Pine? Mahogany? Or plain old laminate? Our home experts lay down some options.
For strength: Maple
This affordable wood is extremely durable — so much so that it’s used in bowling lanes. It’s also great in cabinet form, as it can easily withstand everyday wear and tear. Though many prefer it in lighter shades, maple takes well to staining if you’re looking to go dark.
For versatility: Walnut
Walnut has a fine-grain pattern and deep, rich colouring. It’s a strong wood, which makes it ideal for intricate carved fixtures, like headboards and furniture.
For DIY projects: Pine
Inexpensive? Check. Takes well to paint? Check. Pine is ideal for any DIY projects on your list. The knots in its grain give it a rustic look — perfect for farmhouse-style tables — and it only gets better with age. The catch? It’s a soft wood, which means it’s more susceptible to scratches.
For floors: Oak
Oak is a favourite for floors — it’s strong, grainy and evenly soaks up stain. It also comes in two Canada-approved colours: red and white.
For walls: Douglas fir
Sturdy Douglas fir is practically made for walls — it’s durable and resists warping when cut vertically.
For luxury: Mahogany
While certainly a splurge, mahogany is a strong, fine-grained wood with a beautiful colouring. It is often used for detail work, like cabinetry, furniture and ornate mouldings.
For a change: Laminate
Okay, so it’s technically not wood, but vinyl is a popular and hassle-free alternative to hardwood. Perfect for floors, it is waterproof and very easy to clean. The best part? It’s often indistinguishable from the real thing.