Wooden Furniture; a short buyers guide
If you've just moved home, or are looking to add to your existing furniture there is a wealth of choices available when buying wooden furniture. Where should you start? Here's some key pointers that will hopefully assist you.
If you've just moved home, or are looking to add to your existing furniture there is a wealth of choices available when buying wooden furniture. Where should you start? Price? Material? Environmental impact? It is often difficult to filter down the options to make an informed choice that really suits your needs, but here's some key pointers that will hopefully assist you.
Appearance and style of the wooden furniture
The first question you need to ask yourself is a fairly straightforward one; what kind of design are you looking for? Take a look at your existing wooden furniture and spend some thinking about what you are after. Start by asking yourself what type of wood furniture would fit into your existing set-up. If you need more ideas, you can always refer to home or furniture magazines. Once you narrow down the look and feel of the furniture to just a handful of designs, it's now time to consider the raw materials.
Using sustainable materials
Look for products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an organization that has developed sustainable standards for forest management and operates programs that verify adherence to them. FSC is an international organization established to promote responsible stewardship of the world's forests through every processing stage - from the forest to each manufacturing point to the marketplace. The FSC certifies forest managers and product manufacturers around the world who meet stringent social and environmental standards, all of which is of great importance in these times of responsible consumerism. Not only will the wooden furniture look great, you can be sure that it has been produced with minimal impact to the environment.
Type of Wood using in construction
Having chosen your style, now it is time to think about material. With so many different types of wood to choose from it can be a bit of a minefield; however in general they are classified into two basic categories - hardwood or softwood. Hardwood is more durable and generally harder to work with. The exception is teak and for this reason reason teak furniture can be more costly than furniture made from other types of wood.
Softwood is the other main material that wooden furniture is made from so you can expect cheaper pricing, but the furniture is much less durable; it tends to rot or become damaged even just after a few short years. However, despite of this the upside is that since they are so easy to work with you'll get a wider range of designs and styles.
Each has its own place in the marketplace but the only way to really choose is to be clear about your own requirements. For example, if you are looking for a relatively short-lived item (maybe you are renting a property for a short period) then it makes sense to buy cheaper furniture that is made from softwood. However, a statement piece that you want to last for years should be a hardwood item (preferably from sustainable sources).
The finish of the Wooden Furniture
Most types of wood, when unprocessed can be vulnerable when exposed to moisture. Mold may grow, and the wood can rot. To protect the furniture, protective layers should be applied to the surface of the wooden furniture (especially for outdoor furniture). Some types of wood like Teak have natural oils that protects the qualities of the wood. In this case, all the furniture needs is a light film of protection for it to last for years.
And finally, we get to price, the final consideration to ponder over. After considering all the above aspects, by now you should more or less know what exactly you are looking for. However - you should avoid making a purchase based on price alone as you may end up making a bad buying decision
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Looking for Wooden Furniture or Modern Oak Furniture? Rich Jackson runs the Wooden Furniture Store, a UK based furniture store specialising in modern oak furniture.