Is Birch Wood a Good Value?

When talking about woods used for the home, birch is often overlooked as the conversation turns to the exquisite look of cherry, the durability of oak, or the affordability of pine. But, it has its place.

In addition to being affordable, it is also durable. Birch is also easy to work with, so woodworkers love it. Consumers like how it looks and the fact that it lasts a long time.

A woman working on wood using a drill

In addition, it’s also widely available, which is another selling point.

Is Birch Wood Expensive?

Birchwood comes from nine different species of tree that are common across North America. This is a tremendous advantage for the consumer because it’s more readily available than other wood and doesn’t require a long supply line.

Compared to finer hardwoods like cherry, birch is very affordable. It won’t look nearly as deep or lush as cherry, but you can compensate for that with the right stains.

Pieces of birch wood

Of course, compared to softwoods like pine and cedar, you’ll pay more for birch. But, it’s more durable and holds nails and screws much better.

How Much Does Birch Wood Cost?

While you can find cost comparison charts for different woods online, we recommend caution in using them. The lumber market is always in a state of flux, so prices are subject to rapid change.

In general, birch is competitive in costs compared to other hardwoods. It’s much cheaper than walnut and cherry, but a little more expensive than poplar. However, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

Shipping costs will add to the price of any wood you buy. Birch is native to the Northern Hemisphere, which includes the United States. The range of the nine birch species covers most of the country.

Forest with Birch wood trees

Birch is much cheaper in places where it grows, like New England, than in the arid Southwest where it doesn’t grow. So, keep in mind that the cost of birch will vary from region to region.

Real-world events could also drive changes in the cost of different woods. A sudden change in availability of a certain kind of wood, or a surge in popularity for some reason, could cause rapid changes one way or the other.

Why Is Birch Wood So Popular?

Different woods are popular for different reasons. Cherry ages very well and actually looks better the older it gets. Walnut looks great and lasts a long time. Pine is very affordable. Different woods are sometimes popular because they have one single advantage.

Birch wood tree trunks stacked up

Birch, on the other hand, has many advantages. It’s generally more affordable than walnut and cherry, and it lasts much longer than pine. It’s also easy for woodworkers to manage.

So, birch is popular because it has several advantages. 

Does Birch Wood Last Long or Is It Better to Get More Expensive and More Durable Wood at First?

Under the right conditions, things made from birch can last a long time. It’s a hardwood, so it will resist the odd nick or ding. It can also hold nails and screws well, so gravity won’t rip it apart. For those reasons, it’s popular as paneling and cabinetry.

Wood cut into pieces stacked together

That also makes it a good investment. It isn’t as expensive as walnut or cherry, but it can last almost as long if you take care of it. However, it won’t take on cherry’s deep, rich, reddish hue.

It will also last a lot longer than softwoods like pine and cedar, even though it costs only a little bit more. Just don’t leave it outside where it is exposed to the elements. Birch can break down quickly if it regularly gets wet, and insects love it. 

Is Birch Wood Good for Furniture?

Depending on what kind of furniture you’re looking for, birch might be a good option. It’s hardwood, so it’ll last a long time. But it has its limitations.

A long time ago, birch used to be one of the most popular choices for making furniture. It is a readily-available wood that can offer some durability. So, it was natural for early industrial furniture makers.

Bird house made using birch wood

But, it was overtaken as it got easier to move large amounts of wood like oak to furniture making mills. Eventually, birch faded as nicer-looking options became economical.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad wood for making furniture. It has a lot to offer, including that it’s affordable. Also, it’s durable and will last a long time if properly cared for.

You can also use stains so that it looks as nice as woods like maple and cherry. You’ll know that it’s birch, but any casual onlookers will see something a little more luxurious.

If you opt for birch furniture, we recommend that you seal it and keep it inside. Birch will decay quickly if left outside. Insects also love it, and will chew it apart quickly if you allow them to.

Conclusion

Birch is popular all the way around when it comes to home furnishings. It’s easy to find and doesn’t cost a lot of money. It’s also easy to work with during manufacturing. Consumers like it because it lasts a long time and looks great.

Those are all good reasons to keep birch in mind when shopping for furniture or new cabinets. Oak and maple are more expensive hardwoods that can take a beating, while pine might get easily damaged. Birch hits a lot of high notes and not a lot of low ones.

We’d love to hear your experiences with birch and any insights we may have overlooked. You can also share this article on your social media networks.

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