A sofa or loveseat may look good, but will it give you a lifetime of use? This is a question you may want to consider while shopping at your local furniture store. The longevity and durability of furniture comes from the bare-bones composition of the piece, which is most commonly referred to as frame construction.
Many odds and ends make up the frame of a furniture piece and some qualities may be better than others. In this post, and in an attempt to help you decipher what furniture will give you the best value, we’ll break down how you can tell whether the furniture you’re considering is worth buying based on its frame construction.
What is frame construction?
The structural support or the basic shape of a piece of furniture before it is upholstered, stained or veneered is considered the frame construction. The frame determines the final shape, design or covering of furniture and, depending on the materials used, can establish the furniture’s overall quality.
Types of wood used for frame construction
Two types of wood are primarily used in furniture construction: hardwood and softwood. Hardwood comes from broadleaved trees, such as an oak or an ash, and tends to have a higher density and decay resistance. Softwood comes from evergreen conifer trees, such as a pine or a cedar, and tends to be easy to shape and generally more affordable to work with.
What does it mean when you’re shopping?
Generally speaking, if the furniture’s frame is constructed from hardwoods, you’re looking at a high-quality piece. Since hardwood tends to have a higher density and a lower rate of decay, furniture frames using it tend to maintain their shape and last longer.