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43 Types of Wood Grain Patterns

If you are a DIY enthusiast or if you have to work on your own home, then knowing the different types of wood grain patterns is important. 

There are many different kinds of wood grain patterns and wood species that can make your home look stunning and unique. However, it is not easy to identify them all by yourself. That’s why we wrote this article for you. Here we will explain how each type looks like and give examples so that you can easily choose which one fits your needs best.

You might think that there aren’t many differences between the different types of wood grain patterns but they actually vary quite a lot from one another. This means that depending on what kind of pattern do you want, some woods are better than others for certain projects. Knowing about their characteristics will help you decide which ones fit your needs best.

What is Wood Grain?

Wood grain patterns are the way how cells and fibers grow in a certain direction inside the tree. It’s what creates various shapes and textures in every piece of wood, be it furniture or paper. The different types of grains are curly, flat, and straight grain.

It also helps you determine what kind of species is a particular block of wood from. In order to understand all its different types, we need to learn how each pattern is created in detail.

Types of Wood Grain Patterns

1. Red Oak

One of the most popular types of wood grain patterns is oak, and there are many reasons for it. This kind of pattern is perfect for creating furniture that is both sturdy and durable yet beautiful at the same time. Oak has a mild natural shine but can be stained in any color you want by using different kinds of finishes.

The texture that comes with this type of wood grain can vary from tight to lose but never becomes too coarse. It looks beautiful on its own or when finished in stain color, but it also looks good when painted with a white undercoat.

2. Hard Maple

There are over 45 species of maple tree out there, and each one has a different kind of wood grain pattern. However, hard maple’s characteristics make it one of the most popular ones in the market today. This type has a tight, closed grain that’s smooth and uniform.

It is great for making furniture items like nightstands, dining tables, chairs, and other utility uses around the house. It can also be used to make floors or cabinets. There are two kinds of maple available on the market – hard and soft. They look the same but they have totally different characteristics when it comes to working with them. While hard maple is stronger than soft maple, they both offer distinctive wood grain patterns as well as high durability.

Soft maple looks like a mix between fine ash wood grain pattern and furry yew wood pattern but it doesn’t have any problem with splinters because of its fine grain.

It is not as hard and solid as hard maple but it doesn’t have any knots or cracks either. It has a great strength-to-weight ratio that makes this type perfect for creating furniture items that are both lightweight and durable at the same time. The best part of using soft maple is its color. This wood looks great with almost any color finished on it, so you can choose which one fits your needs better.

3. Pine Wood 

You will find pine in northern areas, growing anywhere from Canada up to Maine. This kind of tree species offers some of the best kinds of wood grain patterns when it comes to outdoor uses such as decks, fences, landscaping material etc. It’s cheap and easy to work with.

The most recognizable feature of pine wood is its wave pattern. Some people find it quite attractive but others just see a mess that needs to be hidden. It can easily be cured by using the right finishing products because you can choose between glossy and matte ones.

4. Ash Wood 

Ash is one of the strongest types of softwood trees in the world, making it perfect for furniture items that need to support extra weight or protection from harsh weather conditions. Its grain has a closed structure with a little bit of rough texture so it’s very easy to polish and stain without any effort. Its color ranges from brownish cream up to dark chocolate colors, depending on which part of the tree was harvested. The darker color comes from the heartwood part of the tree while the lighter color comes from its sapwood.

5. White Oak

White oak is a well-known type of oak tree because of its high strength to weight ratio. It is one of the hardest trees out there and it’s very easy to work with. Its wood has a tight texture that can be easily polished, making it perfect for items like tables or chairs where you will constantly rub your hands on them.

This kind of wood grain pattern looks best when finished in dark colors such as black or brown but also looks great with light stains and glossy finishes.

6. Hackberry

You will find hackberry growing only in certain parts of North America, stretching from Mexico up until Texas. It has small heart-shaped leaves that come in clusters and small flowers with little green fruits which we call “hackeeberries”. It is one of the most extremely flammable tree species in the world.

