1 comment / Posted on by Bharadwaj Satish


With the advent of newer options everyday, furniture buying has turned into a real chore. It has become really difficult to pick the best from the good enough. There is metal, glass and the good old wood. Even the types of wood, the qualities and strengths of each, the durability and moisture content can leave anyone terribly confused. In this situation, it is not wise to completely trust the salesperson at the local store. It is important that you do your basic homework before stepping out to buy wooden furniture. What the salesperson calls solid wood might just be plywood or particle board topped with a veneer. There is a big difference between TimberCraft handcrafted solid wood furniture and engineered wood furniture .

Now one would wonder why so many furniture manufacturers use plywood instead of solid wood. Here is why. One reason why veneered panels of plywood are used extensively in furniture making is the cost of plywood versus solid wood. Plywood can be got at a small fraction of the cost of really good solid wood. The more expensive solid woods like sheesham can cost as much as 3 to 4 times the price of sheet goods. Manufacturers have now begun calling their cheap ply-boards and flake boards as 'Furniture Boards and engineered wood just to enhance its image.

Another reason is the cost of labor to machine and assemble solid panels versus just cutting a rectangle of plywood or veneering a panel. It is cheaper to work with sheet goods than solid lumber in terms of man hours spent to put the piece together. Many high end tabletops are simply veneered plyboards with a wood edge. Despite the difficulty, true Timbercraft furniture is handcrafted out of solid wood and stained and finished to perfection to give you a piece to last a lifetime.

Another reason is that it is easy to get thousands of plywood sheets all looking identical. Solid wood by its nature would differ slightly in terms of grain, color, shade and moisture content. Many people, are more attracted in the form of matched veneer than the random color and grain matching of solids. Some people prefer the color variation of solids and the sometimes wild grain patterns and try to use these differences to make unique looking details.


So while plywood and engineered wood may be cheaper and easier to construct, it is no match for solid wood furniture. It is more of an escape route towards convenience and higher profits. Beware of manufacturers who claim to be selling solid wood furniture but use plywood or particleboard and call it engineered wood for most of the internal parts. Do not feel shy to ask for details from the salesperson before buying a piece. Buy something only if you are absolutely sure. If the salesperson is not forthcoming with genuine information, it is time to check another store.

1 comment

  • Posted on by Jerry

    Although it is often done for many of the reasons you state, it is also used extensively when wood movement would destroy the furniture in the design requested. I prefer to work with solid wood when I can, but sometimes a clients design doesn’t allow that. How about giving the entire story instead of just the select reasons that fit your goals.

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing