Solid wood can be categorized as either hardwood or softwood. Hardwood comes from slower-growing trees and the wood is denser and more resistant to dings. Common hardwoods include oak , ash, walnut, cherry and maple.
“ Solid wood ” means that each exposed part of the flooring, furniture, cabinetry or moulding is made of pieces of genuine hardwood and nothing else. (For large surfaces, strips or boards are bonded with stronger-than- wood glue and other wood joinery techniques.)
Solid wood is wood that comes purely from lumber and is, therefore, a direct product of a tree. There are two types of real wood used in furniture -making: hardwood and softwood.
Why Solid Wood is best Solid wood is by far a much better choice for homeowners. It may cost more than furniture made out of engineered wood , but will last much longer making it much better value for money.
If the piece is fairly light-weight, it’s probably not solid wood . If the piece has drawers, look at the drawer construction. A great indicator of solid wood is dovetail construction. It’s most likely constructed of solid wood if you see that tongue and groove construction where the drawer connects to the drawer front.
Good quality furniture frames will sit even level with the floor. Bad quality furniture will wobble, twist, or creak. Wood on a good quality furniture piece should be reasonably scratch resistant, if it dents easily the furniture will not stand up to much use.
Its advantage over solid hardwood is that the construction allows for installation in most grade levels of the home, including below ground with a protective moisture barrier installed. A hardwood veneer gives the natural beauty and look to the engineered floor just as a solid hardwood floor does.
Solid wood is wood that has been cut from a tree. Unlike engineered wood , which is composed of wood fibers that are held together with adhesives, solid wood contains wood fibers throughout the piece of lumber . Solid wood is often used for furniture, construction, cabinetry and flooring.
MDF is a good choice for cabinets, furniture , and floors. It is even used to make speaker boxes. Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is created by first breaking down hardwood and softwood particles into wood fibres.
Determine the material by looking at the top of the drawer sides. Best: Solid wood – will look like a consistent piece of wood . Okay: Plywood – you will see several layers of wood glued together. Avoid: MDF or particle board – you won’t see any wood grain or will see small bits of wood that look glued together.
Solid wood is going to be more expensive than engineered wood (particle board, MDF and plywood) but it is much less likely to contain formaldehyde. If the solid wood furniture is finished with a toxic stain or paint, it will off-gas VOCs.
Strength comparison between plywood and solid wood : Solid wood is considered to be stronger compared to plywood since it is a homogeneous material. Plywood on the other hand is made up of sheets that have been artificially glued together and if the ‘Glue shear strength’ is low, then the individual plies can come apart.
MDF’s advantage is that as it is made up of separated fibers. This allows it to be denser than plywood, as well as stronger and denser than particle board. Furthermore, MDF does not contain knots or rings like natural wood.
The durability of compressed wood varies depending on the type and what you use it for. While particle board is lighter weight and less expensive, any furniture made of this material shouldn’t be expected to last long, generally 3-5 years. The more you move it or use it, the less likely it is to last.