Why does solid-wood furniture cost more?

Why does solid-wood furniture cost more?

What is solid-wood furniture?

Here’s a simple question: what is solid-wood furniture? And another: why’s custom wood furniture more expensive than what’s commercially available?

It’s perhaps easier to describe the opposite, to start. Much of the furniture that one can find in catalogs or on showroom floors is constructed of veneers applied over the top of composite substrates. By “composite” I refer to things like plywood, medium-density fiberboard, and countless other engineered-wood products on the market. “Veneers” are thin sheets of genuine wood laminated, i.e. skinned, on another, more structural, layer of material. Veneers allow manufacturers to get vastly more mileage out of a piece of lumber, because it can create many “skins” rather than being a simple, single piece.

At Cannon Hill, we prefer that simple, single piece. 

Reach out to learn more

How does solid wood furniture move?

There are advantages to these composite substrates, no doubt. All wood products will breathe, and grow, and shrink with climatic conditions. By slicing, counterlaying, or even pulping wood, manufacturers counteract those entirely natural movements. They minimize them. A block of solid wood will change more as temperature and humidity change than a section of plywood will. There’s stability in engineering against those changes.

But there are drawbacks as well. A piece of veneered furniture will only last as long as its veneer. A single scratch through the veneer renders it basically obsolete. If one tries to sand and repair veneered furniture, they’ll quickly encounter the substrate. The ugly substrate.

What’s the advantage of solid wood furniture?

Solid wood furniture, on the other hand, has the same single piece of material the whole way through any given member. The visible face is the piece that creates the furniture. One can sand it down countless times, and the piece of furniture won’t change at all. We build custom tables to last for generations, and that means building from solid wood. We want other people to be able to repair and restore our furniture when we’re gone; that’s the whole point. Is the furniture cost higher? It is. Does it take greater expertise? It does. Is it worth it? It is. Because we’re are designing and building furniture for the future.

Get started on your custom wood furniture with Cannon Hill

To get a custom table that’ll last for generations, reach out to Cannon Hill. We’ll help you find the right material and the right design. Fill out the contact form above, call 857-576-2089, or email info@cannonhillwood.com. We hope we’ll hear from you soon.