Main Types of "WOOD" Furniture

Main Types of "WOOD" Furniture 0

When you've ever bought furniture, chatted with someone who has purchased furniture, or even looked into purchasing furniture, we can bet you've asked yourself, "why is solid wooden furniture are so expensive?"

Before we get started, though, we thought we'd note something important: when you ask why furniture is so expensive, what you're really asking is something else, something more like, "why is high-quality wood furniture so expensive?"

What even is high-quality wood furniture? It's no secret that you can find inexpensive "wood" furniture more readily now than ever before. It may look good, it may feel good, it may even come from a store with a neat aesthetic. Ultimately, though, we have reason to believe that inexpensive furniture isn't going to last, and that means you may end up paying more in the long run.

What are the three main types of "wood" used in furniture?

There are, essentially, three types of "wood" used in furniture: Solid wood, particleboard or MDF, and plywood.

Within these categories, there are high quality and lower quality versions which ultimately will affect the long-term durability of the furniture and the price.

Solid wood is a natural resource that we come by organically rather than through a manufacturing process. Solid wood can be either hardwood or softwood. No surprise, hardwoods are stronger with a higher density and lot of more expensive than softwoods.


Typical hardwoods found in high-quality wood furniture are:

  • - Oak
  • - Cherry
  • - Maple
  • - Walnut
  • - Birch
  • - Ash 

Typical softwoods are:

  • Pine
  • Poplar
  • Acacia
  • Rubberwood

Hardwoods grow at a slower rate and are more fire resistant than softwoods, making them more scarce to harvest and more desirable for high-quality goods. 

Another factor in the price of hardwood comes from the fact we are only using the best parts of the tree - the heartwood - the central core of the tree where the rich color tones and core strength come from.

Within these hardwoods, there are tiers of price as well. Walnut is more expensive as it is a bit rarer due to natural limitations such as size.

Oak, Ash, Maple, and Cherry are more abundant as they grow larger but have highly sought after aesthetics in the grain which make them less expensive than Walnut but more expensive than some other hardwoods. Birch is slightly cheaper than all of these because the natural tones in the wood grain are not as even. Birch is excellent to use for stained or colorfully painted furniture.

Particleboard and Medium Density Fiberboard

Particleboard and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) are both engineered wood composites made up of leftover hardwood or softwood. MDF can be quite dense and sturdy, so reliable that it is near impossible to cut with a table saw.

Particleboard, or chipboard, however, is much less sturdy as it is made up of large chips of wood that are bound together with glue and resin (think wood salami).

Although particle board is less expensive, we recommend consumers steer clear. The voids of space in between wood chips in particle board make it far less durable and more prone to damage.

 That does not mean all engineered wood composites are cheap, MDF puts its strength to good use in certain applications. So what are some of the uses for MDF? You can find it in some media cabinets, for example, because it will not warp with the heat coming off electronics.

Most bookcase shelves are MDF as it can hold more weight and prevents it from warping over time. Most dressers have MDF on the siding to help mitigate cost and weight and ensure the stability of the piece over time.

What are Veneers?

Another term you will hear tossed around in the furniture world is "veneer." So, what is a veneer?

While there are different quality levels of a veneer, it is a less expensive alternative to hardwood by putting a thin piece of premium wood covering over a type of manufactured wood.

 The single layer provides the look of hardwood grains, but the underlying content keeps the cost down. One of the drawbacks to veneer is that it limits the number of times you can refinish your furniture. We would not recommend veneer on tables for that exact reason.

Tables may see some wear over their lifetime, and one of the benefits of a solid wood piece is the flexibility to sand and refinish to increase longevity. A word of caution to all - not all veneers are created equal.

Make sure, if you are getting a veneer, it is an actual piece of hardwood. Additionally, a cheap veneer is the easiest way to make particle board or chipboard look like real wood. If you have a lower quality particle board underneath your veneer, you are more likely to see wear and tear. A dent or chip the veneer it is not easily repairable. 

How it is made matters just as much as what!

Repeat after me: joint construction is better than staples, nails, or glue. Joint construction is more labor-intensive and costly than the other options, but there's a reason it is still the go-to method of craftsman today: it's reliable, simple, and secure. Dowels and screws are fine, but dovetail or mortise-and-tenon joints are best.

Drawer construction may impact the price as well. Wood can swell with humidity, so when it comes to wood-on-wood drawers, expect them to stick on the first rainy day. Stickiness is easy to mitigate with a touch of soap or wax.

If you prefer another drawer configuration - plenty of designs come with metal drawer glides as well. 

