When you’re in the market for solid wood furniture, it can be tempting to simply go with the first piece that matches your desired style and fits your budget. However, there’s a lot more to shopping for hardwood furniture than aesthetics and cost.
For example, did you know:
- The pros and cons of the different wood types?
- Whether the wood was sustainably sourced?
- What type of solid wood construction results in the highest quality?
- How much maintenance and care each wood type requires to reach (or outlive) its lifespan?
Considering all of these factors to make the best solid wood furniture purchase possible can take a lot of time and research. That’s why we’ve done half of the work for you to help you know what to look for.
Here, we have compiled our best tips for purchasing solid wood furniture, including benefits it holds over other furniture types, factors to consider in your decision and practical tips for choosing high-quality pieces.
Benefits of solid wood furniture
Before we discuss any tips for purchasing hardwood furniture, it’s important to know why solid wood furniture should be your first choice when it comes to home furnishings so you can make an informed decision.
There are many ways you can benefit by simply incorporating solid wood furniture into your home, including the following:
When it comes to sustainability and positive environmental impact, wooden furniture should be a conscientious consumer’s first choice.
According to Architectural Digest, wood is the simplest form of biodegradable furniture. It not only grows from the Earth, but it also has the ability to easily degrade right back into it, aiding the continual plant growth process. Not to mention, when sourced sustainably, wood is a renewable resource that can be infinitely replenished with the right reforestation care.
However, it’s important to note that just because a furniture piece is wooden doesn’t mean it was sustainably sourced. Due to uncontrolled harvesting and illegal logging practices, some species of trees are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
Be sure to do your research to make sure a company is replacing the wood it has taken when purchasing furniture made from these wood types. At MasayaCo we are committed to the reforestation of deforested land with tropical hardwood species. We annually plant more trees than we harvest to establish a replenishing cycle that provides both environmental and economic benefits.
Durability and longevity
You may have heard the popular phrase, “You get what you pay for,” and that concept is especially true when it comes to purchasing furniture. Luckily, solid wood furniture is worth investing in.
While furniture with solid wood construction may begin to show age after 10 to 15 years of use, expertly crafted wood furniture can last more than a lifetime and may be passed down from generation to generation.
At MasayaCo, we strive to create heirloom pieces that transcend time by remaining relevant and elegant through their subtle, contemporary style and design. Our pieces are handmade to last, and our hope is that our customers enjoy the process of passing down our pieces as time goes on.
Natural beauty and unique characteristics
When it comes to solid wood furniture, each piece is unique. All wooden furniture will display individual characteristics, such as:
- Varying wood types
- Variety in grain patterns
- Individual wood knots, which may differ in frequency, size, shape, color and structure
- Unique mineral stains, which may be caused by an accumulation of natural extractives
- Assorted stains and finishings
- Individual varying elements due to wood aging
As wood is an organic material, it displays a variety of features making each piece unique. Solid wood furniture is often considered to be home decoration just as much as it is functional. You can find wood furniture to perfectly match almost any home style and room, from dining rooms to outdoor spaces and beyond.
The use of wood indoors has been linked to health benefits associated with spending time in nature through a concept known as biophilic design. Elements such as wood furnishings, plants, natural light and more can bring added health benefits to occupants of indoor spaces, including:
- Improved emotional well-being
- Increased self-expression and creativity
- Better air quality
- Enhanced mood
- Increased productivity
- Lower blood pressure, stress and heart rate
Most home furnishing designs and patterns are beholden to trends, nature never goes out of style. Incorporating elements from nature into the home is a practice that has been around for centuries, and it’s not going anywhere.
Furnishing your spaces with solid wood furniture provides your home with lasting style and contemporary design, leaving you unbothered by thoughts of having to buy new furniture to keep up with emerging trends or changes in fashion.
