The InvitingHome.com Wood Selection Guide
The United States is home to over 1,000 species of trees. Of these, only a
select few are used in crafting wood corbels and other carved wood products.
At InvitingHome.com, our corbels are all made from select hardwoods, which
are durable but also pliable enough for woodworking. Our Wood Selection
Guide takes a look at seven hardwood species: alder, beech, cherry, hard
maple, oak (red and white), poplar and white hardwood.
Which is the right wood species for your corbels? It's not always an easy choice. But our Wood Selection Guide can help you pick the best wood for your home improvement project, with a particular eye toward corbels. Whether you're a homeowner, designer or builder, we hope you find this guide to be a valuable resource.
Alder, a hardwood grown in the Pacific Northwest, is a common choice for
corbels as well as cabinetry and furniture. This wood is prized for its
consistency in color and ability to take stain well — two factors to keep in
mind if you're considering alder wood corbels.
A beautiful wood that is growing in popularity, alder is relatively soft
compared with other hardwoods and thus easy to work with. It features
graining and rich tones that are similar to cherry, but at a much lower
price tag. (Note: Alder wood corbels are a new addition to the
Beech is a cream-colored hardwood that grows primarily in North America and
in parts of Europe. Perhaps best known as the wood used in baseball bats,
beech is also found in wood corbels and hardwood floors.
Three factors that make beech a popular choice for corbels: It takes stain
well, is easy to work with and has an excellent finish. (Note: Beech wood
corbels are a new addition to the InvitingHome.com catalog.)
A perennial favorite among homeowners, cherry has been used by
furniture-makers for literally thousands of years. This beautiful hardwood
brings a classy touch to wood brackets, flooring, cabinetry, butcher block
countertops and other home furnishings.
Strong and relatively hard, cherry is known for its durability. But its
beauty is the primary reason it's so often chosen for corbels. Initially
light brown in tone, cherry gradually darkens over time to display warm,
reddish-brown hues. And if you're looking to add a special touch to your
cherry corbels, this wood looks spectacular when finished with a clear
Whatever your family can dish out, hard maple can take it. This wood is used
in flooring and even cutting boards, so you know it's more than tough enough
for corbels. Its hardness and stiffness make hard maple more difficult to
carve, but these features also enable crisper detail and more intricate
Hard maple generally has interesting graining that adds life to corbels. A
relatively clear wood that ranges from light brown to creamy tan in color,
it takes nicely to natural or light finishes. Honey brown stain tends to
complement hard maple corbels particularly well.
Oak (Red and White)
Oak, the most abundant hardwood species in the United States, has been a
favorite of craftsmen for hundreds of years. Very hard and durable, oak is a
popular choice for corbels, cabinets, floors and many types of furniture.
The species comes in two basic varieties: red and white.
Both red and white oak stain beautifully in most any color and sport
distinctive grain patterns ranging from straight lines to wide arcs. Red
oak, the more common of the varieties, has a pinkish tint and open grain
pores. White oak has a slightly greenish hue and smaller pores.
Poplar trees can reach heights of 150 feet, making them the tallest of all
U.S. hardwood species. Prized for its durability, the wood is used in
corbels as well as kitchen cabinets, molding and doors. You'll also find
poplar in many musical instruments.
Poplar is pale yellow to white in color with a greenish tint in the sapwood
and open grain pores. It stains well across a range of colors (including a
honey tone with darker colors) and holds paint quite nicely too. A
reasonably priced option when choosing a wood for your corbels.
White hardwood, or basswood, is used for
wood corbels, molding, furniture and
even Venetian blinds and shutters. In terms of appearance, this wood is
fairly plain: very light cream in color with little to no grain.
What makes white hardwood stand out — particularly for crafting corbels — is
that it's so easy to work with. The softness and straight grain of white
hardwood make it the ideal carving wood. It also takes well to paint or a
InvitingHome.com offers a wide variety of corbels, most of which are
available in three or more wood species. The type of wood is just one thing
to consider when looking at corbels; you'll also want to factor in style and
application. Click here to start reviewing our selection of wood corbels.