It doesn’t really take special knowledge for someone to identify a scratch, a rip or even the color they like on a piece of furniture. However, it becomes a whole other story when it comes to telling it that piece can actually last as long as the seller claims. It is not easy to tell if a piece of furniture can last just by looking at it, you have to research. Here are a few things that will help you decide the quality of the furniture you need to purchase.
In case you are not exactly sure. Hardwood does not mean necessarily that it’s hard and neither does soft wood means that wood is soft, hardwood means from a deciduous tree while softwood means from a coniferous tree. Some of the hardwoods like aspen are actually very soft.
Now, what you should get for exposed surfaces is a wood that is simply scratch-resistant. You can easily prove this by making a visible scratch on it with your finger and if it leaves a mark, it’s not what you want. Solid wood or even plywood is great. If you decide to go with plywood, you need to look for knots because knots tend to crack, eventually they all do. Some woods like pines tend to have more knots that others. You should avoid fiberboards, pressed wood and particleboards.
Veneers- These are normally used in very high quality furniture. It is a low quality piece of wood covered by a premium wood and if the premium is solid or plywood, it is good to go.
Joint construction is what you should go for. If it is glues together or held with nails or staples, foe get it. Dowels and screws are good and the best joints are dovetail or mortise-and-tenon. The corners ought to have reinforcing blocks attached at an angle.