Hardwood is the timber obtained from dicot angiosperm trees. Most common dicot angiosperm trees used for obtaining hardwood are ash, cherry, maple, oak, birch, and poplar. A major difference between soft wood and hard wood is the presence of pores or vessels of distinguished shapes & sizes in the latter and the distinct structure of its cell wall. Hardwood is observed to display a conspicuously wide variety of characteristics, mainly due to the presence of different hardwood in the market, each with its own distinctive features.
Hardwood is available in textures and colors of varying degrees depending on the tree from which it has been obtained. The weight of hardwood also differs based again on its source. For example, hardwood obtained from the balsa tree is flexible and light, whereas that obtained from mahogany is comparatively dense.
Hardwood Market: Trends
In recent times, hardwood has been used in a range of applications such as furniture, decorative articles, building & construction, and interior & outdoor structures. Its other uses include craft material, firewood boilers, and decorative articles.
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Hardwood is extensively employed in flooring and furniture. It is not just a useful material but also attractive in the aesthetic sense. Hardwood is easy to maintain and does not require special measures to be kept clean. Another positive aspect is its ability to retain heat and keep a room insulated even in cold weather conditions.
The increasing demand for wood flooring are important factors driving this market. Its distinct properties make it a suitable material to be used in furniture as well as flooring.
However, the usage of hardwood in different applications is linked to a number of environmental concerns. Hardwood is obtained from valuable species of flora which are almost on the verge of extinction. The limited availability of tress also leads to a surge in its price. The scope of using hardwood flooring is limited only in dry areas of the house such as living rooms and bed rooms. Since, hardwood is not waterproof, it can’t be used in areas such as bathroom, basement or kitchen.
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Cheaper alternatives for hardwood are being chosen these days, primarily due to its low rate of availability and high cost. Keeping its benefits in mind, the market is expected to experience moderate growth during the forecast period as well as in the future, as wood floorings are used exclusively in historic buildings and not on a domestic level.
Hardwood Market: Region-wise Outlook
The market for hardwood is flourishing in Asia Pacific, mainly due to the need for wood flooring in China. North America is next in terms of demand for hardwood-based furniture, which was considerably high in Canada and the southern part of U.S., which boosted the overall market in this region. The market here is in its developmental stage and likely to expand further in the future as well.
The development of the hardwood market is moderate in Europe and anticipated to remain constant in the future as well. Among all of its varieties, demand for oak was comparatively high in Europe. Middle East & Africa exhibited considerable growth in its requirement of hardwood furniture. The market is comparatively less developed in Latin America mainly due to the limited demand for hardwood products.
Hardwood Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the market for hardwood include Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc., Mullican Flooring, A & M Wood Specialty, Armstrong Flooring, and Somerset Hardwood Flooring.