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What Is Beech Wood Furniture?

beech tree

Table of Contents

Many people don’t know much about beech wood furniture.

What is beech wood furniture?

Now I will introduce beech wood furniture from the following aspects.

  • 1. Beech has a high reputation.
  • 2. Where does beech wood come from?
  • 3. Which is better, beech or oak?
  • 4. Is beech good?
  • 5. Is beech furniture worth buying?

1. Beech has a high reputation.

It is not because it is traditional Chinese furniture.

Do you remember this picture?

Beech missile
▲Beech missile
The only plant named the missile: beech
▲ The only plant named the missile.

2. Where does beech wood come from?

The American continent is rich in forest resources. The U.S. has a developed forest industry. So the U.S. has many world-class hardwoods, such as white oak, red oak, ash, black walnut, and more.

Yet, Germany also has developed forests and forestry.

Beech is the signature tree species in Germany.

Germany has five beech forests inscribed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. They are both living fossils of ecological evolution and famous tourist attractions.

Beautiful beech forest
▲Beautiful beech forest

Beech has been the most common tree species in Germany. There are about 1,500 regional names in Germany related to beech (German Buche). And the lifespan of beech can be as long as 400 years.

For various reasons, the forest area of beech in Germany only accounts for about 15%. So Germany attaches great importance to the protection of beech.

Beech is a very high-quality hardwood.

We can compare “oak” with it.

3. Which is better, beech or oak?

As we mentioned before, oak is prevalent.

From a biological point of view, the narrow oak refers to the “Quercus,” while the broad oak refers to Fagaceae.

And this “Fagaceae” is also called the “beech family”!

It turns out that oak and beech are the same thing!

The most well-known oaks in the Chinese market are “red oak” and “white oak” from the U.S.

The most well-known beech in the Chinese market is the “red beech” from Europe.

German beech timber
▲German beech timber

4. Is beech good?

As a commercial wood, beech is characterized as follows.

1) Price

It costs about CNY4,000~5,000/M3. It is cheaper than CNY5,000~7,000/M3 for red oak, and about the same price as American ash.

2) Hardness

It is heavy and hard with an air-dry density of 0.793g/CM3. Its hardness is 1300, between red oak (1280) and white oak (1360), and about the same as ash (1320).

3) Color

The color is yellowish and reddish, lighter than oak, and close to new made cherry wood furniture.

The surface has many very short but uniform wood rays, shorter and denser than white oak.

4) Grade

The knotless trunk is generally 15 to 20 meters high, and the trees are straight and towering (a bit like a missile). It can be sawn or sliced timber (for decorative veneer). It is ideal for making furniture.

5) Smell

Dried beech (red beech) has no peculiar smell and will not release grease. It will not attract insects if we paint the surface.

So beech is excellent.

The reason why the price is not high is related to the “visual appearance.”

Red beech and red oak both have wood rays, and red beech color is close to white oak. But the wood grain of red beech is not prominent enough.

Red beech texture.
▲Red beech texture.
The short medullary rays on red beech.
▲The short medullary rays on red beech.

You can say red beech is uniform in color and looks softer.

But people appreciate the weird and fantastic wood grain.

The North American black walnut impresses people with its unique texture.

Red and white oak stand out from many hardwoods because of their clear “mountains” texture.

Beech also has a “mountain pattern,” but it is “not obvious.”

If the pattern is more prominent, it should be as popular as red oak or white oak.

The beech tree is gorgeous.
▲The beech tree is gorgeous.

5. Is beech furniture worth buying?

What does the beech furniture look like?

I picked a few products as below.

5.1. Beechwood dining table

Beech and Cherry Contrast.

Although the Chinese have no idea of beech, some Chinese still like beech furniture.

For example, the table below is trendy.

Beechwood dining table
▲Beechwood dining table

The texture of beech wood is somewhat like cherry wood. But cherry wood is reddish, and beech is yellowish.

Yet, cherry wood prices are about twice that of beech wood.

Cherry wood dining table
▲ Cherry wood dining table

The price of beech is even lower than oak.

The beech wood furniture is suitable for those who:

1) Like the rounded edges;

2) Love natural wood;

3) Dislike apparent textures;

4) Prefer high hardness and weight;

5) Want to spend less money on solid wood furniture.

If you have such demands, beech wood is a good option.

Is beech wood furniture cheap?

The price of beech-sawn timber is lower than red oak. But this does not mean that the cost of beech furniture is inferior to red oak.

There are many brands of beech furniture on the market. But most of them are not cheap. Some even have a higher price than oak.

5.2. Beech solid wood bed

Beech and red oak contrast.

The bed of Japanese and Chinese styles below is popular.

Beech bed
▲ Beech bed

As mentioned before, beech and oak are biologically closer. But the grain of beech is not as pronounced as oak, so beech is cheaper than oak.

We can see the difference between the two wood in the pictures.

On the left is North American FAS-grade red oak, and on the right is first-grade beech from Europe.

The oak on the left has a beautiful mountain pattern. The beech wood on the right has a less obvious texture, giving people a more rounded feel.

comparison between Beech and oak bed

The two also have price differences. An oak bed is about 1.25 times of a beech bed.

Beech or oak, which one is worth buying?

The two are very close in hardness and density.

If you are comfortable with the look of beech and want to save some money, beech is fine.

If you have enough money and prefer an oak look, go for oak.

5.3. Beechwood coffee table

Beech and boxwood comparison.

Beech TV stand

Oak, cherry, and black walnut have prominent textures and are also the main features. If without the textures, they will not be competitive.

Thus, only beech wood is suitable for color matching because its texture does not stand out.

only beech wood is suitable for color matching

The beech wood texture is not clear, but its color is still good. So it is a bit wasteful to paint thick colored lacquer on it.

beech wood and boxwood combination

Thus, we can use low-cost monochromatic woods (such as boxwood). Boxwood is an essential product under the North American Hardwood Association. Some big furniture brands use boxwood as the primary material for making furniture.

Generally speaking, the appearance of boxwood is not so outstanding, so we can cover it with paint.

5.4. Beechwood sofa bed

foldable Beechwood sofa bed

A sofa bed is efficient for small apartments.

When not extended, it is an ordinary two-seater sofa.

When half-extended, it becomes a couch we can sit and lie down on.

When fully extended, it becomes a small bed.

 half-extended Beechwood sofa bed
▲Half-extended
fully extended Beechwood sofa bed
▲Fully extended

The following one is more practical (also made of beech wood).

It is a sofa when not extended and a bed when fully extended.

Beechwood sofa bed
Beechwood sofa bed

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