Shopping For Wood Furniture? 5 Tips When Shopping For Quality Wood Furniture
Before shopping for wood furniture for your home or business there are a few things to look for before investing; the difference between inferior and quality wood furniture will determine how well the piece(s) withstands time and wear.
Hardwood furniture verses softwood might be your first choice; the price is often a bit more but so is the quality. Softwoods, such as white or yellow pine, cypress, and fir, are more prone to scratches and marring, whereas hardwoods like mango wood, oak, walnut or cherry are more resistant.
Not all sales people may be able to answer your questions so a sharp eye as to what to look for will assist in making a more savvy purchase of quality hardwood furniture.
1) Eco-friendly? – More and more people are demanding a “green” approach to the items they buy and this includes furniture. In some countries precious natural resources continue to be exploited, especially forests of hardwoods. Determine the origin of the item(s). Is the type of wood listed on an endangered list? Ideally, you want to purchase hardwood furniture made from sustainable plantations.
2) Frame Construction – The absolute key to purchasing quality furniture is to determine the construction of the frame; you really want the frame to be made of hardwood. Hardwood frame furniture will endure the test of time and prevent the likelihood of warping or shrinking. This will lessen an irritating “rocking” of your furniture with exposure to varying temperatures (think: heaters and air conditioners).
3) Joint Construction – Craftsman and manufacturers of quality wood furniture employ various types of joint construction; dove tailing, an art of fitting pieces of wood together to join corners is ideal, however, quality screws that are countersunk are acceptable as long as the screw hasn’t cracked the wood and is drilled straight into the joints.
4) Drawers and Doors – Open, close, open close. If a drawer or door “sticks” or wobbles you can pretty much bet that over time this could become a more pronounced issue. Look for drawers that are set on guides, hardwood or metal; there should be a smooth rolling both to open and close. As for doors, these should be milled (cut) straight and hung evenly. Do the tops of the doors join together? Also, a quality mechanism used to “catch” door(s) allows doors to open and close easily and securely.
5) A Fine Finish – Depending on the purpose of the furniture you are considering, the finish is an important detail not to be overlooked. A cabinet or display piece may not be exposed to the same usage as a dining room or coffee table. A piece that has a polyurethane finish can be easily wiped clean and not incur moisture rings. A French polish finish is ideal as well, for protecting and enhancing a beautifully-grained hard wood.
Keep these five tips in mind as you are shopping for quality wood furniture; doing so will provide you more value for your dollars and give you years of enjoyment with your new furnishings.