Solid Wood vs. Particle Board

Solid Wood vs. Particle Board

Solid Wood vs. Particle Board

There are so many choices when it comes to buying furniture. If you are shopping at a big box store, you are assured to find particle board products that are covered in veneers. While sole proprietor stores will specialize in solid wood furniture. The purchasing of solid wood furnishings may be the dream of many, but out of reach due to cost and availability. With so many options, how do you know if you are making the right choice for you home.  Below, we have researched the pros and cons of solid wood versus particle board furniture.

Manufacturing and Assembly

Particle Board: The byproducts from the manufacturing of real wood furniture are used to construct particle board. It is made up of sawdust, wood chips and other small particles that are pressed together and formed into flat boards using large machines. These boards are devoid of any grain patterns and are covered by simulated wood veneers to emulate a wooden furniture piece. This process makes it very easy to mass produce lower cost furniture pieces. Assembly of pieces made from particle board use screws, glue and staples.

Solid Wood: Furniture is produced from wood that comes straight from the tree. Each piece or slab of wood that is used has its own variations of grain, texture and color. These natural variations, or imperfections, make each piece of furniture that is produced unique and one-of-a-kind. Solid wood furniture will warp to varying degrees and makes it a little more difficult to work with in a mass production environment. The craftsmanship of wooden furniture is evident by the use of joinery techniques that do not require glue or screws, and it is built to last for generations to come. It is because of these factors that solid wood furniture is more expensive.


Particle Board: If you have ever purchased a piece of furniture that has been made from particle board, you have surely experienced a lack of strength and longevity of the furniture. Within a short amount of time, shelves will sag, walls will give way, and legs will scratch or dent. It is because of these factors that solid wood furniture is more expensive. Unfortunately, once this type of furniture gets a dent or chip, there is no repair and a replacement will need to be purchased.

Solid Wood: There is no contest when comparing these two. Think of all the equipment, furnishings and structures that are built from wood….houses, bridges, ladders, tables, chairs, and so much more. All because of the strength and durability of wood. Wood is resistant to scratching, denting and chipping due to high-quality finishes that are used on wood furniture. Any damage that may occur to your piece can be sanded and refinished, your furniture will look as good as new. Solid wood items are intended to last for many years and for generations to come. 

Life Span

Particle Board: Because the particle board is held together with glue that will break down and change over time, most products that are manufactured by this process will only last around 1-3 years under light to normal use or up to 5 years under ideal conditions. Spills, dents and chips to the veneer will shorten the lifespan of particle board products. Any type of water will soak into the particles and permanently damage your furniture.

Solid Wood: Hardwood furniture is an investment that will withstand the test of time. Environmental elements, such as water and humidity, have less of an effect on solid wood furniture than it does on particle board items. And because solid wood furniture does not use glue to hold the piece together, there is not the chance of deterioration within your item. The life span of your solid wood piece can be extended by years by regular care and maintenance. Wood furniture is very easy to clean and keeps looking like new for years to come. 


Particle Board: Because of the products sand like appearance, you will almost never see raw edges on pieces that are produced with particle board. These types of furniture pieces are covered by veneers in an attempt to look like real wood. Unfortunately, particle board furniture is easily damaged and does not hold up well to everyday life. It will begin to lose its aesthetic value and need to be replaced.

Solid Wood: Unlike particle board products, solid wood is never covered by another opaque material and almost never even painted. Each piece of solid wood furniture showcases the natural grains and colors that the wood provides. This allows for each piece to have its own unique design and flair. Adding a finish will only enhance and protect your furniture from the environment, allowing your furniture to be passed down from generation to generation.


Particle Board: Of the two options, particle board is much cheaper than solid wood. But with the lower life span and multiple times to replace items, in the end, particle board really isn’t that much cheaper. Particle board furniture should be viewed as transitional pieces that will only tie your over till a longer lasting piece of furniture can be purchased. Remember, these type of pieces will only last 1-3 years on average. This should be a consideration when deciding on particle board versus solid wood. 

Solid Wood: When purchasing solid wood furniture, it needs to be viewed as an investment. Depending upon the type of wood, the cost can range from relatively affordable to extremely expensive. Exotic wood, that take years to grow, can cost in the thousands. While hardwoods such as oak, maple and walnut are much more affordable and will last for generations. Over the course of a usable life, solid wood products will outlast, out-perform and withstand the test of time. Solid wood furniture will save you tons of money because you are not always having to replace your furniture.

Deciding which type of furniture will fit your lifestyle and home is a personal preference. You now have the pros and cons of each type of furniture that is available to you. Choose wisely and enjoy the home you create.