Finding Good Quality Wood Furniture
Wood furniture can increase the beauty of your home. How? Well, wood is a natural product that comes from trees. There are three types of trees from which all varieties of wood furniture come: deciduous (trees that shed their leaves in autumn), coniferous (trees with needle-like leaves), and hardwood (deciduous tree differentiating into heartwood and sapwood).
Oak is a popular type of tree for manufacturing wooden furniture because it has a beautiful color and grain pattern. Other types of woods used for making household items such as kitchen cabinets or bedroom sets include maple, pine, birch, walnut, and cherry.
Each type of wood is a bit different from the others in both toughness and beauty. For example, oak is one of the hardest types of wood, but brown maple has the most beautiful grain patterns.
So, how can you tell if wood furniture is of good quality? There are five main qualities to look for including grain pattern, sharp edges, veneers, finishes, and joints. By looking at these five aspects of any wood furniture, you can tell if the piece is of high quality or leaves something to be desired.
Keep reading to learn more!
Benefits of Owning Wood Furniture
There are many other benefits to having wood furniture in your house besides it being aesthetically pleasing. Wood products are very durable and can last for many years if they are taken care of properly. They also help purify the air by releasing negative ions into the environment, which makes you feel refreshed and energetic.
Wooden items absorb sound waves too, so having them in your house will let you live silently even with loud traffic outside or rowdy neighbors above you. Wood furniture is usually the most expensive item in your home, and the reason why is because of the many steps of production.
Usually, natural wood is shaped into planks and then glued together to make a long strand (or “web”) of thin boards called a “laminated strand mat”. This strand mat is then cut into small pieces that can be used for furniture making.
Afterward, the pieces are assembled using glue and clamps where each piece must be given special attention to creating an immaculate-looking product. Assembling furniture made out of thin strands requires precision and patience, which makes it very time-consuming.
On top of this, sanding down or staining the wood takes another amount of time and effort – resulting in a higher price tag on low-quality pieces or higher wages for high-quality furniture.
Limited Resources Impact Cost
Another reason why wood furniture is expensive is that the pine family of trees only grows so fast and yields small amounts of lumber, which means that they can be very hard to find.
Also, many different types of exotic woods are used in higher-end products such as rosewood, mahogany, or walnut. These types of wood are more difficult to produce since they require special care to grow correctly – making them also more expensive than basic wood.
On top of this, not every company uses real exotic woods but instead opts for an imitation product which makes it nearly impossible to tell the difference between what is real or not just by looking at it. However, the price is not necessarily higher when using imitation woods.
It is important to ensure you buy a high-quality piece of wood furniture so that it lasts for years and doesn’t break the bank. This article runs through some signs to look out for when inspecting wood furniture before purchase, as well as some hints and tips on how to prolong the life of your wooden furniture.
5 Signs Your Wood Furniture is of High Quality
1. Grain Pattern
Ensure that the grain running along the length of each veneer (grain between two pieces of plywood) follows a straight line from one end to another – this means there was no warping whilst drying and provides the strongest bond.
If the grain pattern is not straight, it suggests that two pieces of wood have warped differently when being dried for construction. This provides a weak spot in the piece resulting in damage over time, chips and cracks along the grain line, or potentially to both ends at once if there is too much stress on the furniture due to an excess of weight e.g. sofa footrests, etc.
Ensure that all edges are sharp rather than frayed or chipped, these can be seen by running your hand across flat surfaces such as tabletops to ensure they aren’t splintering or peeling away from themselves.
A high-quality table will have dust-proof grooves between each wooden panel which you should also feel as you run your hand across the table. This again provides a stronger surface as each panel forms a stronger bond with those surrounding it.
Ensure that no veneer is lifting away from the surface of the furniture as this indicates that it wasn’t bonded correctly, to begin with, and will cause damage once more weight is applied along its edge.
For example, if a coffee table leg was not properly glued before leaving for production or has become unstuck due to heat or humidity changes throughout its life so far.
Look closely at the finish on any visible surfaces, ensuring that there are no marks, chips, or scratches in the lacquer. Low-quality finishes can be polished out by polishing machines, but high-quality surfaces should remain intact.
A good quality lacquer is designed to protect the wood beneath by providing additional layers which act as shock absorbers for the surface, so if it has been scuffed away then there is no protection for this particular surface and moisture will begin to penetrate through the veneer which can cause permanent damage.
At present, there is no way of reviving existing lacquer after it has begun to chip away, but you can purchase products that allow you to place yet another layer on top, for example, Rustins Wood Hardener which works well with oak and other porous woods.
Or if the piece in question is painted rather than varnished then use paint stripper which will be specifically formulated for removing multiple layers of paint without damaging the wood itself underneath.
Look at all joints/connections made between wooden pieces, ensuring each connector is relatively flush with its surrounding areas. Ensure that these are not about to pop out or get caught on anything protruding from the furniture such as clothing etc.
If you were to sit down very close up you would be able to see minute gaps between any non-flush joints indicating that something isn’t entirely perfect about it! None of these factors by themselves mean that a piece of furniture is high quality, they are only indicators to assess how well it will stand up to everyday use now and in the future.
To be certain you need to look at all of these factors together. This is an example of the kind of finishing processes that take place with high-quality wood furniture, there are many different styles but this is certainly one you should look out for when inspecting your furniture before purchase!
Is Wood Furniture Worth the Price?
So, the question is whether the quality of your wood furniture is worth the price. In a world where everyone is trying to save money, why pay more for an item that may seem the same as another at a lower price?
The answer is yes. The quality of your wood furniture does make a difference because even though all wood furniture can create that warm and inviting atmosphere in your home, the cheaper stuff will only do it to a certain extent and end up looking trashy eventually.
This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if you could maintain this cheap stuff, but since it’s made from cheap materials, it’s going to warp or split within about two years unless someone can afford to buy authentic solid hardwood pieces (which generally cost anywhere from $25,000 and up).
But there are plenty of people who are for the particleboard typestyle and build, and it can be a great workhorse if you know how to maintain it properly. However, the long-term ease comes in making sure that you don’t have to put in the extra effort to keep your furniture quality from going south fast.
All in all, there are many reasons to consider when purchasing wooden furniture which is evident if you’ve ever bought it before. For one, they tend to last much longer than normal furniture items.
In most cases, your normal couch will start to sag and become uncomfortable after about five years of use under normal conditions. However, with good care, most wooden furniture can last up to three or four times as long.
This is because of how sturdy and solid the construction tends to be on most wooden items. The reason for this lies in its natural make-up – wood, and if you are observant about the quality, then you will see the difference it can make in your home.
Now, you know how to look for quality and how much angst having it will save you in the long run. Don’t let this knowledge go to waste and give yourself the decor you deserve. Enjoy furnishing your home and enjoy the beauty of furniture done right.