A person who has never had to deal with furniture manufacturing can easily get lost in a world of terminology of different materials from which to choose. Here we will provide you with some useful information, which will hopefully help you in future to choose and select what is truly best for you.
Here are a few tips when planning to order furniture
First of all, you need to keep in mind that there are no miracles in this world and cheap furniture will never be the best quality or serve you for years to come. Those who offer unrealistically low prices, in most cases will include the cheapest materials, fittings and questionable accessories. You will not see or feel it straight away but the defects will start appearing very soon. In most cases furniture like that will need to be repaired or even discarded.
The second most important thing you need to know that when ordering furniture with functional fittings (like draws, lifting, opening systems and so on), these will make up a significant part of the total cost of your order. Fittings are the “heart” of furniture, and it is extremely important that they are the best quality. Do not be afraid to ask your joiner which brands he is using for your furniture fittings. Be proactive and ask what alternatives of different opening/closing, drawers systems, lifting mechanisms and so on he can suggest. A skilled joiner will gladly and willingly recommend which system is most suitable for you in terms of functionality and your budget. Often, after adjusting the quantity or type of mechanisms, it is possible to cut the price of your order.
Similarly, with the board painting techniques: glossy board will always cost you more, but by selecting a matte or 40% gloss dye-coated board, you will save.
Melamine faced chipboard (MFC)
Chipboard is manufactured by mixing wood particles or flakes together with a resin and forming a mixture into a sheet. The higher quality chipboard will have higher density, thicker particle board, or higher quality resin. After it is covered with a single or double layer of melamine paper. The choice of colors and textures is very wide. We use only the highest quality German and Austrian chipboards that comply with the required standards.
Wood dust board (MDF)
MDF or medium density fiberboard is made from wood waste that is glued together using either heat, resin or pressure. It can be painted any color by choosing different ways of painting: matte, glossy or shiny polished. The big advantage when using MDF boards is that handles can be moulded very nicely into a door, and gives furniture a smooth, modern finish. Painted board is easy to maintain: it is sufficient just to wipe it with a damp cloth.
Chipboard, coated with natural wood veneer
On a top of a chipboard is a glued thin layer of natural wood veneer. The look is reminiscent of solid wood, but it is cheaper and with a similar texture (never smooth like MFC or MDF though). Wood veneer sheets will have different patterns and variation of color, because it is a natural material. Some boards are more patterned while others are smoother. Customer can request whichever one they like the most. Wood veneer board can also be painted with the variety colors using a special dye. The texture will stay the same and the look will resemble colored wood.
This is an environmentally friendly material which nature printed with distinctive patterns and shades. Products made of wood will provide comfort and warmth to your home and can be used for classic and modern interior design. They will be long-lived. Coffee table, shelves, bed or even the kitchen cabinets that are made of solid wood have solid, sophisticated look that cannot be matched by any other material. It is important to know that solid wood is not resistant to moisture and can “move”, so when choosing the kitchen / bathroom worktops or cabinets that must be taken into account.
Quartz – it consists of at least 90% of crushed stone mixed with color pigments and acrylic resin. Sometimes accompanied by crushed mirror particles that provide the sparkle. Quartz resistant to heat, scratches, staining, is durable, hygienic surface. Perhaps the only drawback is the high price.
Silestone Quartzite - Silestone quartzite is covered with special Microban antibacterial protection, which prevents bacteria from breeding. These surfaces look smart, modern and are loved by food manufacturers and health care companies. The downside, once again, is that it is not a particularly cheap option.
Corian (Samsung stone) – This is a product of an American company called DuPont. It is composed of approximately 70% of crushed stone mixed with acrylic resins and color pigments. Corian can be transformed into various forms in a temperature of 150C. Thanks to a special technology Corian pieces can be glued together seamlessly, so the furniture shape and the interior design possibilities are endless. When using Corian for kitchen and bathroom worktops the connections will not be visible, it will look like a solid smooth surface. If ordering a worktop from Corian it is advisable to acquire a Corian sink, to create a truly wholesome look. This worktop is practical, easy to clean, hygienic, resistant to moisture and heat, durable, and can be renewed by polishing. Customers who choose Corian are always satisfied. It will serve you for years to come, even if you decide to change your cabinets, you can still re-use the worktop. The downside is that it is relatively pricy compared to laminated chipboard.
This is the most popular worktop among customers because of a good price and a wide choice of colors and patterns. These worktops are very practical, easy to clean, resistant to moisture and colored liquids (coffee, wine), moist heat up to 180 degrees, it does not change color and wears well. Among the disadvantages mentioned: if damaged, it cannot be renewed, and defaults can’t be corrected. These worktops are prone to cuts and heat from pots or pans, so be aware that if you place them directly on the surface, it will damage the top layer of the worktop.
Works well on it’s own or when mixed with other materials. This worktop is for people that appreciate the naturalness, because it is environmentally friendly, but requires proper care. It can have two finishes: oiled or coated with varnish. The first option is more natural and you can re-apply oil yourself, the second option will require professional polishing and re-applying the varnish, also the surface color is brighter and has a bit of shine. It is important to know that the wooden surface has to be kept as dry as possible, because moisture can damage it and it is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria if it reached unprotected wood layer. It has poor scratch and stain resistance. In time it can also change the color as it goes darker and it could have marks from hot pots and pans. However, despite the mentioned properties, the wooden surface is very durable and if properly looked after, will serve you for years. It just needs to be polished every few years and regularly re-oiled or re-vanished.
Marble – this is the symbol of luxury, elegance and quality. Customers will be attracted to it for its beauty, style and variety of colors and patterns. Unfortunately, this surface is not practical: it’s fragile, susceptible to scratches, can change color. It is sensitive to moisture, so red wine and coffee should be kept away from this worktop. Marble worktops are among the most expensive options.
Granite – another worktop that is impressive-looking and luxurious. This is a great choice and investment. Unlike marble, properly impregnated granite is long-lived, as it is easy to renew it. It is resistant to high temperatures, does not absorb liquids, isn’t prone to scratches and is easily cleaned. There is a large variety of granite colors to choose from. Granite worktops are the heaviest, so it is important to take into account if there is no elevator in the house and the worktop needs to be carried higher than the first floor. Also to take into consideration the design of the kitchen cabinets: they should be stronger than when choosing a different worktop. There is one conditional granite drawback – the high price, but if we estimate that this stone will serve you for years, the price doesn’t seem so high.
Tiles – it’s possible to create a variety of different designs with tiles for your worktop. Such surfaces are heat resistant and easy to maintain. When choosing tiles for your worktop it is important to know that the surfaces that come in contact with the food require special filling to fill in gaps between the tiles, as regular ones are not suitable for this situation. This helps prevent health problems.
Stainless steel - most restaurants prefer this surface, as it is hygienic, resistant to heat and water. The drawback is that stainless steel creates a cold, an industrial look. Also you can’t cut on it as it leaves marks.