Beginner’s Guide for Buying Wood Furniture
When it comes to wooden furniture on the market today, there are two main types of wood, hardwood and softwood, used. Each has a different set of characteristics in terms of color, density, grain, and finishing. Choosing the right wood for your furniture is dependent on your needs and lifestyle, and the type of wood you choose will determine the price of the piece.
Although you can use any type of wood to make furniture, not all woods are made equal. Here’s some information that will help you in deciding what to look for.
Softwoods come from evergreen trees and are not as dense as hardwoods. Some softwoods are Spruce, Pine, Fir & Cedar, and are often used for building materials as well as furniture. They have a fine texture and in general are lighter in colour than hardwoods. Being less dense, the wood is easier to work with, but may not be as durable and long-lasting for furniture that will be used on a daily basis.
The most durable and long-lasting furniture is made from hardwood. Natural hardwood comes from deciduous trees and is less likely to decay and rot. Hardwood features a close grain, and as a result requires less maintenance. While there are many hardwoods available, there are a few that stand out as being best for furniture making. Some of the most popular are mahogany, cherry, maple, rosewood, and teak.
Among the most prized for their beauty & consistency are mahogany, teak, and rosewood. Teak is one of the hardest and most durable of all natural woods, and being resistant to rot makes it an excellent choice for outdoor furniture. But it can be hard to find and therefore more expensive. Mahogany darkens over time and it is prized for it’s beauty, colour and durability, but as a result is also fairly expensive. Indian Rosewood is also one of the hardest natural woods when kiln-dried, and is prized for it’s distinctive grain pattern that makes each piece of furniture unique. Rosewood features a natural red tone that is extremely attractive, and has been coveted by monarchs and alike for hundreds of years..
In addition to solid wood products, furniture is also made from wood composites and veneers. This means the wood has been processed or manufactured, and is usually of a lesser quality. If a piece of furniture is not solid wood, it usually means layers of thin wood sheets have been pressed and glued together. Or it could mean small wood chips, sawdust and resin have been mixed together underneath a sheet of the natural wood veneer that is glued on top. While this kind of product is lighter and less expensive than solid wood, it’s also not as durable. Veneers and products like melamine, which is a plastic composite, are more apt to be damaged easily and will not stand up to the rigours of daily life.
If you have any questions about hardwoods versus softwoods and composite materials, please visit Rosewood Home & Condo and speak to our knowledgeable staff who will help you decide which kind of product is best for you.