Hardwood and softwood timber sound simple, surely hardwoods are hard, and softwoods are soft, no? You may think it couldn’t be much simpler than that, but no; the clue is not necessarily in the name – some softwoods can be very sturdy. Different types of projects require different types of timber, both hardwoods and softwoods are used for everything from structural to decorative.

What are the differences?

The distinction between the two woods lies within their reproduction. Hardwood comes from a ‘deciduous’ tree which produces seeds with a form of covering and loses its leaves annually and softwood are ‘gymnosperms’, which let seeds fall to the ground as they have no covering. This suggests that the type of seed a tree produces decides whether the seed will grow into a softwood like pine timber or a hardwood like oak timber.


What can I use these types of wood for?

Hardwood and softwood can be used for all kinds of projects, it just depends on what your project is. Hardwoods are employed in a large range of applications, from construction to furniture, cladding and much more. Softwoods however can also be used in construction right through to high class joinery, cladding and decking – ideally it depends on your preference, budget and lifespan of the timber.

At Timbersource we can help you pick out the best possible timber for your project – this can be done from our Timber Browser. The Timber Brower is a filtering system which can be filled out to suit your preferences and in doing so suitable timbers from our selection will be illuminated, leaving you with the ultimate timber for your project. You can filter by type, durability, use, texture and much more. Click here to visit the browser.

Now that you know the differences between softwood and hardwood timber, we hope that you are feeling more confident in your timber project. Get in touch if you require further advice, we will be more than happy to help. 

Timbersource are a leading online timber merchant in the UK supplying hardwood and softwood timber to the construction, joinery, carpentry, retail and building trade at competitive prices.