Design Tips, Uncategorized

Is it real wood?

This is a question most consumers have when they are furniture shopping, but rarely know how to answer. Knowing the difference between solid wood furniture and other materials can help you select the quality and durability needed for your specific needs. 

Solid wood furniture will be more durable, maintain its natural beauty longer and will cost more than veneer or laminate. Here some characteristics of each furniture type:


Veneer is a thin layer of hardwood, usually less than 1/8”, that is bonded or glued to a cheaper composite material hidden underneath

If you see flaking or peeling on the corners it is veneer

Finishes will be smooth to the touch

These finishes can peel and be easily damaged


Laminate is made with synthetic materials sometimes including wood chips

Laminate finishes have a shiny appearance and are often found on low-end pieces of furniture because it is cheaper to produce than either veneer or wood

Finishes will be smooth to the touch

These finishes can peel and be easily damaged

Solid wood

Solid wood is denser than composite material so will be heavier, the exception being light wood like pine

You can feel the grain on solid wood

If the furniture has carved details it is solid wood….veneer or laminate cannot be carved

Look for these characteristics when you shop.  Of course, you also can ask the store associate about the furniture materials. Then determine the combination of quality, durability, and price that best meets your needs.

Whether you are looking for a single item or redecorating a whole room or home, start your project with a visit to Gates Furniture. Our friendly design professionals will help bring your ideas to life, and design services are complimentary with qualified purchases. The Gates family has been serving the needs of families in Grants Pass, Ashland, Medford the throughout the Rogue Valley since 1946. Let us help you with your next home furnishings project.

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