When shopping for furniture, it might surprise you to learn that you have the choice between two options; solid wood furniture and engineered wood furniture. What is the difference between the two, and which one is the better choice?
Solid wood is a natural, sustainable product that is obtained by taking down trees and using its wood. The two different varieties of wood used to create furniture are hardwood and softwood. Hardwood comes from oak, teak, rosewood, and maple trees, while softwood originates from white cedar, rubberwood, and pine trees.
The wood used in solid wood furniture is manufactured from giant slabs from matured trees. The most common wood types used for solid wood furniture are oak, teak, ash, mahogany, cherry, and rosewood, and each different wood type differs in thickness, texture, and color. This allows for a variety of different solid wood furniture options that are unique.
Solid wood is naturally formed. There are no layers to it, and it is crafted from a single, solid chunk of wood. Often, solid wood furniture is crafted from several different pieces of wood that are fastened together.
- Solid wood can be carved and shaped very easily.
- Solid wood is strong and durable, and furniture made from solid wood can last for many years.
- The surface of solid wood can be damaged from constant moisture, but it can easily be sanded and repolished to restore its beauty.
- Over time, wood tends to hip and fade, but solid wood furniture can be sanded down, repainted, and refinished to change its look.
- Solid wood furniture has a unique look to each piece because of the beautiful grains and knots that are developed by each tree.
- Many solid wood options, particularly oak, have tannins, which protect them against pests and fungi.
- Solid wood furniture options tend to be on the pricier side.
- Though solid wood tends to do very well when exposed to heat and moisture, it is prone to shrinking and swelling.
- It is not the most environmentally conscious choice. To source solid wood, trees have to be cut down.
- Solid wood furniture can be heavier to move around than engineered wood.
- Not all solid wood furniture is made from wood that has natural tannins to protect it.
Engineered wood is a composite material that is formed by binding particles, fibers, veneers, strands, or thin wood boards together to make wooden products, like plywood. When natural wood grew scarves, and solid wood furniture became expensive, engineered wood was used as a substitute.
The most common forms of engineered wood for furniture are plywood, high-density fiberboard (HDF), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and veneered boards. These forms are more affordable and are considered by some to be more environmentally sustainable.
- The surfaces of furniture made from engineered wood are enhanced with wood veneers and laminates, which are water-resistant and easy to clean.
- Veneer services are very similar to real wood and are able to be polished in the same way.
- Engineered wood is a great option for bookshelves and wardrobes.
- Quality-engineered wood can be just as durable and resistant to moisture as solid wood.
- Engineered wood does not match the same timeless appeal of solid wood.
- Furnishings made from engineered wood are harder to repair.
So, out of solid wood furniture and engineered wood furniture, which is the better option? Well, it depends on the consumer. Engineered wood is more affordable and is just as durable, so it may be a better choice for those with a smaller budget. On the other hand, for those who want elegance and longevity, solid wood furniture is a great option.