Identifying Woodslabs – Walnut, Suar, Ebony, Teak, Ash & Rosewood

If you had ever chance upon a live edge wood furniture, you have to agree that it leaves a strong impression. Although frequently associated with rustic decor, live edge design can fit with any style in which the natural beauty of wood is paramount.

While most live edge wood slabs are usually one of its kind and no two slabs looks exactly the same, we can catergorise the pieces into the different type of wood types. The most common live edge wood slabs used for furniture in Singapore are mainly Walnut, Ebony & Suar. There are about 100,000 species of wood in the world, learning how to differentiate between the types of wood allows you to make smarter choices when shopping for your lifestyle and home.


SOUTH AMERICAN WALNUT [Available in etch&bolts!]

With its contrasting pale yellow sap wood clearly demarcated from the dark brown heartwood, not forgetting its curves and bends showcasing the outline of the tree trunk, South American Walnut live edge pieces hold a lot of character and are definitely a conversational starter.

As the name suggests, the wood is sourced from South America and is not to be confused with the North American Walnut and Suar wood due to its name and visual features respectively. Read on to find out the differences!


INDONESIAN SUAR WOOD [Available in etch&bolts!]

We will not blame you if you had mistaken Suar wood for South American Walnut and vice versa. With its clearly demarcated light-coloured sapwood, Suar wood does resemble South American Walnut at the first glance.

One way to tell them apart is to note the thickness of the slab, Suar Wood slabs are generally cut thicker to prevent warping and usually reinforced with metal rods inserted across the slab, evident from holes drilled and covered up along the edges.

Another differences notable only when you place the slabs side by side is the richness of the tone. South American Walnut is darker in tone and is more contrasted as compared to Suar. However, you can also find those Suar slab that was intentionally stained to Walnut colour.

Despite its relatively lower density and hardness among other hardwoods, Suar wood slabs are typically larger in width due to their fast-growing nature as tropical rainforest trees. If you are looking for a piece that can fit more people around the table, be it a dining table or conference table, Suar slabs may just work for you at a more pocket-friendly price range.

NORTH AMERICAN WALNUT [Available in etch&bolts!]

North & South. Is there really a difference between the two types of wood?

North American Walnut, also known as Black Walnut, is recognised for its richer brown tone as compared to South American Walnut. However, most North American Walnut slabs are smaller in width and are often bookmarked (placing two matching slabs side by side) to form a larger piece suitable for a regular-sized dining table top. The use of more material and additional workmanship definitely adds to the cost if you were to compare to getting the same table top size in North American Walnut instead of South American Walnuts. Furthermore, Black walnut wood typically demands a higher price point because of its increasing demand and decreasing supply of black walnut trees.



EBONY [Available in etch&bolts!]

Nicknamed as “Ebony”, commonly known as Africa’s Zebrawood, the light peach brown wood slab is a popular choice among many people due to its  generally uniformed colour and relatively straighter grain. Ebony are typically large trees which explains the majestically-sized live edge slabs available.

You might be questioning why our Ebony Slabs are pricer than our South American Walnut & Suar wood slabs. As compared to the other two, Ebony is much denser due to its slower growth. It takes about 50-100 years or more for it to reach its optimal size, as compared to 30 years for Walnut trees. The higher the density of the wood, the tougher they are, so,  they will be able to withstand scratches and last better for years to come.


AMERICAN ASHWOOD [Available in etch&bolts!]

American Ashwood slabs are usually light or medium brown in colour, suitable for those who are looking at lighter tone pieces for their homes. The grain is almost always straight and regular, though sometimes moderately curly as seen in the Walms bench shown above.

While the hardness of this hardwood is relatively low in comparison to the wood types featured in this post, the aesthetics is definitely worth the consideration. Furthermore, with its light tone, Ashwood can be easily stained darker to match the tone of Walnut and more, making it easier to match your existing wooden furniture.


TEAK WOOD [Available in etch&bolts!]

Teak Wood, best known for its durability and water resistant properties, are largely sourced from Indonesia. Their high oil content, high tensile strength and tight grain make it particularly suitable where weather resistance is desired. If you looking for an outdoor piece, teak slab is the perfect choice.


ROSEWOOD [Available in etch&bolts!]

The heartwood of the various rosewood species ranges from 2000lbf to 3000lbf on the Janka harness scale, making it remarkably dense compared to more common lumber. The tight growth rings of rosewood can sometimes exhibit a unique grain pattern referred to as ‘spider webbing.’ This strange effect appears as if the tree’s growth rings are overlapping each other and changing direction.

As rosewood is a tonewood, it produces a bright and clear tone. With its rich reddish brown tone and lighter sap wood, most finishes work beautifully on the wood, intensifying the contrast and colours of the wood.

The slow growth and small size of Dalbergia genus trees results in the available lumber being rather small and often prohibitively expensive. If you are looking to invest in a piece that can be treasured for generations, Rosewood is worth the consideration despite its hefty price tag.

Now that you are an expert on the different types of wood slabs, be confident and start searching for your ideal slab!

Email to for furniture or home styling enquiries, or simply swing by our store at 3 Little Road level 2 s536982.

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