Solid wood furniture requires minimal care and maintenance, even throughout its lengthy lifespan. A few easy tips to keep your wood furniture looking new and elegant throughout its life include:
- Avoiding scratching your furniture
- Gently dusting the furniture with a microfiber cloth or feather duster
- Wiping up spills immediately
- Minimizing the use of harsh all-purpose cleaners and commercial polishers
Our outdoor furniture and chairs are finished with a natural wood oil for increased protection, and our wood tables are completed with a clear poly-finish so that Pledge may safely be used on them. Additionally, Ultra-guard fabric protectors may be used on our leather or woven surfaces.
Types of solid wood furniture
When it comes to solid wood furniture, there is no shortage of variety. Our wood furniture is always made from teak selectively harvested from our tree farms in Central America. We offer a variety of styles and shapes that come in several different finishes and can even be customized.
When choosing the best solid wood furniture for you, it’s crucial to take into consideration the properties of each available type of wood and what works best for your space and needs.
Teak is a tropical hardwood that is native to Indonesia, India and Central America. Teak has a natural, rich golden hue and is highly resistant to water, climate and insects, making it a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor furniture.
All of our furniture is handmade from teak wood grown and selectively harvested off our teak stands in Nicaragua. MasayaCo offers a complete line of indoor and outdoor solid teak furniture ranging from benches, rocking chairs, dining tables and dining room chairs, to beds and side tables and even butcher block cutting boards.
If the natural golden lustre of teak wood is not for you, MasayaCo offers few different high-quality wood finishes so you can have quality solid teak furniture that works in your setting. Our indoor finishes include Walnut, Mahogany, Arena (white) and Burnt Teak (black). Our outdoor pieces only come in natural teak and are meant to turn into a silvery, gray patina as they age outdoors over time.
A few properties of teak include:
- Straight grain patterns
- Medium luster
- High Natural Oil Content
- Yellow-brown or dark golden-brown heartwood
- Gray to white sapwood
- High Stability
- Moderate hardness and weight
- Low stiffness and shock resistance
- Highly decay resistant
- Natural water resistance
- Moderately acid resistant
- High-quality joinery
Styles and designs of solid wood furniture
Wood is a first-rate medium for furniture, full of potential with its ability to easily be carved, shaped and molded, as well as its absorbent tendencies. One of the best things about wood furniture is that it can fit into nearly any aesthetic.
Teak is often associated with mid-century modern styles due to its historical connection to Danish modern furniture. It's also a wonderful choice for contemporary modern styling.
Want to see more of MasayaCo teak furniture upclose? We have two US showrooms located in Nashville, TN and Berkeley, CA. We also have showrooms in San Jose, Costa Rica; Managua, Nicaragua; and Panama City, Panama. And if you aren’t in the area anytime soon, you can book an appointment with our virtual showroom to see our gallery of style and design from the comfort of your home.
Factors to consider when purchasing solid wood furniture
Aside from wood and style, there are a number of additional factors you should consider when purchasing solid wood furniture. Here are a few.
Know your price. When shopping for any new furniture, it’s a good idea to shop around to see what types of pieces are going for what prices. This will help you get an idea of the amount of money you should set aside for purchasing when you find “the one.” And, remember the adage, “when you buy quality, you only pay once.”
Size and space
Before you begin shopping, make sure you know where your piece is going, and consider the space around it. Always think about the room and accompanying furniture before making a purchase. Ask yourself:
- How well will the piece fit based on its dimensions?
- How will its coloring or shape affect the timbre of the space?
- How will the new piece work with your current furniture arrangement?
- Are you purchasing other furniture that will also occupy that space and how will they work together?
Functionality and practicality
While solid wood furniture encapsulates natural beauty, it’s important to remember that each piece of furniture has a purpose. Consider the following questions when looking at a new piece of solid wood furniture:
- How do I want this piece to serve me?
- Will it be used for storage, seating, surface space or decor?
- Is it the right shape and size for its purpose?
- Will this be an item I want to live with in the near future?
Knowing exactly what you want when purchasing a new piece helps to narrow down your options and aids in your decision-making process. It also provides anyone assisting you with your purchase clarity and insight into how they can help you find just the right piece.
