What To Look For In Wood Furniture To Make Sure You Buy Quality

IKEA is great, but no one would mistake IKEA furniture for the kind of high quality and longevity you would get from spending a little more money on solid wood or a well-crafted piece. The trick, however, is how to know you're looking at quality wooden furniture when it's staring you in the face. Thankfully, the folks at Get Rich Slowly have a great guide so you'll know a good piece from a bad one, regardless of the price tag.

Image: Allan Siew.

Karawynn Long, who contributed the piece, points out that you have to look for two big things in your wooden furniture: composition and construction. For example, look for joint construction, and if there's glue involved, you shouldn't see it in the construction. Structurally, look for solid wood or sturdy plywood, as opposed to pressboard. Don't be fooled by terms like "hardwood" and "softwood", which have more to do with the type of tree the wood comes from than the type of construction.

The post goes on to describe what to look for in specific pieces like drawers and chairs, and then what to look for in upholstered furniture like couches or easy chairs. It's a good read, and Get Rich Slowly even put together a furniture shopping checklist (PDF) that you can print and check off when you go shopping. Hit the link below for all of the details. What do you look for when you're shopping for furniture you hope will last longer than you do? Share your shopping tips in the comments below.

How to Buy Quality Furniture [Get Rich Slowly]


    IKEA all the way!
    Had a pair of IKEA cupboards that lasted 15+ years; on the flipside had a couple of very expensive, solid and good quality beds ruined by mould while in storage.

      15 years eh? I think the only thing less than 15 years old in my parents' house is the three piece suite or one or two of the bed bases. Everything else is either 20-40 years old (made by my father) then there's a big leap to 100 years plus. Don't get me wrong, IKEA and the like have their place. We have a lot of their stuff which we bought when me moved over here as we it coincided with starting a family (young kids can trash furniture). Now they're of an age where they're less likely to use sofas as trampolines/forts/vomit catchers we'll be gradually replacing most of the stuff with robust, high quality furniture.

      It's just unfortunate that finding sturdy furniture in Australia (or perhaps it's just a Perth thing) is not easy. Thankfully I learnt from my dad when he was making furniture so I'll either a)know what to look for when I do buy something, or b) make my own (it might not be elegant, but it'll look pretty good and be built like a tank).

        Good for you and your parents, mate! :--]

        Quality costs, and mould doesn't care how well-constructed a bed is when it's nomming on its cellulose. Buying solid furniture is nice, but taking care of what you have is what will make it last. Treat anything like it's disposable and it'll go the way of most consumables.

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