Wood Species and Descriptions


Wood is a product of nature, it's beauty and uniqueness are displayed in the variations of color tone and grain pattern. In each specie there are a variety of natural characteristics (sap, knots, mineral, etc.). During Balz Custom Woodworking's manufacturing process, we sort, select, and process the materials to obtain the exact look and style desired. The wood species found below are some of the more commonly requested items.  If you are looking for something unique or specific to your taste and style please let us know and we will try to accommodate your request.


Oak (Red Oak)
Oak is a lightly-coloured, strong, coarse-grain hardwood that has a truly unique character. Pieces may contain variations in colour and grain pattern, and can also have features such as pin knots, flecks, and streaks caused by mineral deposits. Finish will beautifully enhance the flame-shaped grain that gives this wood such prominence.



Hard Maple
Maple is a dense, strong, smooth wood that remains hardy throughout use. It has a fine, generally straight-grained texture which may be spotted with whorls. The color can range from white to a dark brown. We recommend maple for any room where the furniture will receive a lot of wear, as it resists abrasion well.




One of the most beautiful woods available on the market, Cherry has a smooth, satiny texture and rich color. Wood may vary from a deep red to a reddish-brown, and will darken with age. It has a very fine grain which may be streaked with green, pink or yellow. A natural stain finish will beautifully enhance the wood’s own character.



One of the softer hardwoods, Alder provides a bit more flexibility and a lighter density. It may be amber in color, or reddish. It has uniform texture and a fairly straight grain. It can have knots that vary in character. Similar to maple and cherry woods, Alder has a uniform texture and straight grain. It is rather soft and can show dents more readily than some other woods.



Hickory is hard and heavy, and quite dense. It does not offer a lot of flexibility. Each piece can exhibit different, bold variations in color, pattern, and special characteristics.




Pecan, like hickory, is a strong hardwood. It displays bold variations in color throughout a single piece of wood. It tends to fade over time.





A much-sought-after hardwood, Walnut has smooth grain and a rich appeal. It may be a deep reddish-brown in color, or a lighter reddish-grey. It lightens in colour as it ages.




Wood Veneer
Veneer is a popular alternative to traditional wood cabinetry. It can be more stable than wood in humid settings, as it does not expand or contract as much. The veneer is placed on medium-density fiberboard, creating a consistent, uniform look with each piece.




Melamine is a popular alternative to wood veneer. It consists of poly-vinyl compound paper pressed into particle board form. It provides stability and resistance, and will not deteriorate over time and use. Melamine is smooth, scratch-, chemical- and mildew-resistant, making it an ideal solution for busy kitchens.