The color is light cream with darker heartwood, something between maple and ash. The grain is short, mostly straight, with fine, even texture. Beech wood imparts definite warmth to the environment and has the ability to make the interior look more spacious. Furniture manufacturers and cabinet makers figured out the trick for quite a while; that’s one of the reasons many pieces of furniture designed for small habitats such as apartments are so often veneered with beech wood.
Dense, heavy and hard (1300 on the Janka scale) yet somewhat brittle due to its short grain. Not having any specific taste or odor and being very gentle on the knife’s edge, it becomes an obvious choice of cutting boards, chopping blocks and butcher-block counter tops. The unfinished wood has a poor dimensional stability, as it reacts promptly to the changes in the environmental humidity. It is therefore, necessary for the wood to be sealed with great care prior to installation.
Beech wood machines very well and has an exceptional stain acceptance. Being a dense wood, it tends to split along the grain, so pre-drilling is a must for nails and wood screws.
Although beech wood is not very durable outdoors, its durability increases amazingly when constantly soaked. That’s why beech wood came to be used for building water wheels and underwater ship elements when white oak or other traditional water-resistant wood was not available.