Wood Products Manufacturers In China: A Complete Guide

Table Of Content

Wood Types

Hardwood v. Softwood

For the most part, hardwoods are generally considered denser (and thus, harder) than softwoods, although the terms do not technically determine its relative strength. Hardwood and softwood is distinguished botanically by the way it is produced, and is entirely dependent on the seed structure. A hardwood is produced by a seed with some sort of covering, be it in the form of a shell or fruit. A softwood is produced from an exposed seed left to the elements.
The most common way hardness is measured in woods is through the Janka Hardness Test, which measures the resistance of wood to denting and wear. An industry standard since 1906, the test measures the average amount of force required to “embed a .444-inch steel ball to half its diameter” in a piece of wood. Most ratings refer to a wood’s “side hardness”, which tests on the perpendicular side of the grain. The following measures the relative strength of different woods from softest to hard:

Wood Varieties

Different types of construction call for different kinds of wood types to be used. From structural to decorative functions, both hardwood and softwood can be used. The following outlines distinguishes the most common types of wood varieties used for furniture construction:


Pine is an inexpensive, lightweight softwood with a pale color. It is often used in unfinished furniture.

PROS: Best quality softwood, low-cost, resistant to warping, well-suited for painting/staining
CONS: Prone to scratches and dents


A common hardwood often used in furniture, birch is similar in grain and color to maple with its light yellow brown color and close grain.

PROS: Strong, satin-like sheen, attractive coloration
CONS: Not weather resistant, coarser than maple, darker stains do not absorb well and blotching can occur


Often used with more expensive woods, beech is a light colored hardwood that bends easily, and is often used in the sides and backs of cabinets, drawer bottoms, and chair and table legs. It has a fine, tight grain.

PROS: Hard, heavy, high shock resistance, well-suited for polishing, inexpensive
CONS: Prone to warping, not durable to moisture changes


Ash is a tough hardwood well known for its bending abilities. It is extremely flexible without losing its strength, and is used for curved furniture. It is pale in color with a straight grain, and is a good alternative to oak.

PROS: Extremely flexible, strong, inexpensive
CONS: Staining can exaggerate the grain


Oak is a grainy hardwood that can range in color from grey-brown to red-brown. Red oak is usually less expensive than white oak.

PROS: Strong, durable, resistant to warping, distinctive look
CONS: Staining can exaggerate grain brining a two-tone finish


Pale in color with a reddish cast, maple is an attractive hardwood that is one of the hardest wood species.

PROS: Ultra durable, moisture resistant, stains well, affordable, ideal for furniture
CONS: Can look blotchy when not sealed properly


Typically chocolate brown in color, this straight-grained hardwood is used in fine furniture.

PROS: Beautiful coloration, strong, stable, versatile
CONS: Expensive, Can be difficult to finish


Cherry is a distinctive hardwood with a typically red-brown color, and fine, straight grain.

PROS: Naturally rich in color, easily shaped, polishes well
CONS: Expensive, prone to darkening in color


A premium hardwood, weather-resistant teak is commonly used for outdoor furniture. It is durable and displays a golden brown color.

PROS: Naturally durable to moisture, does not corrode iron or steel hardware, hard, strong
CONS: Expensive, when exposed to natural elements turns a silver grey if not sealed or pre-weathered


A mainstay in fine furniture, mahogany is reputed for its distinctive and attractive grain and coloration. It varies in color from medium brown to deep red-brown.

PROS: Easy to work, fairly strong
CONS: Expensive, hardness varies, prone to warping

Composite Woods

Manufactured wood products, or composite woods, can bring the look of fine wood at an economical price point. When covered with a top-quality veneer, composite woods deliver an almost identical appearance to genuine wood, and can also have the same level of high quality.


Plywood is multiple sheets of lumber glued together under high pressure. High-quality plywood is at least 11-13 layers of wood. Plywood comes in different grades and qualities, but engineers and furniture-makers agree that high-quality plywood is proven to be just as sturdy as hardwood, and is resistant to cracking, warping, shrinking, and swelling.


