What Types of Wood are Best for Fireplaces?

January 11, 2017

If you own a wood burning fireplace you’ve probably heard different answers to the question of what types of wood are best for fireplaces. Some people will tell you hardwoods, others may say softwood. The answer isn’t as cut-and-dry as you may think. So, here are the types of wood that are best for fireplaces.

Chopping firewood to use in the custom fireplace

Is Hardwood Better that Softwood for Fireplaces?

The debate typically pits the two different types of wood against each other. Softwoods are a less dense type of wood and they burn easier and faster; hardwoods are much more dense and will burn longer and hotter. So, which type of wood is best for fireplaces? It actually depends on what you’re looking for. Neither wood is truly the best wood for burning in fireplaces. Softwoods are great for starting fires and hardwoods are best for a longer, hotter burn.

Why do I Need to Burn Seasoned Wood?

The main factor in preventing creosote and picking the best firewood for your fireplace is using only properly seasoned wood. Seasoned wood is wood that has dried out and is no longer green or loaded with wet sap. A good rule of thumb is to never use this year’s wood; only use wood that has seasoned in a dry spot for at least a full year. In fact, most experienced, wood-burning homeowners will keep around 2 years worth of wood so they can burn off the wood chopped 2 years ago only using the 1 year old wood as their backup.

A fire roars in a custom fireplace built in a quaint mountain cabin

Which Type of Wood is Best for Fireplaces?

So long as we’re talking about properly seasoned firewood, we can’t start to discuss the actual differences between the types of wood available. Each homeowner will have their own personal preference based on their own needs such as how easy the wood is to split, how it smells, or how efficiently it heats their home. Utah State University put together a great chart comparing the different types of wood; we suggest using their chart to pick out your next cord of wood to burn.

For more information on fireplace usage or which types of wood are best for burning in your fireplace, get in touch with your Maryland fireplace installation company. Fireside Stone and Patio has the expertise to help you get the most use out of your fireplace with a complete fireplace renovation or repair. To get in touch with Fireside Stone and Patio, give us a call at 410-203-2876 or fill out the form on our website.