As with all finely made products, the devil is in the details. While all the hardwood furniture at Oak Furniture Store comes from the highest quality. Some of these special touches which impact cost include:

  • Using a human set of eyes to carefully match wood grains for drawer fronts or a table top
  • Hand oiling a finished piece to give hardwood furniture its most natural sheen and texture
  • Creating proprietary finishes or hand waxing the inside of drawers to reduce VOCs and our carbon footprint

The Designs

For good or for worse, the most important design icons of our time didn't work with cost (or mass-production) in mind. They focused on detail and originality and craftsmanship; like high-fashion couture, their designs have trickled down into mass-market production after some time, but not with the same top-quality construction.

Good original design (and by good design, we mean design that it looks good and feels good, marrying form and function) will cost more than their dupes do.

Good furniture is an investment, we know. We hope that after reading this article you understand why: how craftsmanship and attention to detail cost more than mass-manufactured goods, and how extra steps that may be more costly result in a more durable (and often, more functional) product.  

It's important to consider long-term cost over short-term cost, too. Would you rather buy a cheaper piece of wood furniture every couple years, or buy one knowing that you won't have to replace it in a couple decades time?

  • Shan Lin
Raw Materials & Process

Raw Materials & Process 0


In the past years. We are aiming to make real solid furniture to be affordable for every families in New Zealand for our environment and our future generations. 


Where The Wood From 

Most of our raw timber are imported from north American Appalachian forest including Oak, Cherry and Black Walnut only FAS grade. We are carefully monitor the timber we used on our furniture has minimum the wood knot and color difference.


About FAS Grade Lumber

Hardwood lumber grading is a complex process using rules maintained by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA:  The NHLA rules were designed to provide the furniture industry a mathematically measurable method to grade lumber for its amount of clear, defect free wood. 

 Oak is not Rubber wood 

A lot of people are confusing about Oak and Rubber wood, they are totally DIFERENT types of wood. Oak is growing in North America, Europe and Russian, they have clear large beautiful grain and used on royal furniture over 100 years. The Rubber wood is growing in south east Asia area with no beautiful grain with small black dots in very low price.   


North American Black Walnut - The presence of luxurious


Luxurious with beautiful color and dignity are the best words of the description of the North American Black Walnut. Slow growing with very high density makes the price stand on the top range of the world in lumber industry.

Some top world designed houses are using black walnut for part of the renovation as well as luxury cars such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley.


New Zealand Pine - The World Best Soft Wood 

There are many types of pine wood in the world, but NZ pine is the best soft wood in furniture making industry. NZ pine is also named as Radiata Pine also has a wide uses in decking, fencing, exterior cladding, window sashes, pergolas, landscaping, shingles, barge boards and exterior trim.


We use NZ pine on some of our furniture as subsidiary material such as the bed frame slats to make sure the frame support the maximum weight. 


Environmental Friendly Paint 

Environment friendly is big topic in the world, we are all working hard to keep our earth cleaning as human being for our future generations. We are closely monitoring the painting oil we used on our furniture has minimum methanol, VOC and benzene.


Craftmanship Accomplish The Top Quality Standard 


Every piece of furniture we make went through hundreds of manufacturing process to become a piece of art for your home.








  • Shan Lin
About Oak furniture - How good they are...

About Oak furniture - How good they are... 1

These days, people can choose over a variety of furniture options. Furniture prepared from expensive as well as cheap materials is available readily. Similarly, oak furniture is gaining widespread popularity due to its various advantages. The oak wood is durable and long lasting. One can also craft beautiful designs in them. If fact with proper care, you can continue using these oak furniture NZ for even a century.

Oak is available in different color schemes. This implies that you can get hold of various hues of drawers to choose from. Also, it is possible to procure oak furniture with the same color as the interiors of your room. Oak wood is known to be scratch, stain and dust resistance; hence it does not need regular cleaning like other woods. With detailed finishing, oak furniture presents the most exquisite piece of art. Oak’s beauty is incomparable, since the rich tinge is absent in most other custom timber furniture.

  • Shan Lin
What Are Our Brand Concepts

What Are Our Brand Concepts 0


1. Solid wooden furniture, eco friendly for the global future.

Since Oak Furniture Store & Sofas started in NZ from 2014. We have been kept our best effort to making and selling 100% solid wooden furniture, No strictly not allowed MDF, chipboards and any artificial material to be used on any piece of our furniture products.



2. We care about the quality and details.

Strict selection of the raw timbers, keep upgrading the painting supplier to make sure always the most eco-friendly paint to be used on our furniture. We have been kept using traditional ways of wooden cabinet NZ making skills on all the joints and backs. Our QA team carefully inspects every piece produced before packaging.



Our designing team keeps updating the world newest designs in the furniture industry not only for the look, but also we make them more functional for your home & Living.



4. Affordability

It is the most important thing to make every New Zealander could afford solid hardwood furniture for their own loved home and their children are growing up in a healthier environment.



  • Shan Lin