Our Guide to Different Types of Furniture Wood – Solid Wood Furniture and Engineered Wood Furniture
Wood is one of the most common materials for use to manufacture solid wood furniture in Singapore. There are many types of wood available around the World, and it is safe to say that there any type of wood furniture will be able to be found in Singapore. Every type of wood provides users with a different set of values and this may cause some confusion when consumers try to evaluate the most suitable furniture for their homes.
We have put together this easy to understand guide to help you in selecting the perfect engineered wood or solid wood furniture for your home. In this article, we also talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each wood type.
Solid Wood Furniture vs Engineered Wood Furniture
Solid Wood is wood that have been cut from a tree, very natural and not engineered at all. They do not have hollow spaces and they have many different types of species. Solid Woods have their own natural colour and seldom require staining, laminate, or veneer. In general, solid wood is always split into two categories – Hardwoods and Softwoods – this we will discuss later in this article. Some common examples of Solid Wood are Teak, Oak, and Walnut.
Engineered Wood is made by binding together particles of wood, strands, and fibres, together with resin, to form planks. They are always cladded with laminate or veneer to seem like it’s a real piece of solid wood. Such types of furniture may look great in the showroom, but their quality may prove to be below average when you start to use them for long.
Here are the 3 types of Engineered Wood:
Particle Board – Wooden chips (often recycled) are pressed together with resin to form the end product of Particle Board. It is the cheapest type of engineered wood in Singapore. Chemicals with the same properties as insecticides may be introduced during its production to deter the formation of termites. It is safe to say that all budget furniture uses Particle Board with laminate. Some users may realise that the laminate peels off pretty easily, is not very resistant to water, and is not durable at all. Particle Board furniture is meant for very light usage as it also cannot handle heavy loads.
MDF Wood (Medium-Density Fiberboard Wood) – Wood fibers are glued together and heated to create dense planks. MDF Furniture is common in Singapore as it has the ability to look premium and expensive. This is because MDF is generally harder and heavier than Particle Board or Plywood, providing it with a tougher and stronger effect. When pasted on with Wood Veneer, MDF furniture can really mimic solid wood furniture.
Plywood – Made of many sheets of wood veneer pressed together to form a plank. The way in which your plywood is manufactured will determine the quality of your furniture. The type of veneer used, along with bonding methods, can affect the end result very gravely. In a standard Singapore home, renovation contractors use plywood mostly for your carpentry works – these include your kitchen counter tops and all types of cabinetry. Plywoods are preferred for such custom works because they can come in different thicknesses and they can exist to possess different levels of strength. They may be expensive, but they are known to be the most water resistant engineered wood and to be very durable as well.
Now that we know the facts about engineered wood, let us move on to Solid Woods.
Solid Wood – Hardwoods:
Rubber, also known as Rubberwood – is one of the most popular type of woods used for manufacturing premium furniture in Asia. It does not expand or weaken over time. It is extremely strong and highly dense type of wood. It is resistant to water, and is also not prone to termite infestation. Bundled together with wood veneers, rubberwood can look like any type of wood in the World. By doing this, you enjoy beautiful looking and great quality furniture that is cheaper than if you were to use the natural option. This is because rubber trees exist in abundance, which also implies that it is a very eco-friendly option.
Oak is very popular all around the world. It is tough and heavy, and has very prominent wood grain markings. They only exist in light shades and they possess all the good qualities that rubberwood has.
Ash is extremely strong but it can do something that most types of wood cannot do. It can be bent. That being said, it is perfect for designer furniture that requires a stylish meander.
Mahagony is one of the most expensive solid woods in the World. It dawns a reddish brown colour and becomes redder through the course of time. Because of its rich colour, Mahagony is often made into wood veneers to paste onto cheaper alternative woods such as MDF, Particle Board, or Plywood.
Walnut is also in the category of being an expensive hardwood. Walnut furniture is very durable and can last for centuries. It is held in high regard because of its natural dark brown colour.
Maple wood is one of the most water resistant type of woods around. In spite of them, it is easy to paint on. The grains of a natural maple wood is very unique and beautiful. It is also a long lasting type of wood and is perfect for heavy duty usage.
Teak is a type of reddish coloured hardwood that is known to be a timeless classic. There are many furniture stores in Singapore specialising in teak wood primarily because of South East Asian culture. It is strong and sturdy, and usually used for villas and outdoor purposes.
Softwoods: Examples of softwoods are Pine, Spruce, Cedar, Fir, and Larch. They are seldom used in Singapore, but very popular around the World. They are generally more affordable and lightweight. Compared to a hardwood material, softwoods have to be regarded as a lesser durable material. Softwoods are perfect for claddings and light usage furniture. Particularly because paint can bond onto them very well.