When it comes to furniture shopping for your home, the prospect is exciting and confusing at the same time. There are innumerable designs, materials and comfort levels to choose from. In India, solid wood furniture has always had the upper hand as we culturally consider it to be durable and sturdy. But, times are changing and environment-conscious homeowners are weighing the pros and cons between engineered wood vs solid wood before making a decision. The fact that the former is also quite affordable does also tip the scale in its favour.

And that brings us to our real question, engineered wood vs solid wood furniture, which is the better option? We can’t answer that without weighing the pros and cons to decide what works best for your space. 

What is solid wood?

engineered wood vs solid wood-solid wood
Traditional Indian furniture was generally made of solid wood

Solid wood refers to naturally available wood or timber from felled trees. Basically, the wood is sourced directly from cutting down trees to make new furniture. Also, solid wood furniture has a large market in India. In order to create a particular design, craftsmen use large wood slabs and most handcrafted vintage designs with curves, curlicues, arches have solid wood. 

What are types of solid wood used in India?

Some of the popular types of solid wood available in India include teak wood, Indian rosewood, cedarwood, sal wood, rubber wood and satinwood. Also, many furniture makers use materials from regional trees like jackfruit trees or mango trees amongst others. While there are many differences between engineered wood vs solid wood, one of the major ones is the beautiful grains of natural wood seen on solid wood.

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What is engineered wood?

engineered wood vs solid wood-engineered wood
This is more commonly used nowadays for making lightweight furniture

As the times progressed, the cost of producing solid wood furniture and forest depletion led to creative thinking. Thus, engineered wood emerged as a winner. Consequently, engineered wood furniture is constantly gaining popularity amongst homeowners for its low prices and environment-friendly features. So, engineered wood is a material made using wood shavings, sheets, and particles bound together using a strong adhesive.

What are the types of engineered wood used in India?

One of the popular engineered wood forms used is plywood. While many try to differentiate between engineered wood vs plywood, it belongs to the same category. However, there are other forms of engineered wood like high-density fibreboard (HDF), medium-density fibreboard (MDF), low-density fibreboard. In fact, each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses. For a detailed understanding of the same, you can explore Guide to Engineered Wood

What are the pros & cons of solid wood furniture?

engineered wood vs solid wood-wooden dining table and chairs-wooden furniture
A traditional Indian dining room

Pros of Solid Wood:

  • Solid wood is a classic choice for furniture and is easy to craft and design
  • There are different colours and materials available in solid wood
  • Solid wood is durable and sturdy making the furniture last for a long time
  • Any damages due to sunlight can be rectified by lightly sanding the surface and polish
  • Solid wood furniture has beautiful grains and veins 
  • The wood is easy to maintain and doesn’t require constant care

Cons of Solid Wood:

  • The furniture is very expensive depending on different wood types
  • It is not an environmentally-conscious choice as trees have to be cut for sourcing solid wood
  • Moisture and weather conditions like humidity can affect natural wood
  • Solid wood is susceptible to termite infestation in the long run
  • Solid wood furniture is heavy and difficult to move around

What are the pros & cons of engineered wood?

engineered wood vs solid wood-lounge-wood side tables-POP accent wall
Engineered wood is much cheaper than solid wood

Pros of Engineered Wood:

  • Cost-effective choice for those who’re decorating in a budget
  • Since it recycles wood particles, it is an environmentally-friendly choice
  • In general, wastage is minimal in engineered wood 
  • Most engineered wood furniture is water and humidity resistant
  • The adhesive is a strong repels termites
  • Engineered wood furniture is usually lightweight and easy to move around

Cons of Engineered Wood:

  • Constant exposure to sunlight can warp certain material finishes
  • Engineered wood cannot be repaired easily and needs to be replaced
  • Care needs to be taken to not damage the furniture
  • Low-density engineered wood like particle board can break easily
  • Available in limited variety compared to solid wood
  • Some chemicals used in production can be harmful

Comparison of Engineered Wood vs Solid Wood Furniture

Engineered WoodSolid Wood
DurabilityLowHigh
VarietyMediumHigh
MaintenanceHigh to mediumLow
CostLowHigh
Termite-ResistanceHighNot termite resistant
Water-ResistanceHigh (for most varieties)Not water resistant
Eco-friendlyHighLow

What works as the best furniture choice?

Engineered wood vs solid wood furniture decision can seem a bit confusing at first. However, depending on your budget, space and weather conditions of the place where you live, choose a material that works for your home. You can also choose a mix to make most of both materials! Basically, the idea is to find furniture pieces that match your style. For instance, if you live in an area where it rains a lot and it’s very humid, solid wood may not be a great idea as it will deteriorate quickly. However, if you move from one place to another, engineered wood is probably not good for you as it can be easily damaged during transfers. Hence, it’s your lifestyle that should dictate this choice.

How Can Livspace Help You?

We hope you found our ideas useful! If you want your home to be just as beautiful, then look no further. Book an online consultation with Livspace today. Delivering safe home interiors has been our No. 1 priority. Click here to find out how we are delivering interiors following all safety protocols.  

Let us know what you think in the comments or send us an email at editor@livspace.com

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