Monday, August 2, 2010

How to Spot Good Furniture from Bad

Many furniture stores will promise high durability, quality, and affordability. But how do you tell if they are really of high quality? I used to purchase furniture off the basis of it looking new, and durable, but noticing over time that it is not the best of quality. Many times I would judge a piece of furniture off of basic visual things such as scratches, nicks, or marks. I realized soon after that these things tell nothing of their quality and durability in the long term.

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Many wood furniture pieces are labeled either hardwood or softwood. I always thought that hardwood was a better choice of composition because it would be more durable. This however, is not the case. Hardwood is actually wood from a deciduous tree. Hence, some hardwood pieces of furniture are actually softer than some softwood. Therefore, a good way to tell the quality of wood furniture's is if you are able to make a dent in the furniture by pressing your fingernail into it. You generally want furniture that will be resistant to these kinds of things. Don't let the description of the furniture fool you!

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Some woods to avoid are particle board, press wood, or fiberboard. These woods are pieces of wood compressed together. Overtime these will deteriorate and fall apart faster than solid wood pieces.

The construction of the wood furniture is also very important. Any signs of using staples or nails is of low quality. Try to find pieces of furniture that either use nails, Dowels (wooden pegs), or that are dovetail constructed (interlocking teeth).

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There are also thin sheets of wood in between drawers and chests that seem to serve no purpose, but in fact help improve the structure of your furniture. It also protects the contents of the drawer, as well as the preserving the furniture itself.

All in all, your furniture can last you a very long time if chosen right. Good luck!

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