Whenever we have guests over, we like to make the best impression. We're on our best behavior, and we make sure everything is spick and span. Sometimes we even treat our guests to a snack or two.
Despite our best efforts, though, our dining room furniture doesn't always cooperate with us. Our guests end up sampling our best dishes surrounded by dingy furniture.
Perhaps your guests would forgive you for your rickety cupboard. We doubt, however, that they'd be fond of a subpar dining table set. Your dining table is, after all, the heart of your dining room.
Of course, upgrading your table set is easier said than done. You want quality furniture, but you'd also like to keep things simple and affordable.
Unbeknownst to you, there is a way to have your cake and eat it too. You need only consider choosing a hardwood dining table set as your replacement table.
What, though, are the benefits of doing so? Stay with us to find out.
Beauty & Versatility
All things considered, beauty isn't as important as durability or cost for most of us. We're not made of money, so we can't necessarily afford to be so vain. Still, there is something to be said about the beauty of hardwood.
It owes this aesthetic appeal to its versatility in some ways. Hardwood is available in a variety of colors. The color is, of course, dependent on the species of tree which the wood comes from and the stain color that the furniture is finished with.
You can, for instance, purchase a table set which is made of Cherry. Cherry has a medium reddish hue to it and is a nice way to warm a room up. If on the other hand, you prefer a light wood, you can go for a wood such as a natural finished Quarter Sawn White Oak.
Still, each wood has its own natural pattern. These patterns are inimitable. Composite woods might closely resemble those natural patterns, but the patterns they take on come up short of authentic.
Like a snowflake, Mother Nature creates natural patterns that guarantee that each hardwood product buyers purchase is one of a kind. This is true of not just any dining table set, but of floors and cabinets as well.
The texture of each wood also differs, adding yet another layer of versatility. Some woods have a natural luster while others are naturally a bit dull.
The best thing about hardwood's beauty is that it gets better over time. Needless to say, though, it must be maintained well if you want it to stay beautiful. That said, you'll have to keep it clean and polished.
When looking for a new dining table set, durability should be high on your list. You and your family likely use the dining table almost every single day. As a result, it is more prone to wear and tear than some of the other wooden furniture in your home.
And even if you don't use your table set frequently, you still want it to last as long as possible.
Having said that, if durability is the name of your game, hardwood is exactly what you need. Hardwood is, after all, incredibly strong compared to the alternatives.
Veneers, for example, are much less durable. Yes, they're cheaper, but there is a price to pay for such cheapness. Veneers are susceptible to peeling, chipping and bubbling whereas hardwood is not.
Composite woods are another alternative. Though these are more durable than veneers, their strength doesn't rival solid woods.
Now consider a couple of types of solid wood and their durability. Solid quarter sawn white oak has a leg up on several wood species on the Janka Hardness Scale, which measures wood's resistance to wear and tear.
Quarter sawn white oak has a Janka score of 1360. This score is admittedly nowhere near the top of the Janka chart, but it is superior to many of the harder woods on the market. Many of the harder woods are extremely difficult to work with and are not able to be crafted into many of the designs people love. This extreme hardness also makes these woods very temperamental to their environment and susceptible to seasonal cracking.
You can also look into solid black walnut. With a Janka score of 1010, it's certainly not as hard as white oak. It does, however, have a rich natural luster and beautiful grain pattern that helps to hide any unfortunate scratch or dent that may happen in the future.
Solid wood gets a bad rap whenever people talk about cost. It is, after all, much more expensive than the alternatives, and we can't blame people for worrying about costs.
Even so, we're of the mind that calling solid "expensive" is disingenuous in some ways. Yes, a hardwood dining table set will run a customer more money than a set made of composite wood.
"Expense," however, is about more than the monetary cost of purchasing the product. It is also about durability and functionality as well.
As we discussed in the last section, hardwood is durable. It stands to reason, then, that it lasts longer than some other woods.
Some sources report that hardwood floors can last for upward of 20 years. Of course, a floor is nothing like a dining table set, so you can't exactly rely on that number. Still, you can see just how durable hardwood is by considering this example.
Furthermore, you don't actually replace hardwood furniture and floorings as often as you repair them. Having them refinished can breath new life into them.