Its wood is also extremely flammable but some people still choose to use it for furniture or other wooden items. Its grain can go from smooth to wavy which makes it perfect for polished surfaces and rustic designs as well.

Hackberry trees are considered living fossils because they haven’t changed much since they were first created millions of years ago. Its wood has been used all over the world mainly on the flooring material, wooden fence boards, and paddles that need the right strength to weight ratio.

7. Cherry

Most popular cherry trees grow in warm climates but there are certain types that grow in cold climates as well. It will offer you a way better wood grain pattern that is great for outdoor uses. Its color ranges from dark red to light pink and its texture can vary from smooth to rough.

Applying the right finishing products on cherry wood can help it look nice when finished with dark colors but if you prefer lighter tones, just use a traditional oil finish and you will be all set. All types of cherry are extremely durable, flexible, strong, lightweight and they have zero shrinkage. You can never go wrong using this type of wood grain pattern.

8. Walnut

Most popular walnut trees grow on the western side of America but there are some kinds that also grow in Asia. It has a unique rough and rugged appearance with a deep pinkish-brown to black color. Depending on the part of the tree, you can find bark that is extremely hard and tough.

The wood is very easy to work with and it’s mostly used for furniture items like dining room tables or even knife handles. It’s also great for a flooring material as well. It’s a bit more expensive than other types but it will last longer than them all because of its durability.

9. Sycamore

Sycamore trees are native to Canada and the United States. It is one of the fastest-growing deciduous trees on our planet. The wood is extremely soft and weak when green but after it’s dried out, it becomes very hard so you can use this type for multiple purposes. Its color ranges from light creamy brown down to dark chocolate brown.

Sycamore wood grain pattern has a very unique marbling effect which makes it perfect for almost any type of furniture item or other wooden items as well. It’s not only durable but also pretty easy to work with.

10. Basswood

The beautiful thing about basswood is that they grow all over Europe, Japan, China, Australia, and North America. It’s a very popular type of tree for furniture items because of its high resistance to weather and insects. Its grain consists out of variations between wavy, straight, and interlocked which makes it look nice when polished but also beautiful with stains or wax.

Countless people use basswood wood grain patterns for their wooden items such as bed frames, dining room tables, lamps, desks, and even skateboards. If you want it to look nice with dark tones just apply some stain or oil finish on it and you will be ready to go

11. Mahogany

This type of wood is mostly used for furniture items and its color ranges from light pink to dark reddish-brown. It’s usually considered a very beautiful and hardworking wood grain pattern because many people say that it has a nice deep shine to it when polished. You can use mahogany for almost any wooden item you want like desks, tables, cabinets, or even flooring material.

Mahogany is quite expensive but also one of the strongest types on our list so don’t hesitate on buying this amazing wood grain pattern.

12. Pine

Pine trees are quite common in parts of Europe, Asia, and America. They are most known for their amazing durability which makes them important all over the world. If you are looking for a cheap type of wood to work with then pine is the one for you. It has a very simple and plain appearance but it also has some variations between textures so that’s quite nice.

Wood types like this are usually used for making doors, flooring material, furniture items, and even toys. Pine can be painted or stained in any shade and it will look amazing as well. This type is extremely lightweight but still pretty strong enough to last longer than most other kinds.

13. Zebrano

Zebrano is a very interesting type of wood and it’s also extremely beautiful. The main reason why people love it so much is because of its unique grain pattern which looks like the stripes on Zebrano’s skin. It’s quite expensive but durable enough to last for decades.

Despite that, we don’t recommend using this type for heavy purposes as it might snap in half even when you hang something on the wall with nails. Zebrano has amazing wooden properties such as durability, flexibility, strength and it’s lightweight so if you want your stuff to look elegant then go ahead and purchase some zebrawood products today.

