When it comes time to decorate your home, it’s probably time to ditch the old plastic and particle board furniture for the real thing. Real wood furniture is durable, beautiful, and classic. Shopping for wood furniture for the first time can be a little overwhelming because there is so much to know. Here are some tips for shopping for wood furniture.
When a piece says that it is “solid oak” or “solid walnut” it means all the exposed parts are solid wood. This is true for the term “all-wood” construction as well. Inside components that hold the exposed pieces together are made with a less expensive product. This shouldn’t necessarily deter you from buying the product, since most pieces are built this way.
Hardwood vs Softwood
Hardwoods are more durable than soft woods. Softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods. Hardwood types include cherry, maple, mahogany, oak, teak and walnut. Softwoods include pine, cedar, cyprus, spruce redwood and fir. Deciding which one to buy has more to do with preference and budget than anything else. If you plan on keeping a piece for generations, hardwood might be better, but if you love a softwood piece you should feel comfortable as long as it is constructed well.
A veneer is used in expensive, as well as budget pieces. A veneer is a thing slab of expensive wood placed over a structure of less-expensive wood. Your bookshelf may be made of one wood, but is covered to look like another. This practice has been used for hundreds of years and does not necessarily signify poor construction. It is just good to know what it means.
Almost more important than the type of wood used is the quality of instruction. Look at the joints used. Joints need to be dove cut, mortise-and-tenon, or dowel. If the joints are just butted and mitered it won’t last as long. If you see that certain pieces are held together by glue alone, this should give you pause. Check table and chair legs that they are reinforced with a small diagonal piece of wood. Apply pressure to the joints to make sure they are durable. Test all drawers and doors to make sure nothing sticks or snags.
When you are shopping for wood furniture, it is a good idea to keep these things in mind. Whether you are looking in a store in person or looking at an online furniture shop in Singapore – Let’s Go! , you can use these tips and vocabulary to help you know exactly what you are purchasing.