20 or 30 years ago, if you went out to buy wooden furniture, it was pretty easy to identify the poor quality pieces. If anyone tried to disguise poor quality materials or workmanship, they would usually not be very successful. It’s not the same these days. There are all kinds of disguises that exist. If you’re aiming to buy wooden furniture that will last you 20 years or more, it can be more difficult to tell the good ones apart from the bad. Let’s try to see how it’s done, shall we?
If you want furniture that lasts you a long time, you want who wood that is pretty hard. That’s simple, you’re saying. You just choose hardwood furniture.But the distinction between hardwoods and softwoods isn’t as simple as you would think.
Some hardwoods like aspen, are soft. And some softwoods are much harder than hardwoods. Basically, hardwood is just wood that is obtained from a deciduous tree. Softwood comes from coniferous trees. Basically, try scouring a deep scratch in the furniture in question with a fingernail. If that does anything visible at all, that isn’t what you’re looking for.
If durability is your main criterion, you don’t really need to go for any fancy woods. You could even buy plywood. It’s just that it needs to be strong. Plywood is strong if it’s at least 9 layers thick. Particleboard or fiberboard are usually not such a good idea.
But it isn’t a good idea to go with wood that’s knotty, like pine. Knotty wood tends to crack easily over time. But you shouldn’t really worry about veneers. Just as long as the wood underneath it is said to be good quality, the fact that they use veneer, shouldn’t go against a particular piece of furniture.
The quality of wood used isn’t the only thing, of course. The quality of construction used can vary quite widely from one unit to the next. For instance, some brands will just use nails and glue. Those can be terrible. In general, you don’t want to go with anything that uses nails. They will easily work themselves loose over a period of time. Go with furniture that is held together with dowels – which are interlocking tongue and groove designs. Look for something like that when you buy wooden furniture.
In general, whatever kind furniture your body, try to lift it at one corner. The whole thing should just lift as one – no twisting or squeaking. And most certainly, there should be no wobbling.