When buying solid wood furniture, homeowners expect it to last for more than a decade. It makes sense to have higher expectations because high-quality wood furniture doesn’t come cheap. No one wants to spend significant money on repairs now and then when they have paid a heavy price for a furniture item. In short, solid wood furniture is a long-term investment which you must buy carefully.
Before we do a deep dive in how to choose solid wood furniture, let us talk about what is solid wood furniture. "Solid wood" means that each exposed part of that piece of furniture is made from one or more furniture woods. Veneers and laminates are not present in the exposed finished piece.
However, you may ask: Is solid wood the best? Here is more information for you.
Pros of solid wood.
With solid wood, what you see is what you get. It is wood – nothing more or and nothing less. As a result, you can sand or stain it. Nothing will fall apart or peel. Unlike laminate or veneer, when solid wood furniture shows wear, it adds character. Think of furniture with a weathered look. It is not uncommon to treat brand new furniture with that weathered look to add a desirable shabby chic look to it. Solid wood is much more durable. Its lengthy lifespan can make an heirloom of it. Unlike veneer or laminated furniture, solid wood living room, dining room, or bedroom furniture can someday last to become an antique, if maintained reasonably well. Solid wood is an investment that can pay for itself several times over because of its longevity.
Cons of solid wood.
Solid wood is the best choice for furniture but, as with any natural material, there can be downsides... It is also more expensive than furniture made from engineered wood products, but it is natural product and adjusts to the everyday environment.
Another reason for more expense is the supply and demand. Because the best solid wood furniture is made from hardwood, it grows more slowly, which limits supply and raises the cost. Solid wood may be more difficult to manufacture in mass quantities because each part of a solid piece must be cut to a specification, whereas it may be easier to create with manufactured wood. Solid wood expands and shrinks just like your skin does in dry, wet, low and high humidity.
Thus, when you shop for solid wood furniture, look for the following things to ensure that you are buying furniture of high quality.
1. Wood Quality
Furniture items are made from a variety of wood, such as solid wood, plywood, or veneer. When you want your furniture to last longer, it is better to stick with solid wood because such furniture is made from wood that is a single piece naturally.
Plywood consists of many layers of cut wood and has a slightly lower density than solid wood. One can also buy furniture from veneers as they don’t wear easily; however, it is vulnerable to peeling.
2. Type of Wood
You need to find out if the wood used is hardwood or softwood. While hardwood comes from trees like rosewood, teak, oak, and mahogany, softwood comes from pine and cedar. Hardwood is more durable, heavier, and expensive than softwood. That’s why experts recommend buying solid hardwood furniture.
Many of the collections we produce by us use oak, ash or rubberwood lumber with specific characteristics such as mineral streaks, knots, worm holes and color variations. These characteristics are not defects; they are nature's signature that can be found in certain species of wood. Since every tree is different, there may be wide variations in graining, markings, or shading on the same piece and between different pieces of furniture.
Rubberwood is a wood often used in furniture. Also known as Asian hardwood or Hevea Brasiliense, rubberwood commonly used in furniture comes from the same tree in which latex is produced. Because rubberwood takes only 9 years to mature, it can be grown faster than most woods that are considered real hardwoods. This makes rubberwood a desirable alternative as a cheaper "hardwood" alternative.
Oak & Ash is a very durable wood that is typically used for flooring and kitchen furniture. It is beautiful but can yellow over time. By contrast, red oak is slightly darker and porous. It also looks beautiful & excellent wood for furniture. However, this kind of hardwood takes time to dry kiln so it will become stable through the household environment of weather conditions.
3. The Finishing
Examine the superficial layers of ply or laminated used in the furniture and see if there are any scratches or wear. Plus, it will also reflect the quality of craftsmanship. Touch the furniture surface and edges to see if they are smooth and do not have uneven surfaces.
In terms of Chromcraft, we use a nitro-cellulous lacquer coat as our final finishing process, which adds to the great depth and clarity of our finish. It helps to seal the wood grain to reduce movement in wood when humidity is present. Lacquer finishes may be cleaned by wiping the surface with a soft cloth dampened with water. Our recommended cleaning solution is to mix one tablespoon of vinegar to one quart of water. Use a soft cloth and wipe with the grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to wipe up any excess liquid to make certain the surface is completely dry.
When buying chairs and tables, you should verify if their legs are well-fitted as joints and not simply nailed in. Their legs should be made of hardwood solids. Always look under the tables and chairs to see the type of joints used. Our construction of legs are bolted into insert metal connectors giving it a tight substantial fit & strength.
5. Fabric and Cushioning
When you are buying chairs and sofas, most of our fabrics are made of polyester which is very durable for everyday use. The foam selected is most common used density of 1.8 of a medium density. The Chromcraft seating also uses a layer of 4.0 density Memory foam to ensure life and seat to return to its original form when not seating. Some of our recliners are made from Leather on the areas of where you touch (inside face of back, seats, arms) with outside made of durable PVC vinyls. It can be cleaned with a leather conditioner or vacuumed.
6. Drawers and Cabinets
When buying a wooden shelf or canyon server, check drawers and cabinets if they glide smoothly and evenly without any roughness. See if each door opens and closes flawlessly and they don’t snap or remain in the open position after closing. Ensure that hinges are tight, not rusted, and don’t have any rough edges.
Last but not the least thing is warranty. Before paying for any solid wood furniture item, make sure that it comes with a warranty of at least one year based on the type of furniture.
Once you check for all these things, you can easily decide which solid wood furniture is worth your money.