January 13, 2014

Kids Furniture: Is Solid Wood or Veneer a Better Option?

When you need furniture for your home, it seems like a simple choice: you look around, you find what you like, and if it’s in your budget, you buy it. But, it’s just not that simple anymore – particularly when it comes to kids furniture.

There are so many options on the market that sometimes it becomes hard to determine which features are most important. For instance, wood veneer furniture is much more budget-friendly, but at the same time, the beauty and longevity of solid wood can’t be overlooked. So how do you choose? Evaluate all the elements of both types and see which is a better fit for you.

Choosing Solid Wood for Kids Furniture

Many people have no trouble deciding on solid wood for the master bedroom and living areas of their home; but, when it comes to kids furniture, the decision becomes a little more difficult. After all, if you spend good money on well-built, attractive pieces, there is no guarantee that your kids will still want their youth bedroom furniture when they grow up. You begin to wonder if buying less expensive items are a better option. Well, that depends.

High quality, solid wood kids furniture can literally last for centuries when it’s built and taken care of properly. It is a beautiful addition to any child’s bedroom, is highly durable, and may still be refinished to maintain its beauty even after the less-than-gentle use that kids generally give to it. With that high quality, however, comes the fact that solid wood weighs significantly more than other materials, so for people who move more frequently, the solid wood pieces are a little harder to manage through steep stairways and tight spaces.

If the environment is any concern, then solid wood is hands-down the better choice. Unlike veneer and plastic, which are both manufactured using chemicals and unnatural materials, solid wood furnishings are constructed straight from nature—from forests whose trees may be replenished through planting and the efforts of those concerned with sustainability. Much of the furniture constructed in the U.S. and Canada is made from wood obtained from environmentally-focused areas that require re-planting, so deforesting is not an issue.

Robust, solid wood kids furniture also lends a few more options when it comes to design. There are specialty pieces that just can’t be constructed in the same way with veneer or plastic, so solid wood offers both an aesthetic and functional appeal all its own.

Youth Bedroom Furniture in the Veneer Option

While solid wood is clearly the high-end version of youth bedroom furniture, there are still some great veneer options that cost much less and still look great. Veneer is ideal for those who just need some starter pieces, for first-time homeowners, and or those who simply need furniture that is more affordable.

An additional benefit of veneer is that it can be created to resemble any variety of wood finishes. Since some types of natural wood are not as readily available as others, you can’t always get the type of solid wood you might want – but with veneer, you can. This is a favorable feature when you’re trying to match kids furniture pieces that you already own.

As appealing as veneer may be when it comes to its price point and finish varieties, you also get what you pay for in regard to durability. Veneer furniture gains its strength through its processing techniques, but is largely comprised of either MDF (medium-density fiberboard), or particleboard in its core. This means that while the items will be lighter than solid wood and easier to handle, they will also more easily damaged – and with veneer, there is no real means of repairing or refurbishing the pieces like solid wood.

Which Option Should You Choose

In deciding between solid wood and veneer kids furnishings, only you can know for sure which best suits your needs. Veneer is definitely easier on your wallet and is great for short-term needs. If you need kids furniture that’s tough and durable, however, you may want to consider solid wood if it’s in your budget – because veneer pieces just might end up needing to be replaced. You don’t really save money in the long run if your furniture doesn’t last.

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