If you have upcoming residential renovations that will require wood, you can use this guide to help you choose the perfect option for your needs. If you have questions about a specific wood species, talk to a trustworthy local Carolina contractor or visit a home improvement store that sells lumber and finished wood products. 

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