Manufactured lumber is a method used to turn saw dust into usable pieces of wood. Furniture manufacturers use manufactured lumber to reduce the cost of their furniture. The problem with this type of manufacturing is that you lose the durability of the piece. When people say “they don’t make them like they use to” it is true.
On the show room floor, it is difficult to tell the difference between manufactured wood pieces and real hard wood. The manufactures cover the manufactured wood with a veneer. This veneer is simply a covering that is glued to the wood to make it look like real lumber. It also helps to seal the fake wood from humidity, spills and contain chemical emissions.
Manufactured lumber needs to be protected from getting wet because it will literally fall apart. When the glue that holds the wood together gets wet it expands, weakens and becomes useless and the strength that was in the lumber is gone.
The next part is that the glue that is used in the manufactured wood often contains formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical that is known to cause cancer. The risks are considered low because the veneer seals the wood but when the veneers come loose (and they will) over time the chemicals can begin to seep out.
Most manufactured wood furniture will only last a few years. Under normal use the pieces will get worn out and humidity will get into the wood causing it to expand. Unlike manufactured wood furniture you will not need to replace your furniture if you buy solid wood.
Buying real wood furniture reduces the need to cut down more trees every few years just because a business wants to save a buck. When you buy real wood, it will never need to be replaced unless it is broken. Real wood furniture, that is made with high quality manufacturing, will not break under normal use and will not need to be replaced.
When you buy real solid furniture it will last for generations. You can hand it down to your kids and grandkids. This reduces the need for deforestation and is good for the environment.
Let’s examine the cost of buying a table that will only last a few years vs one that will last a life time. You can buy a decent dining table made from manufactured wood for fairly cheap. The issue is that you will likely have to buy a new table every few years. Manufacturers know this and it’s a way they can continue to make money off you and your family for years to come.
You will also have to pay for shipping, delivery and the environmental cost of producing these products over and over. When you must replace the same thing over and over you are required cut down trees and fill shipping containers and use fossil fuels to transport them across the country or around the world. There is little benefit to buying the cheap products.
Solid wood is more cost effective than buying cheap manufactured wood furniture. When you spend a couple hundred dollars on a set of end tables every couple of years it adds up. You can spend a little bit more and never have to buy another piece of furniture again.
Buying solid wood furniture is good for the environment. All wood pieces require that a tree gets cut down. When you buy a piece of furniture that will only last a couple years, more trees will need to be cut down to replace that piece of furniture when you buy another one.
At LivingEdgeTable.com we are committed to planting a new tree with every piece of furniture we sell!