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The Many Uses of Wood

Wood is a highly versatile material and has a long history of use. Despite the availability of alternative materials, wood remains preferred choice when it comes to variety of things and applications. Here are only a few of many uses of wood:

Wood

Furniture and flooring. Wood’s unique aesthetic appeal and character make it an absolute favourite for furniture making and flooring. Both wooden furniture and flooring give the home a unique sense of warmth and a touch of sophistication. Wood is also the most popular choice for garden furniture but only a few types of wood successfully withstand harsh outdoor conditions such as rapid temperature changes, moisture, insects, wind, UV light, etc. without any kind of protection. One of the best examples is teak, a tropical hardwood which originates from south and south-east Asia.

Construction and shipbuilding. Wood is one of the most important construction materials from the time humans started constructing buildings and ships. In the construction industry, it is valued for its outstanding insulation properties as well as durability if cared for properly. Wooden ships and boats (with exception of smaller ones) are becoming a less common choice but just about all ships and boats were built from wood until the 19th century.

Art. Wood is a popular material for artworks, most notably statues, sculptures, relief carvings and a wide range of decorative objects. It can also be used as a medium for other art forms such as paintings for instance.

Music instruments. Piano, violin, cello, drums, flute, guitar, double bass and a number of other music instruments are made from wood.

Dishes and utensils. Before the instruction of plastic, most people used wooden dishes and utensils. However, their popularity tends to be on the rise again also due to the fact that plastic has been linked to a number of health hazards.

Tools. There are not many tools that are made from wood but wood remains a popular material for handles and various parts of tools due to its strength, and exceptional shock and vibration absorption ability.

Sports equipment and toys. A number of sports rely heavily on wooden sports equipment. Examples include cricket, hockey, billiard, table tennis, baseball, etc. Wooden toys went out of fashion in the second half of the 20th century but in the recent years, more and more people choose wooden toys over plastic ones because they are safe, durable and exciting to play with.

Fuel. Wood has been used as fuel from the time humans learned to control fire. Despite a number of other options, wood remains the most common source of heat worldwide. Although wood burning releases carbon dioxide as well, it is typically considered carbon-neutral because the amount of carbon dioxide that is released during combustion was absorbed by the tree while it was growing. However, wood burning can be classified as a green source of energy only under condition that firewood comes from sustainably managed forests and that the wood-burning stove is energy efficient.