Are you considering buying wood furniture for your home or office? If so, then you might want to consider the following factors before making your purchase.
Do you have a wood preference?
All wood furniture is made from either hardwoods (trees which lose their leaves seasonally) or softwoods (trees that keep their leaves year round). Oak and teak are hardwoods that are very hard and heavy. Fine hardwoods, such as walnut, mahogany, maple and cherry are more durable and used in most high-quality furniture pieces so they will usually require more of a financial investment. A softwood such as pine is used more often in a less formal piece of furniture and many times will cost less than most hardwoods. Certain woods will display smooth finishes without any patterns and others will show very noticeable grain lines.
What kind of finish do you like on your furniture?
The finish you choose for your piece of furniture will either enhance a wood’s natural tone or completely change it. A natural look may be obtained by simply applying a light oil or wax coating and reapplying regularly. If you are looking for something more durable, simply apply lacquer or varnish to it. For a more distressed look, the wood may be hammered and beaten before the final finish is applied. This look gives you a more aged appearance. Consider painting the entire piece or hand paint specific sections to add more uniqueness and dimension to its overall appearance.
Where do you plan to use your furniture?
Decide where you plan to use your piece of furniture. If it will be used in a family room or dining area, you will probably want to invest in a more durable piece since doors and drawers will be opened and closed more frequently and surfaces on tables and chairs will be utilized on a daily basis. If you plan to purchase an accent piece merely for decorative purposes, then you probably do not need to invest as much for these items since they will not be exposed to daily use.
Have you tested all the moving parts?
It is very important to make sure that all drawers of a chest or cabinet fit well and slide easily on glides. They should also line up flush with the front of the piece. Look for dust panels in drawers to keep contents clean. Drawers should also have a smooth finish on the inside. Doors and cabinets should open and close with ease. High-quality hardware should be used and installed securely. Switches for interior lighting should be easily accessible. All entertainment centers or office desks should contain drilled holes or cut-outs where electrical cords are easily fed through. Inspect all table legs to make sure they are even and balanced. If the piece is displayed on an uneven showroom floor it may “rock” when you lean on it. Find a level area and test it again before you make your final purchase. Make sure the finish on a table’s leaves all match including the table’s surface and also its base.
What is the best way to maintain your wood furniture?
Dust frequently with a soft, lint-free cloth that has been moistened or treated with polish. Carefully vacuum around your furniture to avoid nicks and scratches. Lift, do not slide, lamps and other objects sitting on tabletops. Avoid placing wood furniture directly in the path of a heat source. Overexposure to sunlight often adversely affects the finish, so it is recommended that furniture is rearranged from time to time and accessories be rotated. Dirt should be removed from all wood furniture with mild soap with a barely damp cloth, then rinsed and dried with a clean cloth. Protective pads should be used under all hot dishes and spilled liquids should be promptly removed by blotting. Each manufacturer has the best knowledge and expertise on how to maintain their specific products, so make sure you save all of your product tags, directions and contact information for future reference.
If you are interested in learning more about wood furniture, visit Hickory Furniture Mart where you are able to speak directly with our showroom designers about which options are best for you and your home or office. View our Wood Furniture selection online or call 800-462-MART for more information.