14. Poplar

The poplar tree grows pretty fast just like sycamore, pine, or even maple. The wood is a bit softer than other types and it can be easily bent or shaped into whatever form you want. Also, poplar wood grain looks quite simple and plain but the color variations of this type are more interesting.

Pine trees usually have natural knots on their trunk which look extremely nice as accents for wooden items such as furniture pieces, doors, and many others. Most people use this type in bathrooms because they say it repels bacteria.

15. Cedar

These cedar trees grow all over Europe, East Asia, North America, and Australia. When freshly cut straight from the tree’s trunk, cedar has an amazing aroma scent to it so that’s why a lot of people like to purchase it.

Cedarwood is extremely durable and flexible so you can use it for a lot of things like flooring material, furniture items, or even clothing. It has a very rigid texture and pattern but it’s also quite lightweight so that’s another reason why many people love using this type.

16. Teak

This teak wood grain is commonly used as a flooring material because it’s durable enough to last for decades. You can mill or machine-cut teak into any shape you want without worrying about them breaking apart. One thing you should know though is that this kind of wood requires regular maintenance with oil or wax. This way they will look amazing for years to come. Just make sure that the finish won’t damage your flooring anyhow.

Another thing about this type is that it’s quite heavy so we really don’t recommend using it for furniture items. You will need to be careful and knowledgeable when cutting teak woods, which can be done by a machine or even a chisel.

Teak wood has always been one of the most important materials in architecture because just like mahogany, it has amazing durability and flexibility properties. Its stickiness also repels water from being absorbed into the grain so you can make awesome outdoor wooden items with this type of wood.

17. Brazilian Rosewood

There are a lot of different variants when it comes to Brazilian rosewood – the reason why this type is so popular. All of them have their own unique texture and pattern but they also have some properties such as durability, flexibility, strength, and even water resistance.

The best thing about using rosewood is that it has an amazing effect on coloration. You can stain or paint your wooden items any color you want but we don’t recommend cutting this type into thin pieces because it might crack apart easily due to its rigid texture. Another important thing to know is that all of these types are quite expensive so if you want to get one for yourself then save up some money first.

18. Makore

It looks like Makore has amazing water resistance properties as well because it doesn’t absorb any liquid. Makore wood is often used to make furniture items such as tables, chairs, or even beds because of its beautiful grain pattern and color variation. If you want something that looks elegant and can also last for long periods of time then go ahead and purchase some Makore products today.

19. Yellow Cedar

This yellow cedar type tends to grow in areas with plenty of sunlight so the color of this material is usually golden-yellow. It also has a really nice texture compared to other types but it’s quite expensive so we recommend using it for ornate purposes only. Still, if you want to make your house look luxurious then by all means go for this yellow cedar type.

20. African Padauk

This type of wood has a pretty interesting yellowish color to it. It’s often used in making furniture items because its texture and pattern are really nice. We don’t recommend using padauk if you live near the sea though, since this kind can be easily damaged by water or oil.

21. River Red Gum

If you’re looking for something that’s not so expensive but still looks amazing then go with river red gum. You can make a lot of different things out of this type including doors, tables, or even your own boat. These types tend to get darker when put in sunlight for long periods of time so we also recommend using this type when making outdoor wooden products such as tables or chairs for instance.

22. Ebony

This is another type of wood that has a very interesting texture to it. Its pattern is pretty cool and its color will also change depending on the angle you look at it. One thing we don’t like though is the fact that this kind tends to crack more easily when compared to other wood types. But if you’re careful enough then there’s no way you can mess things up.

23. Zebrawood

If you want something unique in terms of grain pattern then go with zebrawood. Just like its name, zebrawood features small stripes throughout the entire piece of wood – making your furniture pieces stand out from others. It’s pretty easy to work with too especially if you make products for indoor purposes only. If you need something for outdoor purposes though then you’d better be very careful while working on it.

24. Sapele

This type of wood is one of the most popular types in Africa. It has a really nice texture and amazing color variation as well. This versatile type also looks best when combined with other materials so if you’re planning to build a deck or even an entertainment center then go for this Sapele type – we guarantee that your products will look fantastic.

