Characteristics to look for when purchasing wood furniture

Characteristics to look for when purchasing wood furniture

You’ve found the perfect home. You have the perfect decor. Now you are searching for the perfect piece of wood furniture to complete your style. But where do you start and what characteristics do you need to look for when purchasing a quality piece of wood furniture? 

There are a few key elements to a quality piece of furniture that you will want to pay close attention to when shopping for that perfect piece. Let’s get started:

Type of Wood

With so many types of wood in the world, one would think that any wood would work. That is not the case. There is only a select group of woods that are the ideal candidate for high quality furniture. In order for a wooden piece to stand the test of time, you will want to consider the hardness or density of the wood. Woods such as Maple, Ash, Walnut, Oak and Mahogany are very hard and durable. They will withstand the wear and tear of everyday life while resisting dents and scratches. Softer woods like Poplar, Pine, Fir and Cedar will produce beautiful, quality furniture, but they will require more care as they are much more susceptible to scratches and marring of the furniture piece. The most important thing to remember is to determine the durability of the wood that will be used and functionality of the piece that you are purchasing.


The construction of a wooden piece of furniture will determine its quality. If a piece is held together with staples and nails, with glue showing through, the durability of the piece will be very low and it will not last very long. High quality wood furniture will have interlocking joints, such as dovetails or mortis and tenon. They make for the strongest construction and most visually appealing. Dowels and screws can also be used and will contribute to the strength and longevity of your wooden piece. Other features to look for when purchasing quality wood furniture is the use of thin sheets of wood to separate drawers, and as back panels. These also help to create stability and strength in your furniture piece.

There are a few extra features that you should pay close attention to when purchasing your wood furniture. Drawers should fit well and have glides that will allow the drawer to move in and out effortlessly, these are key to the functionality of your piece. Doors should close neatly and be flush with the cabinet front and hardware should also be a good quality. Always test your potential furniture piece for sturdiness by moving it side-to-side or rocking it around. You will want to make sure there aren’t any squeaks or wiggle-room. 


The type of finish is definitely the most important and key element to determining the quality and durability of your piece. The wood could be perfect, the construction impeccable, but if the finish is not one that will make your piece water and scratch resistant, the wood furniture will not have a long and lasting life in your home. Although wood is not indestructible, you are looking for durability and longevity so that your purchase will withstand daily wear and tear. There are many choices when it comes to finishes for your wood furniture piece. A professional will help guide you through which finish is ideal for your lifestyle and home.

Since there are many choices and options when it comes to purchasing quality wood furniture, always remember to work with craftsmen that have a reputation of quality in everything they produce.