Wooden furniture buying guide

Wooden furniture adds character to a room, whether classic or contemporary. This guide will give you an insight into the different types of wood that are used, along with tips on how to look after them.

Types of wood and wood effects

  • Wood-effect

    Wood-effect furniture is made from synthetic materials, designed to look like real wood. It provides a durable and easy clean option, and is great value.

  • Wood veneered

    This furniture can be made from a wide range of base materials. Wood veneered refers to the solid wood layers that are applied as a finish to the item.

  • Solid wood

    A solid wood table is made from 100% wood, although there may be a wood veneer placed over the top for structural or aesthetic reasons.

  • Sheesham wood

    Sheesham wood offers a unique and striking quality, with variations in the grain and intricate knot patterns making a truly distinct piece. Sheesham wood also comes from sustainable forests, for an eco-friendly take on wooden furniture.

Looking after your wooden furniture

Many of the most common problems when looking after wooden furniture are caused by the elements. Natural light affects the colour of both wood and wood veneered furniture. Regularly moving or turning furniture that sits in direct sunlight can help to reduce discolouration and ageing.

How to clean wooden furniture

Different types of furniture need to be cleaned in different ways, as some substances can be harmful to certain materials. Some useful tips are given below; however, it's important that you follow the cleaning instructions included with the item.

  • Wooden furniture that has a hard lacquer or waxy finish can simply be dusted with a dry, soft cloth.
  • Some furniture items have special finishes which require extra care. Oiled furniture, for example, can become dry over time and so needs to be re-oiled in order to protect it.
  • Dust your furniture daily to avoid dust and grime build-up that can dull the lustre of the finish. Use a soft, lint-free, damp cloth and stroke it in the direction of the wood grain.
  • If dirt and grime has accumulated, use a solution of mild liquid detergent dissolved in lukewarm water to clean the surface. Rinse with a damp cloth and then buff with a dry cloth. Water should never be used in excess and shouldn't be allowed to stand on the wood surface. You should never use abrasive cleaning agents or products with an acid base.
  • Wooden furniture is not heat resistant. Not only is the wood at risk from warping, but additionally, heat creates a chemical change in the furniture finish which can result in a white spot; for this reason, you shouldn't rest any hot items on wooden furniture. Use a suitable heatproof mat underneath hot dishes, utensils or cooking appliances. Hot blasts of air (e.g. central heating) should also be avoided as these can cause extreme localised drying of the wood.
  • Unless they're watertight, plant pots should not be placed on wooden furniture.
  • While all finishes protect wood from the most common spills and hazards, some substances can soften and mar the finish under prolonged contact. Spills should be cleaned up immediately with a damp cloth.
  • Don't rock or lean backwards on chairs, as this could cause the chair to break.
  • When you need to move or build furniture, make sure that you lift it properly so as not to accidentally strain yourself; ask for help if necessary. Our delivery team will be happy to deliver the furniture to wherever you want it in your house.
  • Always bear in mind the weight restrictions of the product so that you don't overload it.
  • Wooden furniture that has an embossed metal finish requires an occasional light polish using a dry, soft cloth. The tips given above also apply to this type of furniture; however, in addition you should not use chemicals on these items as they will affect the colour of the finish.
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