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Solid Oak Furniture vs. Particleboard

When shopping for furniture, the material can make a big difference in a number of ways. While there are several materials to choose from, two of the most common are solid oak furniture and furniture that is made from particleboard. For furniture shoppers that are trying to choose between these two materials, we would like to look at some of the key differences that set them apart.

Appearance

If you take two pieces with the same design but have one that is made from oak and one that is made from particleboard, the oak furniture is always going to look better. If you go with a more expensive piece made from particleboard, and it has an oak veneer, it might look comparable at first glance, but you will be able to tell the difference upon closer inspection. This is especially true for custom handmade oak furniture. When looking at a piece like this, the quality of the material and the workmanship will be obvious.

Durability

A well-made piece of particleboard furniture will do well for durability, but solid oak is going to be better. Oak is a stronger material and it will stand up to daily use much better than a piece made from particleboard. The one way in which particleboard is better in this regard is that it is an engineered wood product and that means that it is not susceptible to some of the things that might affect a piece of natural wood. With particleboard, you do not have to worry about the material warping or expanding and contracting with temperature changes. That said, there are things that can be done to protect a piece of oak against these conditions.

Lifespan

A piece of oak furniture is going to outlast particleboard. As long as you don’t abuse the furniture, it can last many years. It is also easy to repair oak furniture and you can also refinish the wood to extend its life. Even under the best of conditions, a piece of particleboard furniture is going to show its age after a few years. In most cases, you would be fortunate to get more than five years of good use from this material. Along with that, the repair options are limited with particleboard. If something does happen to it, there is a good chance that you won’t be able to fix it.

Cost

The price is the main advantage to particleboard furniture. It is a cheap material, and that is why it is often used as the base for a veneer or laminate product. While particleboard is cheaper, many would argue that oak furniture offers the better value. You may have to pay more upfront, but a piece of oak furniture could last the rest of your life. If you choose to go with the cheaper particleboard furniture, you will end up buying several pieces during the lifespan of the single piece made from oak.

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