Species

Like all natural materials, variations in color, texture and grain occur in wood ceilings. Understanding the differences between species, between grades, between solid and veneer can influence a wood ceiling budget and design. The complexity of understanding the cost impact of each design decision, including LEED credits, can be intimidating.

Several resources are available for further study and resource. We recommend:

  • Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 1; www.awinet.org. This is the bible for the architectural-millwork trades, whose standards can be usefully applied to wood ceilings.
  • Hardwood Plywood Handbook, HPVA (Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association); www.hpva.org. This industry association is a great resource for understanding architectural veneers, species, slicing, veneer matching, cores, etc.

Common Wood Species

Below is a table of our most common wood species. If you would like to specifiy a species not listed, please get in touch. We are typically able to source nearly any species not CITES-listed (see this link).

SpeciesVariation
(Mixed)
Variation
(Vertical)
Solid
Cost
Veneer
Cost
ExteriorFSC®
Alder 3High 2Medium 2$$ 2$$ 0  1
Anegre 2Medium 3High 3$$$ 3$$$ 0  0 
Carbonized Bamboo 2Medium 2Medium 2$$ 3$$$ 0  1
Cherry 3High 3High 3$$$ 2$$ 1  1
Douglas Fir 3High 3High 1$ 2$$ 1 1
English Sycamore 2Medium 2Medium 3$$$ 3$$$ 0  1
European Steamed Beech 2Medium 2Medium 2$$ 2$$ 0  1
Khaya African Mahogany 2Medium 3High 2$$ 1$ 0 1
Natural Ash 3High 3High 2$$ 1$ 0  1
Natural Bamboo 2Medium 2Medium 2$$ 3$$$ 0  1
Natural Maple 3High 3High 2$$ 1$ 0  1
Red Oak 3High 2Medium 2$$ 1$ 0  1
Rustic Western Red Cedar 3High 3High 2$ 3N/A 1 1
Sapele 2Medium 2Medium 3$$$ 3$$$ 0  0 
Teak 2Medium 2Medium 3$$$ 3$$$ 1 1
Walnut 3High 2Medium 3$$$ 2$$ 0 0 
Western Hemlock 2Medium 2Medium 1$ 3$$$ 1 1
Western Red Cedar 3High 3High 2$$ 3N/A 1 1
White Ash 2Medium 2Medium 3$$$ 1$ 0  1
White Birch 2Medium 2Medium 3N/A 2$$ 0  1
White Maple 2Medium 2Medium 2$$ 1$ 0  1
White Oak 3High 2Medium 2$$ 2$$ 1 1

Standard Hemlock Stains

Stains are a great way to get the look of premium species on a tighter budget, or help mitigate color and grain variation. 9Wood offers standard and custom stains. All of the images below are standard 9Wood stains applied to solid Western Hemlock. Stains can be applied to just about any species, but please bear in mind that stains take to each species differently. If your project requires a custom stain, please send us a color control and we will match it.

Stain Variation Cost
Cedar Stain 2Medium 1$
Cherry Stain 2Medium 1$
Douglas Fir Stain 2Medium 1$
Pickle Stain 2Medium 1$
Teak Stain 2Medium 1$
Walnut Stain 2Medium 1$
White Oak Stain 2Medium 1$

Reclaimed Wood Species

Reclaimed woods are an excellent way to bring a unique richness and character to your ceiling while maintaining a low environmental impact. All reclaimed woods will have relatively high variation, and are generally more costly than standard species.

SpeciesVariationCostExterior
Reclaimed Asian Teak 3High 3$$$ 1
Reclaimed Circle Sawn Mix 3High 3$$$ 0
Reclaimed Douglas Fir 3High 3$$ 1
Reclaimed Jakarta Dark Mix 3High 3$$ 0
Reclaimed Jakarta Light Mix 3High 3$$ 0
Reclaimed Redwood 3High 3$$$ 1
Reclaimed Rustic Fence Mix 3High 3$$ 1
Reclaimed Rustic Jakarta Mix 3High 3$$ 0
Reclaimed Siberian Spruce 2Medium 3$$ 0

Engineered Species

Engineered veneers are a real wood product that allow a designer to exercise more control over color range and variation. They are also a way to give the look of certain restricted species while using common woods.

SpeciesVariationCost
Engineered Cherry (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Douglas Fir (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Gun Metal Ebony (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Macassar Ebony (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Rosewood (Plain Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Teak (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Walnut (Plain Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Walnut (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Wenge (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered White Maple (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered White Oak (Rift Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$
Engineered Zebrawood (Quarter Sliced Veneer) 2Medium 2$$

Veneer Cuts

Rotary Sliced

Rotary sliced veneer is created by mounting a log centrally in a lathe and turning against a blade, like unwinding a roll of paper. Because this slice follows the log's annular growth rings, a bold variegated grain marking is produced. Rotary-sliced veneer can be exceptionally wide.

Plain (flat) Sliced

Plain (or flat) sliced veneer is created by mounting a half log with the heart side floating against the guide plate of a slicer. The slicing is done parallel to a line through the center of the log, producing a variegated figure.

Quarter Sliced

Quarter sliced veneer is created by mounting a quarter log on a guide plate so that the growth rings of the log strike the blade at approximately right angles, producing a series of stripes that are straight in some woods and varied in others. In Oak, this slicing can produce unlimited amounts of medullary ray.

Rift Sliced

Rift sliced veneer is unique to various species of Oak. The rift or comb grain effect is obtained by slicing perpendicular to the Oak's medullary rays on either a lathe or a slicer. Medullary ray cells are distinct characteristics of Oak that radiate from the center of the log like the curved spokes of a wheel. Rift slicing limits the appearance of the medullary ray flake and produces a rather straight grain. Comb grain is a further hybrid selected from the rift slice.

*Veneer descriptions above taken from Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 1. Illustrations from AWI Quality Standards, 8th Edition and used with permission.

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