Alder is a warm honey-red colored wood with a beautiful, subtle grain interspersed with fine lines and flecks produced by the tree’s annual growth rings. Domestic alder grows in a mile mile wide coastal strip along the Pacific coast from Canada almost to Mexico; European alder along. The wood darkens to a warm reddish-brown color after being felled. Natural markings including pithy flecks and streaks add to the singular character to this wood.
Anegre has a lustrous sheen, an even texture, and grain that is typically straight, but may be interlocked, wavy, or marked with a wide range of beautiful shimmering figures. Sought after for its light creamy color, large logs, uniformity across flitches, and unobtrusive grain markings, anegre takes stain readily and is often dyed to resemble cherry, walnut, or other woods.
Ancient Norwegians considered a mythological ash tree to be the center of the world. Among the palest colored veneers, ash has a lustrous surface, beautiful straight grain, a light stripe effect, and subtle contrast between its light tan heartwood and creamy sapwood. It produces a wide range of beautiful, shimmering figures and delicate burls. Extremely strong, ash is the lumber of choice for parallel bars, baseball bats and tool handles. In veneer, it’s prized for high quality furniture and for use in light, open interiors.
A favorite in modern interiors, beech is a straight grained wood with a very fine, even texture. While beech is naturally a creamy, almost white color, most beech is steamed, producing a consistent slightly pink hue in veneer. Flat cut veneers present a nice cathedral; quartered veneers carry a silvery fleck pattern. This specie produces a number of beautiful figures prized for interior architecture.
Among the whitest veneers, white birch is not actually a species, but is rather the sapwood of the yellow birch tree, selected specifically for its creamy white color. In the 50s, birch veneer was in its heyday—especially in home furniture—and is experiencing resurgence with the renewal of the modern aesthetic. A small tree (33’ on average), white birch produces smaller leaves than most trees. Its smooth surface makes it well suited for applying stains and glossy finishes.
Bubinga is a striking veneer with a very broad color spectrum ranging from pink to brownish-red to nearly violet. It has a beautiful texture and fine contrasting growth lines that may be wavy in some logs due to the grain’s interlocked fibers. Bee’s wing and block mottle figures are fairly common. Behemoth lengths and widths make it well suited for large architectural installations. When rotary cut, bubinga is called kevazinga. This African veneer is a sophisticated and elegant choice for interior environments.
American cherry is a timeless and elegant veneer that has a satiny finish and fine, lustrous grain marked with natural pitch flecks and small gum pockets. Typically darker than European cherry, the veneer can vary widely in color from pale pink to reddish brown. Flat cut, it produces a beautiful cathedral pattern. Figured, it exhibits a fine fiddleback or rope figure.
The rustic character of this wood works well in both contemporary and arcadian settings. The vivid, contrasting red-yellow stripe is typically straight, even, and seldom, if ever, figured. Generally quarter cut, more veneer and production plywood are made from this specie than any other worldwide.
While most hickory is cut for lumber due to its strength and density, this traditional domestic beauty is increasingly available in veneer. Hickory has a notable contrast between its reddish heartwood and lighter sapwood. The grain is usually straight, but can be wavy or irregular in some flitches. Texture is course and porous with a matte finish. This is a quintessential domestic wood—lively in appearance and rich in American woodworking tradition.
Equally apt in contemporary, global, and traditional settings, mahogany has been traded from African ports for hundreds of years. Typically red to red-brown, and darker than South American mahoganies, this specie often develops a plain to ropey stripe, and may be marked with highly decorative cross figuring. Crotch veneers with vivid, flame-like patterns are one of nature’s most beautiful works of art.
Artists and designers alike appreciate the elegant lines of this lighter alternative to African mahogany. It’s lighter in color, firmer in texture, and straighter in grain than its African counterpart. Among the finest woods in the world, this is a versatile and adaptable choice for architectural interiors.
Also called African cherry, makore shares the light pink to deep red coloring, dark growth lines, and small pores common to cherry. In architectural installations it has the added benefit of availability in large sizes not found in American cherry. Cut on the quarter, makore shows a contrasting stripe that may be plain or crossed with a variety of decorative figures. Flat cut, it bears the distinctive cathedral grain pattern.
