Wooden furniture has been a popular choice for Malaysian to decorate their home.But with various type of wood which one are value for money.Lets dives deep to understand more.
Types of Wood
Not many people know the difference between the many types of wood found in furniture, and there are many common misconceptions that should be cleared up. Wood from solid hard wooden , soft wood , local tropical wood.Each type of wood has its peculiar advantages, disadvantages and characteristics, which make it suitable for this kind of furniture or that.
Manufactured woods like Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and plywood, as well as highlighting to Malaysians that local wood does not mean bad wood! In quite a number of cases, tropical wood has the same level of quality as imported wood, if not better.
Rubberwood is an extremely popular semi-hardwood here in Malaysia. Most furniture in Malaysia is made from rubberwood. It has a pale cream colour and a moderately coarse texture with straight to shallowly interlocked grain. Rubberwood is easy to work with, planes easily for smooth finishes, and with a consistent supply, no wonder it’s the most popular wood for furniture!
A well known hardwood. Meranti comes in two forms: Light Red Meranti or Dark Red Meranti. With its deep brownish-red tone, highly interlocked grain and high degree of resistance to warping or twisting, Meranti wood is perfect for molding, structure, furniture, cabinets and veneers.
Also local to the Philippines and Indonesia, Nyatoh is a softwood relatively to other exotic local hardwoods. It resembles Cherry wood, with its fine to moderately coarse texture and fine to straight grain. Nyatoh is very easy to work with, as it stains and polishes well.
A world-renown tropical hardwood, Teakwood is famous for its golden colour, which seasons into a vibrant silvery gray with age. Due to the natural oils locked within the tree, Teakwood has the greatest weather-resistant properties than any other type of wood. This makes it an excellent material to for outdoor furniture. Its sheer durability and resistance to decay make Teak one of the more expensive tropical woods for furniture.
Oak is a very well known wood for furniture due to its exceeding strength, weight and durability. Oak also has an attractive light brown colour, what we would call a natural wood tone, as well as a prominent open grain. Oak is the most popular wood for American and English country styles of furniture.
An expensive and world famous hardwood, Mahogany is sought after for its robust, full-bodied coloration and versatility. One of the darker tones available in wood for furniture, Mahogany is thus extremely popular for use as veneers.
Pine is a popular softwood. Known for its affordability and light weight compared to the heavier hardwoods, Pine is a staple in North American furniture. It has a wide variety of finish options, being easy to stain. This lends it a versatility that blends well with existing furniture you might have.
Chipboards are very inexpensive, manufactured wood. They are made by bonding wood chips and shavings together with resin into dense pieces of working material. Chipboards are tremendously popular with low budget furniture brands like IKEA. They are usually veneered and used for flat surfaces like end tables.
While chipboard uses wood chips, fibreboard is created by breaking down hardwoods and softwoods into fibres which are then bonded using wax and resin under intense heat. There are many kinds of fibreboard. Chipboards or Particle Boards are considered Low Density Fibreboard (LDF). There are also Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and High Density Fibreboard (HDF).
By far, the most popular of the fibreboards have to be MDF. MDF is known for its durability and strength, and for this reason they are often used as a part of furniture making.
Malaysians often think that plywood is a cheap, low quality material, but this is not always the case! Plywood is actually a very strong manufactured wood made up of thin layers of veneer which are bonded together to create a sturdy sheet of wood. Bonded using a cross-ply technique, plywood is extremely popular in furniture and flooring due to its resistance to warping, versatility and strength!
MEDIUM DENSITY FIBREBOARD (MDF)
MDF is one of the most popular wood materials used in furniture. It is stronger than most people think, and when veneered by an expert, it can sometimes be difficult to tell veneered MDF and solid wood apart! A great majority of furniture go for MDF with a wooden veneer, giving it an expensive-looking touch.
While MDF is not solid wood, it will last far longer than you expect at the fraction of the price.
A veneer is a very thin layer of wood that is expertly cut from the circumference of a tree. The veneer is then bonded onto a dense piece of wood, normally MDF or plywood to create a very naturalistic wooden texture impression. While this way of working wood is certainly more cost-effective, this doesn’t mean that the furniture made from veneered wood is cheaper or of a lower quality. Veneering is a complicated process, and in many cases, veneered furniture can have better build quality than solid wood furniture.
The standard way to identify veneering is by looking at the edges, checking to see if the grain runs off the top and over the sides. If it cuts off abruptly over the edges, it is veneer. Natural wood veneer can’t be bonded over edges, and can accept stains and finishes much like solid wood. But with today’s technology, beautiful synthetic veneers that can be bonded over edges have begun to compete with natural wood veneers.