25. Bigleaf Maple

Bigleaf maple is one of the best types out there for building furniture pieces. This type has a really unique grain design too – making it not so common. It’s also quite flexible so you don’t have to worry about cracking while working with this material.

26. Gamba

This gamba type has a very nice pattern that looks like waves. You can cut them into thin pieces or huge boards depending on what kind of project are working on. We recommend using this type when building furniture items because its texture makes it easier to work with. However, if you want to make something heavy then go ahead and use a lot of this material.

27. Field Maple

Field maple is another type that features a really nice combination of color and texture. We recommend using this kind for indoor projects only though since it has a tendency to rot if you leave it outside. Just like river red gum, this field maple type also gets darker when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time.

28. Anigre

This type of wood is pretty popular among designers and carpenters. It’s often used in making doors because of its nice pattern and texture. We recommend using this anigre type if you’re planning on building tables or even furniture items in your house.

29. English Walnut

English walnut is pretty expensive but it’s really nice if you want to build something luxurious. You can actually use this wood type for many different projects such as doors, tables, and even your own furniture items. However, please be careful when working on English walnut – its grains tend to crack or chip easily so you have to watch out.

30. Downy Birch

Just like its name, this type of wood has a pretty unique texture. It’s also quite flexible so you can make different kinds of products using only downy birch. If you want to make something really heavy then we definitely recommend this material because it will not break even if you use too much of it. You can actually use the same amount as what you would use for other types.

31. Vietnamese Rosewood

If you’re looking for smoother and nicer designs – then Vietnamese rosewood is the way to go. We’ve tested it in our projects and they turned out great – especially when combined with other materials for accents or coverings. This type looks very elegant and polished by itself so if you’re planning to build a luxurious table or even a cabinet then we recommend using this material.

32. White Ash

This type of ash is a little different from the black and other types. It has some pretty unique grains and color combination that makes it really nice to look at. We recommend using this white ash type when building something for indoor purposes only – since sunlight tends to darken this wood type as well as any other kind.

33. Brandywine Oak

If you want another beautiful grain pattern then go with Brandywine oak. This is one of the most popular types because it’s easy to work with and very durable. You can also use this material for various kinds of projects so if you’re planning to make cabinets, furniture pieces or even tables then choose Brandywine oak over others. The texture is amazing and its colors are really pleasing too.

34. Ponderosa Pine

We recommend using ponderosa pine for building outdoor projects – since this material can survive in places that are exposed to high levels of sunlight. It’s also really easy to work with and it won’t break when you use too much of it. If you’re looking for an elegant wooden texture then we definitely recommend ponderosa pine.

35. Norway Spruce

If you’re looking for a type that is really nice to look at then we recommend choosing Norway spruce. We’ve used this wood type several times and it always turned out just as great as the first time. Whether you want smoother types or ones with rough textures, all kinds of Norway spruce can deliver – although there are some that look better than others depending on what kind of project that you’re working on.

36. American Beech

American beech is one of the most popular types among designers – because it’s just so durable. We’ve tested this type for many projects and we always get really great results. Whether you’re using this wood in your furniture items or cabinets, the grains are not only beautiful but also very nice to touch as well. The texture is smooth yet coarse at the same time if that makes sense so a combination of both textures will definitely make your projects look amazing.

37. Jeffrey (Oregon) Pine

If you want something sturdy and reliable then we definitely recommend using Jeffrey pine. The color will depend on how far apart the growth rings are spaced. We’ve tried this material for various projects from tables, chairs to cabinets – and they all turned out as great as the first time. This type of wood is really strong so if you’re planning to make a chair with many legs or something that can carry heavy weight then go ahead and choose Jeffrey pine without hesitation.

38. Bamboo

If you want a natural wood look but with better flexibility and strength – then bamboo is the way to go. This material can be used for making chairs, cabinets, or any other items that are quite easy to make. In fact, this type of wood is so easy to work with that you’ll be able to finish projects in no time at all.