When more serious repairs are needed, they're ultimately more cost-effective than any of the "repairs" you might need for composite woods and veneers. Repairing composite woods isn't as easy as repairing solid woods. If veneers peel or bubble, you'll more than likely be forced to buy new ones.
You might be thinking that buying new veneers isn't a big deal because they're so cheap. The cost of continuously replacing them, though, begins to catch up with buyers. Some of them just end up buying so many cheap alternatives to solid wood that they spend more in the long run anyway.
You'll have exactly the opposite problem if you buy a hardwood dining table set. Since solid woods are more uniform throughout than other types of wood, making repairs to them is much easier. In other words, your table will likely last so long that you'll get tired of it sitting in your dining room.
At the end of the day, some people will always choose the cheapest option available to them, and that's alright. We just want to make sure you understand that searching for quality furniture is equivalent to saving money in the long run.
There are some people who don't dare use the term "comfort" in the same sentence as the phrase "hardwood dining table set." We suppose we understand why. What, after all, seems comfortable about hardwood?
Believe it or not, comfort is not necessarily measured by how soft or cushiony a seat is. There is more to a comfortable dining chair than you know.
For one, a dining must be durable to be comfortable. We've all had the experience of sitting in a wobbly chair or two. We're willing to bet that these unsteady chairs kept you on edge because you couldn't stop thinking about falling flat on your face.
Some of us have even had the displeasure of experiencing the fall. These falls might have resulted in injuries, some of which turned out to be serious.
If you purchase a hardwood dining table set, you're not going to have this problem. The dining chairs are going to be sturdy, and you won't wobble whilst you gobble up your dinner alongside your friends and family.
Not only that, but there are several ways to make hardwood dining chairs more comfortable. You can, for example, upgrade your chair to a upholstered and padded seat. Choose from a wide selection of colors and fabrics, which means that you can customize your chairs even further to match your home decor.
We've talked briefly about the opportunities for customization which hardwood offers. There is more to those opportunities than color and texture, though. Each and every wood comes with a set of pros and cons that have little to do with cost.
For instance, cherry hardwood, which has a beautiful reddish brown color to it, happens to darken more with age. This is desirable quality for many people, but there are some who would take issue with it.
Of course, the wood has its benefits as well. The rich natural warmth of cherry wood is something that is often imitated but never duplicated.
American hardwoods also appeal to the conservationist in consumers. Their affordability and versatility allow buyers to avoid using woods such as mahogany (which lies at the center of a discussion on deforestation) while supporting American businesses.
Having said as much, you should think carefully about the type of hardwood that you choose for your dining table set. We personally have a wide variety of hardwoods and finishes available so that we may satisfy a wide array of buyers' needs.
Your Hardwood Dining Table Set & The Environment
In all fairness, deforestation is a major issue. Wood is technically renewable, but trees don't spring up overnight. They take some time to grow, and we're using them faster than they can do so in some areas.
That said, hardwood furniture is more environmentally friendly than you know. That is to say, some of the alternatives to hardwood aren't exactly more sustainable.
Plastic, for instance, is certainly less sustainable than wood. It's not biodegradable, which makes it a major strain on our environment.
To make matters worse, some of the cheaper woods on the market (i.e. composite woods) exacerbate the problem. They're more affordable, so many people are drawn towards them. Unfortunately, however, many composite woods contain plastics. Their affordable price and overall construction make them temporary and disposable pieces that are either difficult of impossible to recycle.
Some research now even suggests that using wood to construct furniture could curb some of the effects of carbon dioxide on our environment. As some of you know, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Trees hold on to carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
Their life cycle stops when they die, but they continue to hold onto that carbon dioxide even after they've been cut down. In other words, your wooden dining table set and kitchen cupboards (assuming you have them) are storing carbon as we speak.
As you've found out today, there is almost too much to love about hardwood. From its beauty to its surprising environmental friendliness, it is the total package. Some have even said that it could "define our age."
All the more reason to make your next centerpiece a hardwood dining table set.
If you do decide on hardwood for your next dining table, we'd be more than happy to do your dining room justice. We sell a variety of woods and have a wide array of stains available to our customers. You need only take a look around our shop to see what we offer.
If you've already found the centerpiece of your dreams, though, we'd still love to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences with your hardwood dining set. Let us know what type of wood you chose and why. We're all ears.