The Woods in Your Car Decor

Nothing screams luxury more than glossy wood trim in a car. It adds richness and opulence and plenty of extra dollars to the price tag. And although wood trim fell out of favor when vinyl and plastic became the material of choice, in recent years real wood in cars has made a comeback. But all wood does not come equal. The type of wood and thickness all influence a car’s price. Here are some of the most common woods used in cars.


Wood Car Interiors - Pine Grove Auto Sales

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You can’t mistake walnut with its distinctive warm brown color and intricate grains and patterns. Burl Walnut is the wood of choice in many of the world’s top luxury cars. The burl, a deformed-looking growth on the trunk, as well as the root ball, a massive dense wooden cluster often found in a tree’s root system, are the most sought-after parts of the tree. These are to the wood veneer industry what truffle is to the food world because of the bolder patterning in the grain.


Ash is flexible wood that’s strong and light, making it perfect for many things. Some early airplanes were built with ash wood, and baseball bats and bows are still made from them. The Morgan Motor Company, a British company that builds vintage-style sports cars, still builds their vehicles the old-fashioned way — by hand and using an ash wood frame. A light-colored wood, ash wood comes in different varieties like white, black, and olive.


Mahogany is a beautiful rich red-brown wood with an even grain that lends a warm ambiance to an interior.  It’s a soft wood that’s easy to work with and to mold to fit a car’s trim areas yet durable and resistant to rot. But to complicate matters, mahogany is not just mahogany. There are, in fact, several varieties of mahogany including Honduran Mahogany and African Mahogany. Then there’s Sapele, which is technically not a genuine mahogany but considered similar to mahogany and also an option in car trims.


Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing trees on the planet, so it makes sense to use it in various applications because it is so easily replenished. Several car manufacturers are taking the environment into account by producing eco-friendly cars and have started turning to more sustainable sources like bamboo and reclaimed wood for their car interiors. It’s a cheaper wood, and the lighter color of bamboo contrasts well with dark interiors.


Often called Birdseye Maple due to the swirling and tiny knob-like patterns in the wood that resemble a bird’s eye, Birdseye Maple is a hard wood with a straight grain. Although a light-colored wood, it is sometimes stained a darker color. Birdseye Maple is a variation of the Sugar Maple, and it’s uncertain what causes the interesting pattern in the wood grain, but it does create a beautiful finish on car trims. Wood trim interiors harken back to the early days of the automobile, but it’s not only reserved for vintage cars. Many of today’s premium vehicles feature real wood veneer in the interior which add a touch of class and sophistication.