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Creating incredible interior walls and ceilings in commercial spaces requires the selection of the right colours and finishes for the project and the space’s intentions. Applying that selection to Vtec’s decorative and acoustic systems of slatted timber, large beams and panels helps to transform the built environment and create a strong visual impact

However, when it comes to the design intent, there are a few factors to consider when selecting the right timber and finish for a project to use in the specification.

We are familiar with the terms hardwood and softwood. We will now explore both types of wood to learn about their distinctions and differences and which is the best option for your interior design project.


What do you mean when you say hardwood and softwood?


Timber species fall mainly into two categories, either Hardwood or Softwood. They are categorised by several key features that define them, e.g. cell structure and the manner in which the seeds are produced.


Hardwood is derived from angiosperm trees, where the seeds that the tree produces have a coating, such as a fruit or a shell, most of which are deciduous. Hardwoods include oak, mahogany, cherry, and walnut. Hardwood is generally the more durable and denser of the two wood types, although Balsa is a hardwood!

Hardwoods are commonly used for high-end furniture, flooring, beams, and columns. Its increased grain density is also ideal for musical instruments, contributing to superior sound quality. This is because it is stronger and more resilient, providing greater longevity and aesthetic appeal.


Softwood is derived from gymnosperm trees, which are plants that produce cones and needles and are commonly referred to as evergreen trees. Softwoods include pine, cedar, fir, and spruce. Because it is quick growing and easy to manage responsibly, it can be produced in volume. Softwood is also lightweight and easy to work with, and therefore commonly used in many general constructions.

Softwood is also used in ornamental woodwork, panelling, and other applications. It is less dense and less durable than hardwood so care is needed in exposed applications.


The Janka hardness test determines the hardness of the wood and its resistance to denting and wear, with hardwoods scoring higher than softwoods.


How can you tell the difference between the two visually?


Due to their slow growth, hardwoods have a much darker colour and a finely-grained texture in terms of physical appearance. Softwoods typically have a lighter colour and a coarser grain. Hardwood is also known to be harder and denser than softwood.


Why should you use hardwood slats, beams, and acoustics?


At Vtec, we manufacture and produce our SupaSlat slatted natural timber panel system using hardwood slats. This is part of our mission to provide our clients with exceptional value for their specifications and to meet the needs of any complex or creative interior structures.

When selecting a slatted timber ceiling system, the key attributes needed are:

  • Durability
  • Stability
  • Beauty
  • Sustainability

Selecting the correct timber type is essential to achieve these, so our production teams use hardwood to attain long-term durability.



But what about Sustainability?


We understand the importance of sourcing responsibly and strive to implement sustainable practices in our products and systems. With our Slats, Beams, and Acoustics products – MaxiBeam & Supacoustic are available upon request as FSC® Certified (FSC® C160047) and our SupaSlat and MicroSlat Systems are available upon request as FSC® Certified (FSC® C160047) and PEFC Certified (PEFC/16-37-2304).

This allows us to maintain transparency in our responsible wood sourcing and our commitment to a more sustainable world.




Knowing the key differences between hardwood and softwood can help you decide which to use for your project. Whatever type you select, we wish you the best of luck with your project! The distinction between the two types of wood can assist you in making the best decision for your specific design.


Talk to our Technical Specialists for more details on our materials and technology. Our teams can help you solve any project concerns and technical challenges.

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We can work with you to help solve the complexities in wall and ceiling systems by providing high performing creative solutions and systems that work! Making spaces matter is important to us! Give us a call today, so we can get started on supporting you and your journey!
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