Your home’s style
Wood is fairly versatile, but not every wood type will go with every home style. Before investing in solid wood furniture, you want to be sure that any piece you add to your home collection is cohesive with your home’s style.
You want your new furniture to enhance the look of your home and its other furnishings – not detract from or clash with any style or design you have already incorporated.
Maintenance and care
Know the time and resources you are willing to expend on maintenance and care. While wood furniture does not require much upkeep and bears a long lifespan, some types and styles may require more care depending on the chosen material and how often the piece is used.
Always think about the time you are willing to devote to caring for your piece so you don’t end up with short-lived furniture that stresses you out.
Tips for choosing high-quality solid wood furniture
Now that we’ve covered the basics to consider when shopping for wood furniture, how can you best go about finding that perfect piece? Here are some practical tips.
Notice wood grain and texture
When it comes to inspecting solid wood furniture for quality wood grain and texture, it’s important to know what these terms mean. Grain and texture are terms often used interchangeably when referencing wooden pieces.
A wood’s texture describes how coarse, fine or even the wood is, while its grain is often associated with the direction of the pattern on the wood’s surface, whether that be straight, spiral or wavy.
With different wood grains and textures, wooden pieces can be made increasingly unique and one of a kind. At the end of the day, a piece of furniture’s grain and texture is all about personal preference.
Check for knots and cracks
Some people find that knots and cracks in solid wood furniture add more character, while others prefer their pieces have no knots or cracks.
If you are someone who does appreciate the aesthetic that knots and cracks provide to solid wood furniture, be sure that any piece’s unique imperfections don’t affect the furniture’s structure, design or integrity, especially in its joinery.
Also be aware that outdoor wood furniture will often develop tiny cracks as it acclimates to its new environment. This is called “checking” and is completely normal, part of the natural process, and does not affect the structural integrity of the piece.
Look for solid construction and joinery
Joinery is the process in which solid wood furniture is pieced together. A well-built piece of wooden furniture will have solid construction and effortless joinery. When searching for a high-quality, long-lasting piece, craftsmanship should always be top of mind.
If you are purchasing cabinets or other storage pieces, remember to also check any drawers or cabinets to ensure solid construction before purchasing. Drawers should fit well and glide effortlessly, and cabinets should open easily and close securely.
Consider the finish and staining
Just like a wood’s grain and texture, a piece of furniture’s finish and stain is mostly dependent on personal preference. However, you want the finish and stain to appear smooth and even across the entire piece, which creates a more uniform and classic look and feel.
A good stain should enhance a wooden piece’s look and never diminish it. A few signs of poorly finished wood include:
- Rough patches
- A cloudy or intensely glossy surface that hides the wood’s true grain
- Splintering edges
- Dust within the stain
- Scratches or dents
- Dull areas where staining was incomplete
- Stain “teardrops” on the wood’s surface
Fabric and cushioning
Wooden pieces are often intermixed with fabric or cushioning, creating a fascinating mixed media piece of fine furniture that’s sure to get people talking.
Just as it’s important to note the craftsmanship of the wood, it is equally important to consider the quality of the fabrics used and the cohesion and assembly of the two mediums to ensure you’re getting a truly high-quality piece of home or office furniture.
The last – but certainly not least – element to consider when purchasing high-quality, solid wood furniture is the warranty. At MasayaCo, we warrant our products against factory defects for a year based on reasonable use. This means that if our furniture breaks during this period due to a production defect, we will repair or replace the product.
We take pride in making handcrafted, heirloom-quality furniture. Never purchase a piece of solid wood furniture that someone refuses to back with a guarantee.
Get quality solid wood furniture from MasayaCo
As you can see, solid wood furniture has a lot to offer, from sustainability and timeless style, to longevity and even health benefits. All wooden furniture, crafted by MasayaCo, is handmade from solid teak ethically harvested from our reforestation projects. We offer a variety of finishes, frame styles and shapes beautifully designed to complement any space you choose.
View our styles and designs by using our virtual showroom, talk to us about customization options, chat with us live on our website, or contact us with any questions or for a free design consultation.