Best Wood for Bookshelves

Whether placed in your bedroom, your living room, or the office, bookshelves often come in handy for storing your books and displaying beautiful decoration pieces and pictures.

There are a variety of bookshelves you can choose to work on, such as floating shelves, pull-out shelves, corner shelves, or a shelf cabinet. Choosing the best tools and material for your DIY project will ensure the perfect desired end product.

This blog post will guide you on the wood options available for your DIY bookshelf project. Keep reading to find out!

Best Wood for Bookshelves

Before getting started on your DIY bookshelf project, you need to factor in a few essential things – the most important of these is selecting the best wood for bookshelves. Do you want to know about durable options that are easy to work with? We have you covered.

1. Western Red Cedar Wood

If you are a beginner looking for easy-to-handle wood, go for Western Red Cedar Wood. This type of wood is commonly found in the Pacific Northwest region. Western Red Cedar is also abundantly found in Washington, Oregon, and several nearby regions.

Western Red Cedar Wood has a reddish-brown tint that adds warmth to any space it is placed. It looks great in both traditional and contemporary homes. Its unique shade is one of its many intriguing qualities.

Western Red Cedar Wood can be cut and painted easily. It is the perfect option for wood that combines elegance and robustness, making it an excellent choice for wooden bookshelves. This type of wood is moderately cheap and highly durable.

2. Walnut Wood

Walnut wood is deep brown and has black streaks. So, if you have neutral-toned furniture, using walnut wood would be great for adding some contrast to your space. You can also apply a finish to this wood if you want it to match the color tones of your space.

Walnut wood is relatively more expensive than other types of wood mentioned in this blog. However, Walnut wood is generally easy to work with and is exceptionally durable depending on the grain.

The depth and grain of Walnut wood will make it worth your investment.

3. Pinewood

Pinewood is readily available in almost all regions in the U.S, so you can easily find it at any hardware shop. Pinewood is relatively cheaper, which makes this option attractive for many buyers. Another advantage of using pinewood for bookshelves is that it is soft, making it effortless to cut and sand.

Pinewood is light in color and has yellow-ish brown tones. It is also quite durable and dense. However, if you wish to load heavy objects on Pinewood shelves, we recommend you cut or glue two pinewood planks together to make them thicker, providing additional support.

Pinewood takes on a luxurious finish. However, it looks just as good on its own. We recommend pinewood for your next DIY bookshelf project due to its durability and unique appearance.

4. Redwood

Redwood trees are enormous, and they contribute to the greatness of the U.S. As redwood is abundantly available in the majority of the regions in America, it is relatively less costly than other wood options mentioned in this blog post. Redwood always has a high resistance to extreme climates, and if left untouched, it can prove to be highly durable.

Pairing a redwood shelf with black steel support would make a striking contrast as this wood is reddish-brown and has dark brown striations.

5. Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir is another softwood we recommend for shelves. However, one drawback is that you can only find it in eastern Asia or the west coast. Douglas Fir is dense, hard, and easy to work with, paint or stain.

Douglas Fir is light brownish with a hint of red, and it also machines well, making it an excellent choice for DIY bookshelves.

Three Essential Considerations for Your Bookshelves

  1. Before starting work on the bookshelves, you need to decide upon the desired thickness of the bookshelves. Standard bookshelves are ¾ inch in thickness. However, if you prefer them to be thicker than usual, you can clamp two pieces of wood together using strong glue.
  1. To ensure that both pieces are the same size, use a wider trim to finish off the edges. There are several benefits of having thicker shelves –the most important being that they are stronger and can support a heavy weight load without breaking or sagging.
  1. It is also essential for you to consider the depth of the shelves. Standard bookshelves are about 12 inches deep. The best thing about a DIY project is freedom in customization.
  1. So, if you prefer a deeper shelf, you can easily make it so. For instance, if you want a deeper shelf for oversized books, you can measure the largest book and add one or two inches to the bookshelves’ depth.
  1. One of the most important things to consider is the best type of tools you would require for assembling and building your bookshelves and the best wood for bookshelves. We have listed some essential items below.
  • Pencil or marker for marking the location of the shelf
  • Tape of measuring
  • Safety glasses to keep your eyes protected while woodworking
  • Hammer
  • Miter saw
  • Nails for finishing
  • Good quality screws
  • Sandpaper for smoothing out the surface of the wood for improved texture.
  • Strong wood glue
  • Cross-cut saw
  • Drill machine
  • Paint, stain, or varnish
  • Paint brushes for application
  • Clamps

Closing Thoughts

Bookshelves indeed make a significant addition to your home or office space. They add to the ambiance and also come in handy for storage.

Although aesthetics play a vital role in how people make their shelves, the most critical factor is utility. Bookshelves are made to store things in them. To achieve maximum utility, you need to choose the best book for bookshelves.

We hope our post introduced you to some durable and easy-to-work-with wood options for your next DIY bookshelf project. Now, you can start working on your next masterpiece using the best wood and tools.

Happy woodworking!

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