Sustainable Furniture

It’s generally tempting to buy cheaper products to save a few dollars, however there’s no question that investing in high quality is a smarter choice, particularly speaking of 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.

“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.”

For the sake of helping you with your purchases, Josh has come up with 5 great tips on how to check for quality furniture that you’ll love forever.

Sustainable Furniture

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. Also, it can 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?

Sustainable Furniture

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!

Sustainable Furniture

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.