There was a time when every piece of furniture that was made was made from solid wood. There was no plastic furniture or metal furniture, and certainly no veneers or other coatings. Obviously, a lot has changed since those times, and these days having solid wood furniture is more of a luxury than a common occurrence. If you are able to find a quality solid wood furniture dealer, consider yourself lucky. Here is some information about solid wood furniture.
Common Wood Characteristics As far as furniture or anything goes, all wood is not the same. There are different characteristics to wood that are taken into consideration when a furniture maker is planning to create a piece of furniture. Some of the common characteristics include:
Hardness – Wood is broken into one of two categories: hardwoods or softwoods. The difference isn’t always seen in the actual hardness of the wood itself, but in the botanical classification. Basically, hardwood trees are flowering and softwoods are conifers. Color – The color of the wood you use for a piece of furniture is important because it will contribute to the character of the finished piece. Some woods have telltale colors, while others are more varied. Quite often, a furniture maker will have a certain tone in mind for the piece and seek out a certain variety of wood to match.
Grain – The grain of the wood you choose is going to show up on the finished piece of furniture, so it must be given careful consideration. Each species of tress has a different cell structure that determines its grain. Wood grain is either open-grained or close-grained, as determined size of the cells.
Common Woods Used for Furniture Some furniture makers have favorite woods that they prefer to use for the tone, feel or grain. Here are some of the common woods that are used for solid wood furniture.• Ash• Beech• Birch• Cedar• Cherry• Elm• Gum• Oak• Pine• Maple• Mahogany• Teak• Walnut
The different types of wood have different characteristics and different marks that make them unique. Once you become a seasoned solid wood furniture veteran, you’ll be able to distinguish between the different types of wood just by look and feel. Some woods are lightly colored like oak and pine, while others like mahogany are rich and darkly colored. For the homeowner, the type of wood that’s used is often a matter of taste and how it blends in with the other elements in the room and the overall design profile. In the majority of cases, all of the pieces within a specific room or even within a whole house will be made from the same wood.
Types of Solid Wood Furniture Virtually every piece of furniture that you might use inside your home can be made from solid wood. Some pieces will cost more or take longer to craft, but you can outfit most of your home in solid wood if you have the means and the patience. You can use solid wood furniture for things like:Bedframes Dressers Mirror frames Dining room tables End tables Chairs Coffee tables Night stands Hutches Entertainment units
Benefits of Solid Wood Furniture Perhaps the primary benefit of solid wood furniture is the way it looks. Solid wood is real wood and it’s always going to look more attractive than manufactured wood. Solid wood has an air of old world craftsmanship, and it really adds an authentic feel to any piece and any room of your home. Solid wood furniture is also more durable than veneered or similarly manufactured furniture. You don’t have to worry about ‘strips’ of wood coming off or peeling away after you’ve been using the furniture for a few months. Solid wood furniture is designed to last, and there aren’t any additional pieces glued on that can fall off once you’ve started using it.
How to Clean Solid Wood Furniture Despite its strength and visual appeal, solid wood furniture isn’t self-cleaning and you will have to clean it off from time to time. Use and lint-free cloth and get it damp with ordinary water. Don’t use too much force, and try to follow the pattern of the grain as you wipe it down. To protect the integrity of any furniture you have that’s made from hardwood, try to keep the level of humidity in the room at around 35 or 40 percent. Also, try to avoid leaving it in direct sunlight, or in front of your fireplace, heat vents or radiators.