hom Key wood furniture terms

Houston Chronicle

Confused about the good, the bad and the differences in "solid wood," veneers and particleboard? Here are some key wood furniture terms you need to know:

"Solid wood" furniture is made of solid boards, either one piece or a block of wood consisting of several boards glued together to make it more stable and reduce warping.

Engineered wood" can be plywood, particleboard or medium density fiberboard (MDF). Furniture made with engineered wood is sometimes described as "all wood."

Plywood is made from thin slices of wood bonded together. Particleboard consists of chips of wood coated with glue and pressed into a sheet.


To make MDF, wood chips are broken down into fibers, mixed with an adhesive resin and fused into strong, uniform boards.

Veneers are thin layers of surface wood used on top of both "solid wood" and "all wood" construction. Veneers have been used for centuries in some of the finest furniture to match grain patterns and create intricate designs.

Instead of wood veneers, some lower priced furniture uses a laminate surface of plastic, foil or paper printed or engraved to look like real wood.

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