Many of us always consider how to judge the quality of wood furniture but don’t know how to do. This writing will show us some methods that we can you. Let’s start!
1. Distinguishing Quality by Wood Types
Look for solid wood
If a store claims that a piece of furniture is solid wood, that means that it only contains wood. Plywood, on the other hand, is layers of wood and resin or glue. Solid wood tends to be more durable, though it is usually more expensive. If you can see an unfinished edge of the furniture, you should be able to tell if it’s plywood or solid wood. Plywood will have visible layers.
Expect nine layers or more if you choose plywood
Plywood can be pretty solid and last a good amount of time, as long as it contains enough layers. Look for nine or more layers when examining plywood furniture. You should be able to count layers on an exposed side. For instance, if you’re looking at a dresser, look at where the joints come together (such as in the back), which should have an edge where you can see the plywood layers.
Look for veneer
Veneer is when a cheaper wood is covered with a thin layer of higher quality wood. It’s not as good a quality as solid wood, but solid, beautiful pieces can be made out of veneer. In fact, you can even sand and re-stain these pieces, though you don’t want to sand too much, as you can wear through the veneer layer. Veneer actually doesn’t split as much as hardwood. On the other hand, you may get blistering over time, or the veneer may start to peel up. When choosing veneer, look for a thin veneer layer rather than thick veneer. Thick veneer is more likely to split. You’ll be able to to tell on the edges. Thick veneer will be visible.
Know your woods
Each type of wood has something different to bring to the table. Some woods are cheap and plentiful, while others will stand the test of time more readily. If you know the type of wood the furniture is made out of, you know a bit more about it’s quality. “Hardwood” and “softwood” more often refer to the type of tree than the durability of the wood, so pay attention to the type of wood instead.
2. Paying Attention to Other Signs of Quality
Look at the finish
The finish should be even across the whole piece, making a nice, uniform color. If it’s not, that could indicate the piece has been cheaply done. If the furniture is antique, a few scares are okay, but try to avoid burn marks, which are difficult to repair.
Feel for heft
A better piece of furniture of wood will be heavier than a similar piece that isn’t as good a quality. Weight indicates its made out of a better quality wood, like mahogany, rather than a lesser quality wood, like pine.
Check for stability
A good piece of furniture will feel stable. Lean on it or sit on it in several places. Make sure it feels solid. If it wiggles or wobbles, that’s likely not good quality. If it’s an antique piece, it may have more wiggle, but for the most part, the seller should have fixed that problem.
Notice signs of wear
If you’re looking for antique furniture, it should have some signs of wear. You should be able to see some dirt in creases, for instance, especially around often used places (such as knobs). If it doesn’t have these signs, it’s likely been refinished or isn’t old.
3. Knowing What to Avoid
Look for lower-quality joints
Lower quality joints include dowel joints (held together with dowels) and butt joints (where the joint is two flat boards against each other, held together with glue, nails, and/or screws). If you see these joints, you have a lower quality piece of furniture.
Skip staples and nails
Wood should be put together with screws and glue, not staples or nails. Screws will help the furniture last longer because it has a better grip. Glue gives the furniture stability, but you shouldn’t be able to see it.
Check for cracks, knots, and other problems with the wood
Cracks in the wood is a sign that it’s not very good quality and will likely split at some point. Quality furniture is also made without knots. In addition, check to make sure the wood is hard by lightly scratching the surface (in an inconspicuous place). If it’s hard, durable wood, it shouldn’t scratch easily.
Avoid drawers that have wood slides
Wood slides won’t work as well over time. Look for metal slides, which will hold up better and keep you from shouting at your drawers when they don’t want to slide properly.
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