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Tips on How to Find Good-Quality Furniture

March 13, 1993|From Better Homes and Gardens

Turn on your sleuthing skills when you're searching for high quality case goods, including dressers, tables, cabinets and beds. These non-upholstered pieces often contain materials other than wood, and the only way to know what you're looking at is to read hangtags carefully. Let the following definitions and tips help you find good-quality furniture:

* Solid wood means that all exposed surfaces on a piece are made from the wood named. Other woods may be used on drawer sides and bottoms or in other unseen areas. Solid wood is a better choice than veneer for vulnerable surfaces such as heavily used tables and dressers because you can refinish solid wood repeatedly.

* Veneers do not necessarily denote lesser quality. For centuries, furniture makers have faced less expensive woods (these days usually plywood) with thin sheets of decorative wood.

All-wood pieces can include components of plywood and composition board (particleboard and fiberboard).

* Laminates are a contemporary twist on veneering. Similar to kitchen-counter material, furniture laminates get bonded to composition board. Veneers and laminates should be glued securely and cleanly to backings.

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