Different Types of Wood for Your Fireplace

  • Undoubtedly, the greatest discovery by the humankind was fire. There were times when the very survival of a person depended on fire. However, we have come a long way and we use it in our home mainly for cooking, warmth or recreational purposes now.( Information credit:  https://www.theoriginalflame.com/stoves)

     

    This shift in lifestyle helped in the development of fireplaces greatly. Owing to our close affinity to fire as an element, we hold fireplaces close to our hearts and associate them with the fondest of memories. Who could ignore the gentle incandescent glow of the burning wood with the soft radiant warmth of the fire?

     

    The secret to maintaining the perfect fireplace is the knowledge on the kinds of wood that can be burnt. Not all wood burn the same way, each has their individual specializations. Let us take a look at the different types of firewood and their specialties:

     

    Hardwood:

    Experts have argued over their choices of the perfect hardwood for fireplaces. Although a clear winner is yet to emerge, we have Cherry, Birch, Oak and Hard maple as the best choices for hardwood.

     

    • Cherry – Cherry is one of the purists’ choices when it comes to hardwoods. Cherry-wood burns without smoke and also produces sparks, which look magnificent. The bonus is the sweet fragrance that is produced upon burning Cherry-wood. If you want a nice and uniform, but lower, heat, go for Cherry.
    • Birch – It is often referred to as the ‘cheap wood’ because of its low cost, thanks to its abundance. Birch produces a lot of heat upon burning. However, we’ll let you know a secret – Birch is not actually very cheap because it burns at an incredible rate, requiring you to buy it more frequently.
    • Oak – The first choice of purists: Oak-wood. It produces a uniformly heated glow, which will burn very slowly. However, the problem lies in starting the fire. Since Oak is an exceptionally hard wood, kindling it can be troublesome.

     

    Softwood:

    The most popular softwoods used in fireplaces are pine and fir. Softwood is considered the second choice to hardwood by many people.

     

    • Pine – Pine-wood is found in abundance, and it is affordable. The rapid burning of Pine-wood produces a fire whose heat fritters away rapidly. Since it is a rapidly burning wood, it is ideal for the kindling of hardwood. Pine-wood also produces a lot of sparkles upon burning which have led to a few accidental fires.
    • Fir – Fir and Pine are congeneric. Therefore, their properties are somewhat similar. The little difference that can be observed between these two is that Fir burns a bit slowly.

     

    Here’s an expert tip for all fireplace enthusiasts – Always try to go with logs consisting of a proportionate mixture of both hardwoods and softwoods. The softwoods will feed the hardwood to catch fire initially, without much hassle and the hardwoods will ensure that the flame keeps going on.

     

    If softwood is not available, strips of pine-wood can be used as the kindling material. If it’s an emergency, ordinary paper is an excellent choice for kindling flame in hardwoods.