When it comes to wooden furniture, there are always trade-offs between cost and quality. A higher price tag usually indicates better construction and materials, but sometimes, this isn’t the case. Some items may be overpriced yet not live up to their cost. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cheaply made piece of furniture and one that is built for longevity.
While there is no surefire way to know if a piece of furniture is top-notch without thoroughly checking it, there are some hints that can help you determine the quality of wooden furniture quickly. Knowing these indications can help you make smarter decisions when purchasing home furnishings. So if you’re shopping for new furniture, here are the telltale signs that will help you spot the best pieces for your home.
1. Quality of MaterialsLook for solid wood construction. Furniture made from solid wood is much sturdier than its particle board counterparts, and it’s also more likely to last longer without falling apart or losing its shape over time. Solid wood ensures durability, while composite materials may not hold up as much. High-quality wood will also be free from knots, which adds to its stability and longevity. If you're purchasing upholstered pieces, make sure that there is even padding throughout and the seams are consistent in size and strength. Check the foam cushioning as well. If it’s soft yet supportive and retains its shape after being sat on for a few minutes, then you know you’ve found something special. Additionally, take a closer look at the hardware such as screws, hinges, drawer pulls and knobs. These should be made from strong materials that won’t corrode or break easily with normal wear and tear.
2. Craftmanship of ConstructionThe furniture should be created with the best carpentry and woodworking techniques. It must be handmade and not bulk-manufactured in a factory. A sign of good craftsmanship is seamless corners and edges where two surfaces meet. Check to see if the joints are smooth, even, and tightly fitted together. Good joinery should lay flat against each other with no visible gaps between them. This indicates superior construction and materials that won't wear down over time. Any spaces are usually evidence of sloppy manufacturing processes or low-quality materials being used. Solid wood joints must be used instead of nails or screws so they last longer without squeaking or loosening over time. High-quality pieces have corner blocks or dowels rather than nails holding them together. They also use strong joinery like dovetail or mortise and tenon joints rather than staples or glue. If the available furniture doesn’t have solid wood joints, examine all the hardware such as screws, bolts, clips and other fasteners used to assemble the piece. These should be visible and firmly attached. If possible, check the underside of the item for signs of solid construction as well.
3. Smoothness of the SurfaceThe furniture’s surface should be smooth and consistent with neither blemishes nor rough patches on all sides. Run your hands over it and feel for any imperfections like bumps and divots. If you look at the edges of the wood, observe whether there are craggy ends or splinters visible. The finish must also be even on each side, without any chips and scratches. A glossy finish often indicates high-end furniture, but you may prefer a more matte finish depending on your personal style. Whichever finish the piece has, though, it must be neat with no signs of drip marks, brush strokes, and streaks in the paint or varnish.
4. Sturdiness of the FurnitureWhen looking for furniture, it’s important to pay attention to how solid the item feels when pushing down or leaning on it. High quality pieces should not creak or feel flimsy, as this indicates poor workmanship or that cheap materials have been used during construction. If the furniture isn’t so big and you’re able to lift it, pay attention to how heavy it is when you pick it up. Quality pieces tend to be heavier as they contain sturdier materials like thick wood or metal reinforcements rather than particle board for strength. When you’re buying chairs, beds, or couches, check out how much weight the pieces can hold by sitting on them or even lying down on their mattresses if possible. You can determine their strength by listening to creaks or watching if the material bends or budges beneath your weight.
If you’re an interior design enthusiast or simply someone who wants to furnish their house with beautiful wooden pieces, it is essential that you know how to determine high-quality furniture. Knowing how to differentiate between quality and low-grade items allows you to make wise purchases and ensure that your money is well spent.
Here at Hunt Country Furniture, though, you don’t even have to wonder about quality. Each wooden piece in our collections is handcrafted by artisans, ensuring that you receive only the finest furniture that would be able to stand against the wearing of time. If you want to be certain of quality, you can choose from our many high-grade items.