Which Wood Species Should You Choose: Walnut, Maple or Cherry?

Which Wood Species Should You Choose: Walnut, Maple or Cherry?

November 25, 2020

Butcher block boards, butcher blocks, hardwood cutting boards

Wood is the most versatile, natural material. It can be used for everything from construction to kitchen items. Whether you are building furniture or creating beautiful hand painted items, it is important to know how to pick the right type of wood.

Today, we will be giving you some helpful inside on the three most popular wood species in North America – walnut, maple and cherry.

The first thing you need to know is that there two mains types of timber: softwood and hardwood. Softwood usually refers to wood that comes from conifers or evergreen trees like pine or cedar, while hardwood comes from deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in Autumn.

The main difference between these to types, is that hardwoods tend to be heavier, denser, and more durable to cuts and usage than softwoods.

Another thing to note is that wood is porous, meaning it can get stained, warped over time or even mouldy. Some wood species can release toxins into food placed on its surface. Our advice? Stick to wood species that produce edible fruits, nuts, leaves and sap, like walnut, maple, or even cherry.

Here are some more characteristics of these three popular wood species.


Walnut is one of the popular species of hardwood used. Its colour ranges from deep brown to purple, and typically it is clear-coated or oiled to bring out the rich colour.

As it is a strong and durable wood, it’s perfect for headboards, cutting boards, antique-style dining tables and mantels. However, as it doesn’t yield as much wood as other species can, it can be more costly than others.


Maple is one of the lighter coloured hardwoods. It is one of the hardest wood species out there and is known also for its moisture resistance. Due to its affordability and resilience, it’s perfect for items that are often used, like butcher blocks, kitchen cabinets or other kitchen utensils.

When properly sealed, it takes dark stains well. It’s often stained to mimic a pricier wood, like cherry or mahogany.


Cherry wood can be identified by its reddish-brown to blond tone. Usually, it is used for warm and elegant looking pieces of furniture, carved chairs, tables, cabinets, butcher boards and more, because it can be easily shaped and polished well. It is more affordable than walnut but more costly than maple. The colour can also darken with age or when left in direct sunlight.

Depending on your project, it is important to know characteristic of different wood species in order to make an informed decision. Whether you choose walnut, maple or cherry, we know you won’t regret your decision. Want to learn more? Contact us today and get the answers you need.