Solid wood stands for the highest furniture quality for a reason, because not every piece of furniture made of wood can simply be called solid wood furniture. The protected term is only used if strictly defined requirements are met. This is how the term solid wood becomes a quality feature that you can rely on.
There is even a separate standard for solid wood: DIN 68871. It states that furniture may only be offered as solid wood furniture if all parts are made of solid wood. Only the rear wall and drawer bases are excluded from this requirement. Under no circumstances may any form of fibreboard, chipboard or plywood be designated as solid wood. Veneered surfaces must also be identified as such to the consumer at all times.
How is solid wood made?
The production of solid wood begins in the sawmill: Here the logs are cut into boards of different thicknesses using a log band saw. The quality and diameter of the tree trunk determine both the strength of the individual planks and their later use. For the first drying, the sawn timber must be carefully piled up so that it does not warp. Incidentally, beech wood receives a special treatment: the use of steam gives it its typical reddish color.
After long storage and drying, the wood is cut into lamellas, cut, planed and then permanently connected with glue and a wood press. This process of gluing parquet or lamellas creates glued wood panels. Solid wood furniture is made either from solid wooden boards or such glued wood panels. Both variants can also be combined for better stability. A solid piece of wood is often used for the outer area of the bed frame, while the glued construction wood on the inside ensures an even higher load-bearing capacity.
Solid wood types and their special features
Solid woods are not only different in appearance: each type of wood has its own special properties. We have put together a small overview for you:
The beech is a very slow growing tree that can live up to 300 years. The light red color of the beech wood can be intensified by steaming it during processing. Solid beech wood is very hard and therefore pleasingly insensitive to scratches or quirks. Beech wood furniture with a stained surface is available in many attractive colors.
The core beech is characterized by a peculiar coloring. Here, natural chemical processes trigger a color change in the tree core even in the living tree. The result is an expressive grain of light, deep red and brownish shades, which is particularly shown to advantage through an oiled surface. Core beech has a particularly exclusive effect when glued together.
The most traditional German solid wood is certainly oak. Oak wood has a strong structure, is ring-pored and of medium hardness. Solid oak wood impresses with its high strength and is very insensitive to mechanical influences. The beautifully structured grain becomes very expressive when the surface is treated with oil.
The wild oak skilfully underlines the classic character of this type of solid wood. Here woods with knots are deliberately used. This creates a wooden surface that adds an extremely attractive look to the positive properties of oak.
The core ash is a very hard wood with great wear resistance. The light brown, shiny wood is easy to work with and very easy to care for. The attractive grain is made even more noticeable by oiling, painting or waxing.
Solid wood furniture made of walnut impress with its high-quality look. Walnut is one of the most valuable indigenous types of wood. The medium-weight wood has excellent strength and can be processed very well. Surface treatment is also straightforward. Solid walnut wood has a distinctive, elegant structure. The color varies between medium brown and black.
solid pine wood is a classic in a new look. Solid pine has a lively structure and is available in many different surface variants. Since pine wood is quite soft, softened edges prevent unsightly quirks. The inexpensive pine wood is not only suitable for children’s furniture: depending on the treatment, it can look very stylish.
Solid acacia wood has been gaining more and more fans in recent years, and for good reason: Acacia wood is hard, robust and offers an attractive and very varied structure. A brushed surface perfectly accentuates the elegant touch of the acacia. By the way: If you want real acacia wood, you should take a closer look: Solid wood furniture made of robinia wood is also sold under the term “false acacia”.
And the surface?
The surface of solid wood furniture can be treated in different ways in order to protect it against a wide variety of environmental influences. The surface is permanently sealed by painting. One disadvantage, however, is that the wood under the paint can no longer breathe. Oiled wood contributes to a pleasant room climate because it is protected from dirt and moisture without losing its breathability. Wax is particularly suitable as a surface finish for stained surfaces – it gives the wood a wonderful shine.