How to Choose High Quality Wooden Furniture
If you’re furnishing a new house or flat for the first time, it’s important to be clued up when it comes to choosing high quality furniture. Most buyers want pieces that will stand the test of time and look pleasing even after years of use. You may have to splash out initially on the essentials, but this will save you in the long run as high quality furniture will not need replacing frequently. Whether you’re searching the charity shops and car boot sales for hidden gems or browsing a department store, it’s a good idea to learn how to spot quality and steer clear of disposable, low-cost items.
Where Has the Wood Come From?
The first thing you should aim to find out about a piece of furniture is where the wood has come from. There are three different types of wood used for domestic furniture, and these are hard, soft and engineered. Hard wood is the most reliable and often the most expensive. It comes from deciduous trees like maple, mahogany, cherry, birch, teak, oak and walnut. The wood is air dried and kiln dried to remove as much water as possible. Soft woods like pine, redwood, fir and cedar come from coniferous trees and usually require more care. They are known to be more prone to scratches and dents. Engineered furniture and plywood items are very popular today, and usually much cheaper. It can be an attractive option when coupled with a quality veneer, but solid wood items like those available from the Trade Furniture Company, are recommended if you want something that will remain sturdy and largely unmarked by age.
How Has it Been Constructed?
Look for stapling and glue visible on the outside of joints, and avoid these pieces. Well-constructed pieces of furniture are made with mortise and tenon and dovetail joints, or with dowels or screws. Corner blocks add to the strength and stability of items and should not be visible from the outside. For pieces with drawers, test them out in store. They should fit well and glide in and out smoothly, with stops in place to prevent them from being fully pulled out. There’s nothing wrong with testing for sturdiness by gently rocking or jostling the item, to ensure that there is no squeaking or wobbling. All high quality furniture will be level with the floor. Sanding, staining and finishing are also very important when it comes to choosing a piece of furniture. Scratches, dents, dustiness, splinters and blotchiness indicate shoddy work, so make sure that the item feels smooth to the touch and is ascetically pleasing in all areas.