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With our direct buying model, J. Gibson McIlvain is able to import the highest quality hardwood lumber from sources located both around the world and right in our backyard. Whether the hardwood you seek is domestic or exotic, there’s a very good chance that we have it in stock. From beautiful, straight grained FEQ Teak to durable Ipe for decking, our inventory is truly all-inclusive. Appalachian Cherry, American Black Walnut, and Genuine Mahogany from Central America also fill our stockyards.
You can rest assured that our hardwoods are held to the same rigorous quality standards as the rest of our lumber. Our quality control process is strict: Each board is individually inspected by hand no less than three times, before being delivered to your project site. Our company’s global reach ensures that no matter what the species, we will not only acquire it in a timely manner, but we will also ship it anywhere nationwide (and sometimes outside of the United States as well).
Our staff consists of a number of species specialists for our top selling products, such as Teak, Ipe, Genuine Mahogany, Cherry, and Walnut. Simply fill us in on the details of your project or let us know what wood species you’re interested in, and we can connect you with the appropriate specialist.
Below is a sampling of some of the most popular species of hardwood lumber that we carry. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please do not hesitate to contact us via phone or email. If we don’t seem to have what you need, we’re more than willing to work with you to find a solution or propose an alternative.
Teak is an outstanding exterior wood prized for its beautiful golden brown color, straight grain, and extreme durability. It is used extensively in the marine industry for boat decking. Burmese Teak has a high silica content, making it tough to machine but practically impervious to rot and insect damage. Durable Teak has been proven to withstand the elements better than just about all other species. Learn more.
Ipe is the king of decking products. If you build your deck from Ipe, it will probably outlive your ownership of your home, as it has been proven to have a lifespan of over 40 years. This South American wood is not only rot resistant, but also fire resistant. It is popular for use in decks, boardwalks, and docks. We only source Ipe lumber that has been certified as having been harvested using environmentally responsible practices. Learn more.
Also known as Brazilian Cherry in the flooring world, Jatoba is an excellent tropical species often uses as exterior decking in addition to interior flooring. Its incredible hardness and extreme rot resistance makes it strong under foot and the deep, rich red color is stunning. Inside and out, its a champ! We carry rough sawn, kiln dried Jatoba but also maintain an inventory of exterior dried Jatoba decking. Learn more.
Cumaru, sometimes called “Brazilian Teak,” is a South American wood that is gaining popularity as an excellent decking option and as a possible alternative to Ipe. It is often compared to Teak in durability, but Cumaru does not possess the same coloring or straight grain. We control stability issues in this species through careful drying processes and by selling 5/4 thicknesses. Learn more.
Genuine Mahogany is a classic favorite in America, and this highly popular wood is often used in furniture making. In addition to being great for use indoors, Genuine Mahogany’s tropical origins also make it an outstanding exterior wood, as it boasts remarkable rot resistance. The medium hardness of this wood means that the lumber is easy to work, yet it retains excellent strength. Genuine Mahogany is outstanding for carving and is the de facto wood for period furniture makers. Learn more.
Sapele is often mistaken for a Mahogany wood due to its deep reddish brown color. However, this wood is much denser than true Mahogany, and Sapele has a tight grain structure that polishes beautifully. Native to Africa, Sapele is an excellent exterior wood with an interlocking grain pattern that is so attractive, that the wood is often used outside with nothing more than a clear coat finish. Learn more.
Utile and Sipo are interchangeable names for the same African species. Characterized as another Mahogany variant, Utile has outstanding exterior properties and boasts a consistent straight grain, making it easy to work and finish. Utile has a very tight grain and a deep reddish brown color that does not reveal much difference between flat and quartersawn boards, making it perfect for all applications in which consistent appearance is paramount. Learn more.
African Mahogany is the common name for several different species of Mahogany, and Khaya Ivorensis and Khaya Senegalensis are two of the most popular variants. Khaya has many of the same exterior-grade qualities as Genuine Mahogany, but Khaya has an interlocking grain. The wood’s grain results in beautiful ribbon stripe patterns, as well as in enhanced durability. African Mahogany is not identical to Genuine Mahogany by any means, but it does make a great and less expensive alternative. Learn more.
Despite its name, Spanish Cedar originates in Central and South America (meaning it’s not really Spanish), and it’s also technically a softwood (so it’s not really a cedar). Spanish Cedar is a great exterior-grade species that is often compared to African Mahogany, another great Genuine Mahogany alternative. Although the wood is softer, Spanish Cedar still holds details very well. It also takes paint and clear finishes well, so it’s used quite often in exterior trimwork, siding, doors, and windows. Learn more.
Walnut is prized for its deep chocolate brown color and is often used in doors, trim, and furniture applications. The wood is very unique in color and weathers to a beautiful deep brown hue with hints of cream and purple. Walnut is surprisingly lightweight for a hardwood and therefore works excellently both by hand and by machine. The wood is easy to finish and can take on a very different character depending on the finishing technique used. Learn more.
White Oak is often referred to as “the wood that built America.” It is highly rot resistant, making it excellent for exterior projects, and it is very hard and durable. The wood is prized for its quartersawn stability as well as its figure in arts and crafts furniture. It is also used in millwork and exterior projects. White Oak is one of the hardest domestic species of wood. Learn more.
Cherry is a classic furniture wood. Warm coloration, easy workability, and beautiful grain patterns characterize this wood, making it one of the best types of lumber for one-of-a-kind furniture pieces or trimwork. Cherry is of medium hardness and is quite strong, so you can expect your piece to last for generations. As it ages, Cherry darkens in color to a reddish brown. We source our Cherry from the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania and the Ohio River Valley. Learn more.
Poplar is a very affordable secondary or paint-grade wood often used in trimwork and furniture, and its tight train and closed pores take paint extremely well. Its medium hardness means that it holds details very nicely, yet it is easy on cutting tools. Poplar’s good stability and reasonable price make it an excellent choice for a wide variety of applications. Learn more.
There are many species of Maple, but we primarily stock Hard and Soft Maple. Maple is an outstanding domestic species with a very tight grain and a consistent, creamy coloration. Both varieties are quite hard (even Soft Maple), and they mill very well. Used primarily for interior cabinetry, furniture, and flooring, Maple is a stable and versatile species. Learn more.
Red Oak is a strong and affordable species that has many uses for interior applications, including flooring, cabinetry, and trimwork. It is used most commonly as an all-around species for retail store fixtures and shelving. Red Oak has great compression and bending strength, and when worked “green” or steamed, the boards are quite pliable. Learn more.
J. Gibson McIlvain Co. sources lumber from all over the world, and our connections enable us to acquire nearly any species of wood, whether or not we currently have it in stock. Our most popular miscellaneous woods include Alder, Ash, Birch, European Beech, Jatoba, Purpleheart, Makore, Wenge, Padauk, Afromosia, Philippine Mahogany, and many more, and we are always willing to accommodate special requests. Read More…