How much do you know about the quality of the sofa you invested your money in? Did you get what you paid for?
Let’s face it.
There are tons of things you need to consider when you’re buying a piece of furniture. With so many considerations, it’s easy to feel confused, intimidated and frustrated. In the end, we just stick to things that make sense.
Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers and retailers aren’t really honest about their products. There are things that they choose not to tell their customers. As a result, buyers often pay more than the quality they get.
To steer clear of overpaying for furniture, you need to have the right knowledge and ask the right questions.
Aesthetics aside, the first thing that consumers should consider is comfort.
In general, there are four principal components that can contribute to comfort: frame, spring system, cushion, and tailoring. If all these four passed the standard of quality, comfort would follow.
Here are the things to look for:
1Framing and Cushioning
Let’s start with the framing.
If the frame is hardwood, ask if it has undergone kiln-drying. It’s the process of removing the moisture content of timber by using heat and airflow in a controlled environment. Kiln-dried wood lasts longer despite changes in humidity. It keeps wood from buckling, cracking or weakening.
To check the quality of the frame, feel the thickness of the board on the side of the sofa at the bottom. The standard width should be 1 and ¼ inches. Thinner boards will squeak if people move around it.
When it comes to cushioning, the heavier, the better. This is regarding the relationship between weight and quality.
For the spring system, sinuous wires or S-type springs are the standard and should run from front to back. You should be able to feel the spring when you push down on the sofa.
Checking on how well the fabric of the sofa is tailored is equally important. Check if the seams are even and the piping ( tube-shaped edging ) lines up.
For printed sofas, the patterns should match both on the sides and front. For high-end pieces, the fabric should wrap the entire piece, including the back skirt. Patterns should start from one segment and continue to the next. There should be a seam in the center of the sofa’s back.
3Quality of Leather
It is important for the buyer to listen to the salesperson when buying leather pieces. If he says that it’s a leather-match or leather-like, it’s not leather at all. The way to tell the difference is to look at the base of the sofa and see if it is dyed all the way through.
Next, ask if the leather is top grain. Top grain is the highest quality of leather, and furniture pieces made from this material are really expensive.
Non-top grain leather pieces could be split and they don’t wear much. They need to be moisturized and be kept away from the sun.
4Drawers and Veneering
Dining sets, bedroom sets, tables, and lounges should be proportional to each other.
For pieces with drawers, check how they are hung. If drawers are tilted, the buyer will have an idea right away about the quality.
To check, take out the top drawer and check if its interior feels rough. Rough drawer interior means low-quality. Furniture pieces with excellent craftsmanship usually have dust panels that stop you from looking onto one drawer from another.
Check also the corner of the drawer and see how the veneers match. Veneer is a decorative covering of fine wood applied on top of a solid material, like plywood.
Good quality drawers are made with binders while cheaper ones are made with rollers. Checking the drawer on the upper left-hand part, where the manufacturer’s name is stamped, can give you a feel of the furniture quality.
The warranties on wood furniture typically cover cracking and splitting for one year. As for upholstered furniture, warranties generally include the frames. High-end types of furniture, meanwhile, should have five-year warranties on spring systems and cushions.
Consumers should check if they have a manufacturer’s warranty or retailer’s warranty. If it only shows the original address in tiny print at the bottom of the contract, the warranty will be void if they will move.
Consumers should be prudent when it comes to furniture shopping. The bits of advice above will help in finding the best furniture at the best price. So, go out and look for good furniture that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come.
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Author: Alyssa Prout
Alyssa Mason Prout is a blogger and a traveler. She travels to different countries to explore the latest trends in fashion and industrial scene. Apart from being a fashion setter, Alyssa also loves writing, and it has been her greatest passion. Whatever she learns in her journey, she writes it and shares it with her readers. Alyssa is an active contributor for Focus on Furniture, a website that sells furniture and bedding.