Which wood is best for my dining table?

Which wood is best for my dining table?

When you decide to buy custom furniture, the number of questions before you can seem daunting. There are countless wood species – some you’re familiar with, some not – and deciding on one can be difficult. We know that part of our job is helping you choose the right species for your project, so we bring our expertise to bear.

Building custom dining tables from solid hardwoods

The first question is what, exactly, are you looking to get out of the material? At Cannon Hill, we take as given that beauty and durability will be essential. Thus, we build almost exclusively from solid hardwoods. While there are, of course, exceptions and particularities, the term “hardwood” broadly refers to the lumber cut from deciduous trees. We build the overwhelming majority of our projects from species like white oak, black walnut, maple, ash, and hickory. These species have a history in the North American – and indeed global – furnituremaking tradition for good reason.

Reach out to learn more

If you’re going to the trouble of getting a custom wood table, every element should reflect the things that matter to you. You may not know which wood species is going to give you a glass-smooth surface (none will, really, but you know what I mean) or which will lend your table a rich visual depth. And that’s fine! We do – it’s our job to know these things. 

Which woods we use for our custom dining tables

Here’s a very rough guide to the woods we use most often:

  1. Black walnut: deep, warm, tones ranging from golden caramel to, sometimes, purplish-grey. Walnut generally has a rich chocolate color and flat, smooth grain equally at home in traditional and contemporary spaces.
  2. White oak: pale, cream-to-tan colors, with grain that can be either tight and straight or soaring cathedral, depending on where the board’s sawn from. Oak takes color manipulation consistently, and is our choice when we’re “matching” swatches. Very dense and hard, with textured grain.
  1. Maple: pale, whitish coloration that tends to warm and golden with finish. Maple will end up very smooth, but doesn’t take well to color manipulation – it will present a speckled appearance. A traditional choice.
  2. Ash: nearly as hard as oak, with many similar characteristics, including cathedral grain. Ash takes color well, but it tends to have more variation within each board. 
  3. Hickory: perhaps the most rustic of the hardwoods we regularly use, hickory presents with stark differentiation between the heartwood and sapwood – tawny browns versus creamy tans. This color variation is known as “calico”, and is desirable in its own right.

There are plenty of other wood types, and many more species available in slab rather than milled form, but these are some of the essential bullet points.

Getting started on your custom dining table

If you’re interested in a custom wood table, in any species, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll help you find the right material and the right design. Fill out the contact form above, call 857-576-2089, or email info@cannonhillwood.com. We hope we’ll hear from you soon.