How can you tell if something is solid wood?

If your furniture is difficult to push, it's probably made of real wood. If it's light and easy to move, it's probably a fake. Real wood has a distinctive grain pattern and is not entirely symmetrical. A great indicator of solid wood is the dovetail construction.

Your furniture may still have veneered fronts, but it's most likely made of solid wood if you see that tab and slot construction where the drawer connects to the front of the drawer. I had to start my post on How to know if a piece of furniture is made of real wood with one of the easiest tips. Open the drawers if the furniture has them. The sides of the drawers can indicate if the piece is made of real wood or not.

Look for dovetail edges where the front of the drawers meets the sides of the drawer. Depending on the age of the piece, the dovetails may be closer together or separated. If you see drawers in the shape of a dovetail, you have a piece of real wood. Veneer is rarely used to cover the bottoms of tables or the bottom of drawers.

Taking out a drawer and checking the back and bottom will show if it's made of wood products rather than solid wood. By looking into the space left free by the drawer you took out in a dresser, sideboard or sideboard, you'll discover what the interior partitions, the back and the bottom of the countertop are actually made of. Likewise, checking the underside of a dining table or desk will clearly reveal what it's made of. If it's plywood or OSB, the stamped numbers can reveal its origin and batch number.

If you have an MDF core, you'll see an extension of grain-free material in gray, brown, or beige. That's a deliberate choice on the part of many furniture manufacturers, since manufactured wood products are cheaper than solid wood. Later on, you might have thought you were getting a deal on solid wood furniture only to discover that it wasn't really solid when a scratch pierced the surface and revealed frayed fibers underneath. So how can you tell if your furniture is made of solid wood rather than laminate or veneered? There are several ways to determine this.

In both cases, a surface that has the appearance of solid wood is glued to a less expensive artificial wood product, hiding it from view.

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