As far as household furniture goes, solid wood is generally considered to be a holy grail. There are obviously certain situations in which other products – veneer and hollow wood, for instance, might be preferable. When it comes to serious furniture in the home – which is expected to be of high quality and durability – however, solid wood furniture is second to none.
What Makes Solid Wood Furniture Superior to the Other Options?
There are actually many ways in which solid wood furniture differs from engineered wood products and substitutes. It’s important to know about the differences between such products in order to gauge whether you’re getting value for money when you buy an item of furniture. So what are the differences?
- They Look Different – This is certainly one of the biggest differences, and perhaps the main reason discerning customers keep choosing solid wood furniture. Engineered woods are usually not so pleasing on the eye – they have, at best, what might be described as a ‘utilitarian look’. For that reason, they are often given a veneer. Unfortunately, most veneers don’t really look like the real thing. As they’re trying to imitate something they are not, veneers tend to be despised by those who know good furniture.
- It’s Easy to Repair – One of the main differences between solid wood furniture and engineered wood products is that solid wood is the same wood throughout the piece, whereas engineered wood with veneer is usually not. As it is much easier to repair an item made of only one type of wood, it’s preferable to have solid wood furniture.
- It’s More Durable – As we have seen, solid wood furniture is made of one type of wood throughout, be it mahogany, cherry, oak or another type of wood. These products can, and do, last for centuries, even though they may be used on a daily basis. Engineered wood products, however, tend to have a much shorter lifespan. In fact, many engineered wood products are built using plywood, rather than a mixture of solid woods. This will then be given a veneer of cherry or some other, more attractive wood. This gulf in quality and durability makes solid wood furniture much more preferable to cheaper alternatives.
- It’s Less Easily Broken and More Fire Resistant – Solid wood is usually the best choice here in Toronto for outside doors in terms of strength and appearance. Unlike interior doors, which are often hollow wood (therefore lighter and cheaper), solid wood is both difficult to break and burn, thus offering adequate security and protection from fire. The same goes for furniture – a solid wood table will be stronger, heavier and more resistant to damage than a hollow wood table.
- It Is Environmentally Friendly – There is something of a confused movement against the use of solid wood furniture, on the grounds that it contributes to deforestation. Of course, deforestation is a major concern, but the problem is not with solid wood itself – it is important to ensure that the wood is sourced from sustainable plantations, including many close to Toronto, which constantly replenish their supplies. When solid wood is sourced this way, it becomes a much more environmentally friendly option, as the energy used to produce furniture from it is tiny when compared to the heavy engineering processes used to make engineered wood products.
Of course, there are times when engineered wood products and veneered products are preferable to solid wood products. However, when it comes to furniture, if you are looking for something that looks beautiful and will stand the test of time, without having an adverse effect on the environment, it’s clear that solid wood furniture is worth the investment.