Sustainable Furniture: 8 tips for recognizing high quality

It’s often tempting to buy cheaper products to save a few dollars, but there’s no question that investing in high quality is a smarter choice, especially when it comes to furniture.

“High-quality, sustainably-built furniture doesn’t break or wear out under normal use, whereas even under best-of-use conditions, disposable low cost furniture doesn’t last as long,” says Josh Hooge, co-owner of J&S Reclaimed Wood Custom Furniture.

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“If high-quality furniture does break, it’s quite easy to repair. Because it’s built out of solid wood, it can be glued back together or sanded and refinished. Other materials are not made in such a way that they can be fixed that way. Faux veneer can peel off and you can’t fix it. If particle board or mdf cracks or chips, you can’t just glue it back together again.”

To help you with your purchases, Josh has come up with 8 great tips on how to check for quality furniture that you’ll love forever.

1. Check if it’s solid wood. Furniture made of particle board or mdf is just sawdust that’s been glued together. Once it cracks or breaks, there’s no way to fix it. It can also be susceptible to moisture and water damage. Be careful that it’s not just a thin sheet of wood veneer glued on top of a particle board backing. This type of furniture  can be sneaky like that.

2.How is it fastened together? Is it quickly glued together and stapled or pin nailed, which can come apart easily? Or is it carefully fastened with bolts or screws and quality glue?

3. What kind of finish does it have? Is it a faux finish or is it the natural wood grain? Natural is better.

4. Is it wobbly? Try applying stress from different angles to see if there is a weak component that looks like it might break. You don’t want to lose a table leg before you even get it home!

5. Where was it manufactured? In many countries- unlike Canada- the manufacturing standards are very low or don’t exist. Toxic chemicals may be used in the glue or other materials.

6. How carefully has the piece been assembled? Does it look like the piece was carefully and accurately made by a skilled craftsman, or does it look like it was mass-produced on an assembly line?

7. What is the quality of the hardware? Look at the nuts, nails, screws, drawer pulls and other metal pieces. Do they seem thin, undersized, degraded, or weak?

8. How durable do the surfaces look? Will they take scratches well? Can they be resurfaced if damaged?

You can find out more about buying long-lasting furniture from J&S Reclaimed Wood Custom Furniture by visiting their website, calling them at 778-317-3027 or sending them an email. You can also find J&S Reclaimed Wood Custom Furniture on Facebook and Instagram.

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