39. Bubinga

If you’re looking for something that is durable and slim but has a beautiful texture and design then Bubinga is the way to go. This type looks very elegant even without any finish so it’s always a good idea to make use of this material when building furniture pieces or other items where elegance and class are needed.

We recommend using this kind of wood for making cabinets, tables, or racks (for storing items). It can also be used for making boxes – especially if you want them to look really nice.

40. Hemlock

Hemlock (eastern) is especially recommended for building outdoor projects – because this material can withstand high levels of sunlight that other types cannot. It’s also really easy to work with so if you’re looking for something sturdy and reliable then we definitely recommend choosing hemlock.

41. Tulipwood

If you want a type of wood that doesn’t have much grain or texture but still looks pretty nice then tulipwood is the way to go. This wood type gives off a shinier look rather than one that has lots of grains and textures. The edges are quite smooth too so it’s just perfect for making cabinet items without having to cut corners when finishing up your products.

42. Douglas Fir

If you’ve been looking for a type of wood that is especially good for building outdoor projects, then douglas fir is the way to go. We’ve used this material several times and the results were always great. You can make furniture items with some curves or add seats by using douglas fir as basic material.

After all, it’s very easy to work with so even if you’re making your very first project – you can still do it right without much effort at all.

43. Shagbark Hickory

If you want to add some detail and uniqueness to your cabinets or furniture items then shagbark hickory is the best way to go. It’s quite easy to work with so if you’re planning on making something that needs a bit of design – it’s definitely worth giving shagbark hickory a shot.

FAQs

What Are the Patterns in Wood Called?

The patterns in wood are called grain. The definition of grain is the arrangement or direction of fibers in a piece of wood or other plant material such as bamboo, cane, straw, and grasses.

What Is the Hardest Type of Wood?

The hardest type of wood is either Hickory or Oak. These two types of wood are both extremely hard to work with and can do a number on your chain saw when you are cutting them. The hardest part about working with these wood types is that they have very little resin compared to other woods, so if you get your chainsaw blade stuck while working with a piece of oak or hickory, it will not slice through as easily.

How Do You Identify Different Types of Wood?

To identify different types of wood, you can look at the grain texture and color. If there is a specific project that you are building, it can be helpful to save your specific type of wood so that you know exactly what to go get in the future.

How Do You Know What Kind of Wood To Use?

When deciding on what kind of wood to use for a project, if you aren’t sure about how well it will turn out or whether or not it will even work at all then we recommend just using pine. It’s very easy to work with and won’t cost too much either.

What Is the Most Elegant Type Of Wood?

The most elegant type of wood is oak because it has many details and textures that make it look like a piece of art. A lot of times, whenever we are working with this material – we will end up feeling like a sculptor because you’ll be spending so much time adding all the details to your projects.

What Type of Wood is Best for Your Furniture?

The best type of wood to use for furniture is ash because it has a very nice texture that looks great with all types of designs. If you want your furniture pieces to last, then going with ash is the way to go. It’s definitely one of our favorites and we highly recommend using it whenever it’s possible.

How Do You Cut Different Types Of Wood?

To cut different types of wood, you should always make sure that the chainsaw blade is sharp – otherwise, you will not be able to get clean cuts at all. Make sure that your saw is in good condition so that you can give yourself a lot more room when cutting down your materials. If you don’t have a spare chainsaw blade then just buy a new one, it’s definitely worth the investment.

What Type of Wood is Easiest To Work With?

The easiest type of wood to work with is pine. It has very smooth surfaces and will allow you to get a clean cut each time without much effort at all. We’ve used this material many times in the past and we always come away with some great results. If you are new to woodworking, then going with pine is probably your best bet in terms of safety as well. When cutting other types of woods like oak or hickory, those can be extremely dangerous because they have jagged edges that could harm you when you’re trying to cut them down.