Tips on Buying Wood Furniture

We are pleased to offer the following definitions and tips for buying wood furniture.

Ready-to-finish furniture gives you a wide range of options that can meet all of your furniture needs. We offer quality products that will fit any budget that we purchase from both local craftsmen and national manufacturers.


Solid Wood means that all exposed parts of the furniture are made of solid board, either softwood or hardwood lumber. No veneers or particle boards are used. When solid boards are used in furniture construction, they are glued together side by side along the edges. Often, a number of boards are used to make the wood more stable and reduce the chance of warping. Solid board can always be identified by following a seam to the end, where you will find the "end" grain. Many veneers are glued over the edges to look like solid wood, but they will always be faced on the end and show no end grain.

Remember, "all-wood" furniture is not necessarily solid wood. A veneer can help you achieve the look you desire at a cost lower than solid lumber. Veneers can be overlaid on plywood or particle board. A plywood core is lighter, less expensive and more forgiving if damaged, but it can swell if it gets wet. If damaged, particle board will often fracture because the material is so hard it cannot absorb a shock. There are three types of glue-up in most solid wood furniture:

  • Plank is made of pieces that have the same length but varying widths.
  • Laminated is made of pieces that have the same length and width.
  • Butcher block is made of pieces with varying length but the same width.

Veneer is a thin layer of wood applied in sheets over underlying layers of wood, plywood or particle board.

Plywood is made of thin layers of solid wood glued over each other with grains running at 90-degree angles to produce a strong core. A veneer is often glued on top.

Particle board is made by gluing chips and particles of wood together and pressing them into sheets, upon which a veneer can be glued. Hardness is determined by the specific density of the wood, not by whether a tree is classified as a "hardwood" or "softwood."

  • Hardwoods come from deciduous trees. (e.g. maple, oak, alder)
  • Softwoods come from conifers. (e.g. pine, spruce, fir)

Some hardwoods, such as balsa wood, are softer than some softwoods, such as pine.


to Piepers Unfinished Furniture and thanks for visiting our website! We offer solid wood unfinished furniture at an affordable price. We have been serving Dallas, Austin, and Houston, Texas for their unfinished furniture needs since 1980.

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