Wood furniture has a wide range of types. Typically, wood furniture choices are a matter of budget, style, appearance and personal preference. But whether the furniture is hardwood or softwood, the key points to consider to make sure you are buying real quality—regardless if it is cheap furniture—are composition and construction.
Not all hardwood furniture are hard; and not all softwood are soft. Hardwood actually means that the type of wood the furniture is made of came from a deciduous tree. Softwood, on the other hand, means that it came from a coniferous tree. These terms does not, in any way, define a furniture’s durability, sturdiness and quality.
What you want to focus on is the composition of the furniture. You want the wood to be reasonably scratch-resistant. Test the cheap furniture’s wood surface by drawing a line across it with your fingernail. If it does not make visible dents, then the cheap furniture is of good quality. Otherwise, it will not stand up to much use.
In terms of structure, pick a cheap furniture with sturdy plywood or solid wood. If the furniture is made up of plywood, make certain that it has not nine layers, at least. Also, you want the wood to be free from knots as these are prone to cracks. This is why pine woods, which are knottier than most, are uncommon wood furniture choices. It is wise to avoid pressed wood, particleboard and fiberboard, as well.
Many high-end and cheap furniture use veneers as wood covering for low-quality wood. But as long as the base of the furniture is solid plywood or wood, it still can last for years. The only drawback here is that the use of veneers limit the times a furniture can be refinished.
The primary determinant of a durable furniture is its joint construction. Anything held together with glue, nails or staples is shoddy construction. Joints should be held together with screws or dowels in order to be considered good. But the best joints are mortise-and-tenon, and dovetail.
Aside from joints, check the wood furniture’s stability. Lift the furniture piece at one corner and see if it would twist or squeak. A furniture with good quality won’t. Check if the legs are all touching the floor; press on different corners to find out if it wobbles or rocks.
If you are buying wooden drawers or a desk, look for dust panels. These are thin sheets of wood that improve the strength of the furniture’s structure, as well as protect the contents of the drawer.
Now that you know the trick, it won’t matter where you buy your wood furniture. If you have a tight budget, head to a cheap furniture store or browse through various cheap furniture stores online. Just remember to keep these pointers in mind and you’ll have yourself a quality wood furniture that can last for years.