Wood Grain Characteristics

The texture, grain direction, and luster of woods determine how it will look.

The texture, grain direction, and luster of woods determine how it will look and feel in practice.

Aside from the obvious color and texture of wood, there is a lot more to wood grain. Discover the ins and outs of wood grain below so you can make the best possible choice for your business. There are numerous more subtle properties of wood, ranging from the look of it to the feel. Read on to learn more.

Grain Direction

The way tree species grow is what makes wood grain direction variable. The name reflects how the wood of the tree grew in relation to the tree’s trunk. However, grain cannot generally be detected from end grain examination. It can also affect both the workability and appearance of wood. Grain direction can be as follows.

  • Straight
  • Spiral
  • Interlocked
  • Wavy
  • Irregular


In the most basic terms, wood texture describes how wood feels when you touch it. When treated, sanded, and smoothed equally, different kinds of woods will still have different feels depending on their innate texture. Some will be softer and rougher, and others will be smoother and glassy. The first of these is referred to as coarse texture while the second is referred to as fine texture. Some woods are unevenly textured and contain both textures. Depending on how large and open the pores are of the wood used, a pore filler may be necessary to get a perfectly even smooth surface. It all depends on the natural texture of the wood.


Luster is often referred to as sheen, and refers to how much light a type of wood can reflect. While any wood can appear to be lustrous if the right glossy finishing product has been carefully applied, other types of wood have an inherently high sheen before any finish has been applied. Ebonies and rosewoods are known for their naturally beautiful high luster.

Get In Touch With Mahogany Inc. To Learn More About Custom Woodwork Today

Mahogany, Inc. is a general contractor specializing in quality construction for projects across a wide range of industries. Located in southwest Baltimore, we employ 100 persons, and are one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the state of Maryland. If you are looking for custom millwork or other amazing wooden installations, then check out our website! Make sure to check back with our blog every week and find us on social media for important updates!


This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 at 9:31 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.