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Hardwood is considered by many to be the ultimate versatile material, with its applications ranging from furniture to musical instruments and from accessories to boatbuilding.

Available in countless combinations of species, specifications and colours, hardwood is both a multifunctional and beautiful natural material.


Hardwood’s wide variety of applications lends a diverse history to the material. Hardwood flooring dates back to the early 1600’s French Baroque era and historic shipwrecks reveal that it was a preferred material as early as the Bronze Age.

Originally used for boatbuilding, hardwoods were chosen due to their hard-wearing nature and distortion resistance. Versatile, robust and beautiful, they retain excellent resistance to water if prepared and treated correctly.

Today, hardwoods can be sourced from around the globe in a multitude of colour-ways, grain patterns and finishes. They are commonly used for furniture, construction and flooring.


Hardwoods offers high strength and durability due to their condensed, complex structure. The most common varieties are oak, teak, iroko, meranti and sapele. Hardwood grows at a much slower rate than its softwood counterpart. It requires longer drying times and tends to be more resilient. This makes it the perfect material for bespoke joinery projects, furniture crafting, flooring and fine veneers.

Its robustness, a result of its inherent density, means that it is often used in construction and home renovations. Hardwood is an irreplaceable choice for crafting high quality furniture, decks and flooring. Its prominent use in long-lasting construction highlights it as an invaluable resource when sourcing boards, planks and timber for building projects.

Hardwood is also often used in fashion accessories, ranging from watches and earrings to handbags and sunglasses, reflecting its versatility in the design industry.

Production Process

Wood is a renewable resource and many government regulations are currently in place to protect both the timeframe and quantity of harvested hardwood.

When mature trees have reached their maximum growth, they can be harvested or logged to create commercial hardwood. The logging of trees is defined as the cutting, skidding, on-site processing and loading of trees or logs.

With the demand for sustainable and environmentally responsible solutions growing, hardwood offers designers and builders a natural resource with minimal environmental impact. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, lending hardwood its carbon neutral status, even after being harvested.


Controversies regarding hardwood production processes can arise from concerns about deforestation and forest degradation. However, stringent laws and regulations surround the industry which, in turn, are helping to eradicate irresponsible and illegal practices.

Laws such as the EU Timber Regulation and U.S. Lacey Act require that traders demonstrate understanding of the regulatory framework governing forest management in the countries from which timber is sourced. Independent research by the American Hardwood Export Council found that the risk of illegal American hardwood entering the U.S. hardwood supply chain is less than 1%.

The EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) imposed mandatory requirements on companies to implement a due diligence system to assess and mitigate the risk of illegal wood entering the supply chain. The EU Regulation for Deforestation-free Products (EUDR) replaced the EUTR in June 2023, removing products resulting from deforestation and forest degradation from entering EU trade.

Certifications, such as the Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative, indicate that suppliers of hardwood comply with industry standards and provide consumers with guarantees that their wood products are made using responsibly sourced and sustainably managed wood.

The Future of Hardwood

Supply chain transparency is paramount in ensuring sustainable and responsible practices in the production of hardwood. For example, giving businesses access to information on which of their hardwood suppliers are located in areas at greater risk of deforestation, allows them to ensure they are not contributing to environmentally harmful practices in any way. Such transparency provides businesses with the insights needed to proactively manage potential risks.

Resources for more

To learn more about hardwood, please visit https://www.americanhardwood.org/en .









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