Hardwood and Softwood: Their Key Distinctions that You Should Know

Hardwood and softwood have different features and characteristics. Accordingly, it would be more advantageous to know what their distinctions are, as this will give you a clear glimpse as to how they can help serve your specific purposes.

Hardwood and Softwood: Their Key Distinctions that You Should Know

Here are some of the things about hardwood and softwood that you should know:


Hardwood – This originates from an angiosperm tree, a tree type with seeds that are usually enclosed, like pods or shells. The common examples of hardwood are: balsa, mahogany, maple, elm, sycamore and oak.

Softwood – This originates from a gymnosperm tree, which is a tree type with seeds that do not have any covering and usually just fall to the ground. Examples are: cedar, pine, larch, fir and redwood.


Generally, hardwood is more durable compared to softwood.

However, please do note that this classification is not always based on the wood type’s density or weight. A wood type’s feature or durability can also be measured by how it is reproduced or grown. Balsa wood, a type of wood that is usually softer and lighter compared to other woods, is actually considered as a hardwood and not softwood.

Hardwood, takes a longer time to grow. Accordingly, this is one of the main reasons why this wood type is denser and heavier compared to other woods. Of course, this is also the reason why it is usually more expensive compared to softwood.


Hardwoods, due to their higher quality, are utilised for different purposes. This is the more preferred material when it comes to fuel, construction, building musical instruments, boat building, cooking, barrels and other related uses. Incidentally, this higher quality and greater durability are what makes it more expensive compared to other options.

Softwood, because it’s relatively cheaper, is the more popular source for timber. In fact, around 80% of timber in the world comes from softwood. This may be attributed to the following reasons: it’s easier to reproduce, it grows faster, it’s “eco-friendly” and is renewable.

So, which among these two should you use for your home improvement project? The answer is up to you.

But if you want the help of a timber decking and flooring expert from Brisbane, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (07) 3888 1293.

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