Finding quality furniture can be challenging in today’s market. Quality goes out the window with retailers when they are more interested in delivering furniture that will make them a profit.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it estimates that nine tons of furniture goes to the dump every year.
But what should you look out for when you buy furniture? Let’s talk about materials.
When looking at furniture, the materials used to build it matter. Suitable quality fabrics, leather, wood, and metal will mean the difference between lasting for multiple generations.
With wooden chic furniture, you can tell it is quality because it doesn’t use plywood, fiberboard, particle, or pressed board. While these will hold a person’s weight, laminated boards/wooden composites will rot or swell when in contact with moisture.
Wood with knots is also susceptible to cracking. Make sure to inspect the surfaces of the piece.
And if you can ask about the density of the foam, which is a part of the cushions, you want a rating of at least 1.8 pounds or higher. It’s also a good idea to sit on the piece and look for sink spots.
Upholstery fabric should come with an abrasion test or rub count. You want a count of 30,000 – 50,000 rubs up towards 50,000 – 80,000. The latter is a count associated with premium pieces.
Leather grades on furniture also come in categories. These include:
- Full-grain will feel soft and have little to no imperfections
- Top or corrected grains will have some pigments but overall not bad
- Split grain, which is also referred to as suede or genuine, is also acceptable
- Bonded leather is made from the pulp and bonded together with polyurethane
If you can afford full or, top-grain leather furniture, consider yourself lucky. While bonded leather will wear quickly.
But the rule of thumb is good/nice furniture should be heavy, as all the quality components have weight.
Pieces from certain outlets will guarantee their pieces use the best materials, like Retreats. You can follow this link to view their catalog.
While a quality product is the sum of its parts, the fact is how they are put together matters.
With tables and chairs with exposed joints, you want to see that the surfaces are mated with dowels (small pieces of wood glued into place). Furniture with exposed screw heads is generally cheaper.
If you can find furniture with better joints like dovetailed or mortise-and-tenon, it is a piece made by a proper carpenter. Jointed corners and surfaces are more robust than surfaces just mated with a screw.
When looking at drawers, you want to find drawer sliders, as wood on wood surfaces will eventually wear and break. It is generally done to save money.
Drawers with different floor materials is also a sign of cutting corners. While not a deal-breaker, just be aware. This idea of using quality materials throughout the project applies to fabric use.
Cushions that have quality fabric all the way around are a significant bonus.
And if you can view the springs in the piece, you want to see eight-way hand-tied coil springs, which indicate excellent quality furniture. But most coils like cone, sinuous, and grid springs also work.
But eight-way hand-tied coil springs are unique.
Go and Find Your Own Quality Furniture
Now that you have all the knowledge to identify your own quality furniture, all that’s left to do is find it.
Continue browsing this section for more tips and tricks to spruce up your home.