Hardwoods come from deciduous trees, which has a slow growth rate, and are in most cases denser than softwoods. The durability characteristics of the hardwoods are more resistant to damage such as stains, scratches, and dents.

Softwoods come from conifer trees, which has a fast growth rate, and are in most cases less dense than hardwoods. Over half of the mass demands of timber production is softwood and usually less expensive than hardwoods.
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