Particleboard is made from compressed wood chips, sawdust, and fibers glued together. Even though particleboard is less expensive, particleboard is significantly less strong than both hardwood and plywood. Particleboard is often used in inexpensive furniture and is treated with a laminate or veneered facade.


Medium density fiberboard, or MDF, is manufactured the same way as particleboard but is made from broken down hardwood and softwood fibers instead. The fibers are compressed at high temperatures and bonded with resin, glue, or wax. MDF is very heavy, but cuts, sands, and finishes well.

Wood Finishes

Wood finishing is the process of refining or protecting a wooden surface. Wood finishes can enhance the appearance of wood, or increase its resistance to moisture and other environmental wear and damage.


Veneered wood is created by bonding a thin slice of hardwood to the surface of less expensive materials. The effect brings the look of more expensive woods at a more affordable price point. Veneers can applied in patterns to add more visual interest, but is considerably more difficult to maintain.
CONS: Veneered woods are much more susceptible to water damage than solid wood. Water exposure can cause the veneer to peel or buckle. It is hard to repair damaged veneer woods. Sanding or refinishing can reveal the lower-grade wood underneath.


Available in many different sheen levels (from high-gloss to matte), varnish is a clear, tough finish that is resistant to heat, water, alcohol, and abrasion. The clear finish can sometimes darken the wood.


Shellas is a non-toxic sealer derived from an insect resin. It is a protective coat available in many different colors, but typically adds a warm, amber color to wood. It can be affected by heat: white rings will appear underneath a hot bowl or mug.


Lacquer is a protective finish that is extremely durable and resistant to damage. Applied in many thin coats, lacquer typically describes a high-gloss finish that is often used in Asian-inspired furnishings. Lacquer can begin to discolor and yellow over time.


A stain does not protect wood, but changes the appearance of the wood. Available in a spectrum of colors, a stain is intended to darken and alter the wood color by adding pigments to its surface. When rubbed into the surface, a stain will naturally bring out the grain pattern giving the wood a more dramatic look.


Unlike other surface finishes, resins soak in and harden the individual fibers of wood. Resin-treated wood leave a natural look which makes wood almost unfinished and untreated. Resin is available in clear or colored.


Paint adds another aesthetic dimension to wood furniture and can be applied in a spectrum of colors dependent on aesthetic.

Sourcing on Alibaba.com and Made-in-china.com

Alibaba.com and Made-in-china.com are the two largest supplier directories in the world. Virtually every export focused wood products maker in China are listed on these websites.

In fact, there are so many suppliers on these platforms, that it can be overwhelming.

That said, there are ways to identify those that are the most qualified:

a. Product scope: Are they making your type of hardwood flooring,skirting board,moulding and wood table?

b. Product compliance: Do they have FSC or other test reports? (This indicates that they can make compliant products).

c. Quality Management System: Are they ISO 9001 certified?

d. Factory or Trader: Are they actually making wood products, or are they only subcontracting production to another company?

Based on these factors, you can filter down the list of potential manufacturers to 10 or 12.

It’s worth nothing that access to design drawings and bill of materials can be quite a challenge when buying ODM products.

Many Chinese suppliers are, ironically, quite strict when it comes to sharing their own intellectual property.

The price estimate is based on a small order volume of 1000 pcs.

MOQ Requirement

We are willing to offer a slightly lower MOQ.

Wood Products Trade Shows

As far as I know, there are many trade shows exclusively for the wood products.

  • DOMOTEX asia
  • China (Shanghai) International Furniture Fair China Import and Export Fair Complex
  • China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou) China Import and Export Fair Complex
  • Canton Fair In Guangzhou
  • Building decorations & materials exhibition beijing

Do you want to import wood products from China?

It can be hard to go from a design drawing to finished product. To help you manage the entire process – from creating a specification, to sampling and quality control – we created a Starter Package for Wood products:

  • a. Manufacturer Lists
  • b. Product Specification Templates

In addition, you can also book quality inspections, lab testing and shipping directly from the platform.

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