What is the Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood?

Home Supply & Lumber pic
Home Supply & Lumber
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Home Supply & Lumber is a supplier of quality lumber and home-improvement supplies. Home Supply & Lumber’s showroom and lumber center in Hawthorne, New Jersey, houses a large inventory of different lumber products.

It can be a challenge to know which kind of lumber is the correct choice for a particular project. To begin any construction or woodworking project, one must know the difference between hard- and softwoods.

Softwoods are sourced from fast-growing coniferous, or evergreen, trees. Common coniferous woods include spruce, pine, fir, and cedar. The wood harvested from these trees is very soft, and can often be dented with just a fingernail. This type of wood is able to absorb a large amount of moisture, and must be stored and handled accordingly. Softwoods have tiny pores, so the grain pattern is closed and straight, and may be difficult to discern. Lumber of this type is usually used for construction and framing projects outdoors.

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, or trees that drop their leaves in the fall. These trees have a harder, more dense wood than conifers, but they are also more expensive due to their slow growth. Lumber from deciduous trees can have interesting and beautiful grain patterns, making hardwood the more desirable choice for woodworking projects.

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