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5 Ways to Identify a Well-Built Piece of Furniture

Mother and daughter have identified a well-built piece of furniture at Smitty's Fine Furniture in Canada

At Smitty’s Fine Furniture, we are pretty vocal about our love of well-built, Canadian-made furniture. And while we know a lot about furniture construction, you don’t have to be an expert to be able to identify good quality furniture. So next time you’re out shopping for a couch, new dining set, bed frame or other new addition for your home, keep some of these tips in mind for identifying a well-built piece of furniture.

 

1) No wobbling, creaking or sagging

 

If you’re going to a furniture showroom, picking up a piece of furniture is a pretty easy and extremely useful test for quality. Any piece of furniture should not creak, sag or wobble when you pick it up, especially in the frame.

 

2) Check the quality of the padding & cushions

 

The frame of your furniture is not the only place you should check for quality. When it comes to fabric furniture like sofas, loveseats and armchairs, always test them out before buying. High quality pieces have dense foam and are well padded throughout - not just on the seat. You shouldn’t be able to feel any springs or hard pieces beneath the padding anywhere on the piece.

 

3) Check the upholstery

 

Once you’re satisfied with the basic construction of the furniture you’re looking at, move on to the upholstery. High quality upholstery uses thick and tightly woven fabric. The fabric will also be the same material all the way around. Also inspect any seams that are visible, and make sure the upholstery isn’t sagging or stretching with wear. 

 

Pro Tip: ask about ‘rub count’ to gauge to fabric wear and durability — you should aim for around 10-15,000 for residential grade.

 

4) Identify the type of wood

 

Not all types of wood are created equal, and there are a number of woods that should never be used for furniture because of their softness. When shopping for wood furniture, or even furniture that has a wood frame, ask about the type. Most high quality furniture is made of deciduous trees like ash, birch, cherry, mahogany, oak, maple or walnut, as these resist cracking.

 

5) Check the wood construction

 

Whether you’re shopping for wood furniture or fabric furniture with a wood frame, checking out the construction of the wood elements is essential to ensuring your furniture is well built. If you can, check any seams to make sure all of the wood pieces fit well together. If your furniture squeaks, that’s usually a sign of poor construction. And always pull out drawers and open hinged doors to make sure they open and close smoothly.


At Smitty’s Fine Furniture in Kitchener and Hanover, our furniture experts are always on-hand to answer any questions you have about the quality of our selection. Visit us at one of our locations today!

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