From the same tree that produces maple syrup, comes this beautiful veneer that ranges in color from snow white to warm yellow; has a close, fine luminous texture; and a lovely straight grain that may be interspersed with natural character marks. A wide range of gorgeous figures and wild grain distortions—from curly to bird’s eye to maple burl—are sought after for distinctive paneling and furniture. Flat cut maple displays the distinctive heart or cathedral pattern.
In folklore, white oak is a symbol of strength and longevity. This domestic standard is a bit smaller in diameter than European oak and ranges in color from biscuit to golden brown to somewhat gray. It has the distinctive grain pattern and abundant angular pores that produce a wonderful flake pattern in quarter and flat cut veneers. Rift cut, the veneer produces a straight, combed grain with minimal flake. Fumed, the wood turns a warm dark brown reminiscent of Arts & Crafts-style furniture. Rustic options have rich character marks and grain variations for a truly rustic look (intended for random matched sequences). Also available in recon and rough cut.
One of the most common trees in European forests, this oak has long been associated with the mythological gods due to its immense size, strength, and longevity. Like most oaks, the grain is straight with broad rays that produce a lively flake effect in flat or quarter cut wood and straight combed grain in rift cut. The golden-brown wood is slightly darker than American white oak, and slightly lighter than English brown oak. Fumed veneer produces a rich chocolate-brown color similar to tropical and African woods. CoCo (color-imbued) options are available in several shades of gray and brown. Vintage oak is sliced from the hand-hewn beams of reclaimed wood from old barns and farmhouses across Europe; this rustic looking veneer is intended for use in random matched sequences.
North American oak is well suited for rustic or modern interiors. While different growing conditions can produce a range of colors, in general, it’s slightly redder, more uniform in color, and has a less prominent flake figure than white oak. The grain is firm and straight, somewhat coarse with large pores. Rift cut veneer produce a very straight, combed grain effect.
A cousin of the hickory, the pecan tree was so central to native Americans in the lower Mississippi river valley that it was associated with the Great Spirit. Today the tree is cultivated in southern orchards for nuts and is prized as a fine cabinet wood. It has a typically straight grain, a medium texture, low natural sheen, a medium reddish-brown heartwood and paler yellow sapwood, and may be figured. Pecan stains well and is sometimes stained to match or replicate other woods.
Sapele varies in color from log to log, but is generally medium to dark red-brown. Finishing brings out an intense depth of color and highlights its natural luster, which is similar to mahogany. This veneer has a fine grain, a distinct and desirable stripe formation, and often carries a lively figure. Flat cut sapele shows the characteristic heart or cathedral grain The highly prized pommele sapele is intensely marked with a swirly grain and randomly interspersed blisters, or pommele markings. A high degree of luster gives sapele a three-dimensional effect.
Vintage knotty spruce is sliced from hand-hewn beams reclaimed from old farmhouses, barns, or commercial buildings. Preserving the natural character of the wood, the beams are washed, de-nailed, dimensionally sorted, and then sliced into veneer. The veneer is generally straight grained with knotty characteristics that include splits, checks, nail holes, and occasional discolorations that reflect its history and give the wood a rustic feel. This veneer is sliced at 1.4 mm and intended for use in random sequences.
Teak is among the oldest commercial lumbers and remains a popular wood today, particularly in Asia, the US, and Scandinavia. It ranges in color from straw colored (which some consider the most desirable) to dark, dusty brown with fine, dark, contrasting stripes. Flat cut, the mineral streaks provide a contrasty grain structure in the cathedral pattern, much like American walnut. Pure golden teak without mineral streaking is available, but rare. Reconstituted teak is a manmade product that provides the beauty of teak with outstanding consistency in color and grain from sheet to sheet. Also available in recon.
American walnut is the quintessential native hardwood and a hallmark of wood quality and tradition—one of the country’s most versatile, varied, and well-loved veneers. It produces a wider variety of figures than any other wood. Quarter cut veneers have a straight, even grain; flat cut produces a beautiful cathedral pattern. Burled walnut is a rare and exceptional offering—rich and dark with a beautiful swirling grain intermingled with clusters of burl. Also available in recon and rough cut.
Wenge is striking rich, dark, coffee-colored wood with subtly contrasting, nearly black streaks. Straight grained with a course texture and matte finish, wenge produces large leaves well suited for architectural use. This extraordinary wood lends an elegant and exotic appeal to the build environment.