Wood Furniture Buying Guide

Wood Furniture Buying Guide

When you are in the market for a new piece of wood furniture, there are several things to look for and be aware of when doing your research. The type of wood used, the finish and the construction of the furniture piece should be reviewed before purchasing.

The first thing to be aware of when buying wood furniture is the type of base wood, which can be either hardwood or softwood.  Hardwoods are typically maple, walnut, mahogany or oak and are known for their extreme durability. While softwoods are typically pine, cedar and redwood; and are generally less durable but are much easier to shape or carve into elaborate designs.

There is a difference between solid wood furniture, and typical wood furniture. One of our previous blog stories explains how to spot a solid wood piece and what the advantages are to owning solid wood furniture.

Another wood furniture option is engineered wood, which typically consists of veneers and laminates. These options tend to be much less durable, but are much more stylized and aesthetically attractive. Engineered wood is comprised of wood fibers, particles or veneers that are adhered together. Engineered wood is less prone to warping and can be considered an environmentally-friendly furniture option since the wood used would normally go to waste. However, the adhesives used tend to be on the not so environmentally friendly side of the fence.

The finish of a wood furniture piece should be something taken into account when purchasing. Many wood products are stained to attain a certain color, such as pieces with a lovely red cherry finish are typically stained with a cherry stain rather than being made of actual cherry wood. After a stain is applied, a protective layer is often placed on top of the pigment. Depending on what this protective coating is, it could be susceptible to certain types of climate changes or cleaning solutions. Please see our blog on How to Care for Wood Furniture for more information on this subject.

High quality wood furniture will often feature construction elements that have been around for centuries. A prime example of quality wood furniture construction is a dovetail joint. These iconic joints can be found on nearly every piece of quality solid wood furniture on the market today, as well as heirloom antiques.

Visit our New Orleans showroom and speak to a knowledgeable sales associate for more information on how to choose wood furniture.