Furnishing an entire room in your home calls for a little extra time to figure out your budget. And...
5 Reasons to Buy Canadian-Made Solid Wood Furniture
Inherently, there's a lot of pride that comes with buying products from right here at home. It’s that certain je ne sais quoi (oh, this article is getting real Canadian, isn’t it?!) that comes with supporting our home and native land.
Especially over these last couple of years when it’s been difficult to travel and expensive to order internationally, Canadian products seemed to be the more efficient and economical route.
Our options are expanding again, so, should we still focus on Canadian-made products?
Since we opened our doors in 1994, McElheran’s Furniture + Design has always stood by the notion: “If we can find a good Canadian furniture company that will give us the design, quality, and value we are looking for, we will happily support them.”
Our biggest priorities when it comes to selecting the furniture we carry are quality, style, and value. Where it’s made comes second.
So, if there’s an amazing product available and it’s made in Canada, well, that’s just a bonus!
McElheran’s owner, Jeff McElheran, has discovered his own reasons for buying solid wood Canadian-made furniture, and we’ll go over those to help you decide if buying from right here at home is the best choice for you, too!
Why should I buy Canadian-made solid wood furniture?
Reason #1: Buying Canadian just feels good
Whether you’re breathing the crisp mountain air of Jasper or enjoying a fresh catch from one of our coasts, it’s easy to well up with pride for Canada. Supporting our national economy just feels good. Call it pride. Call it sound long-term economic thinking.
It’s not just a matter of buying Canadian goods because it’s “the right thing to do,” either. Now, manufacturers here are backing their products with top-tier quality and value.
Reason #2: Solid wood manufactured in Canada will better acclimatize to your home
There aren't many downsides to solid wood furniture, but you should know that the wood used in your new bedroom or dining room can and will move over time.
What does that mean exactly? Unlike engineered wood, solid wood will expand and contract throughout the different seasons of the year.
As the humidity in your home rises, the wood will absorb some of that moisture and expand slightly. In the winter, when your house is dry, the solid wood in your furniture will release some of that moisture, causing some slight shrinkage.
If your furniture uses wood from a more humid climate, it’s much more likely to continue drying, potentially shrinking to the point of splitting.
When furniture is manufactured in Canada, the wood is already acclimatized to our conditions, which will minimize expansion and contraction.
Plus, the manufacturers know exactly how to deal with the moisture content in wood because, well, they live here, too! They experience our conditions - just like you and I - and have learned to construct their furniture accordingly so it can last you for years to come.
Reason #3: Solid wood furniture is more environmentally friendly
It may sound counter-intuitive to say that solid wood furniture made from trees is more environmentally friendly than a veneered piece, but it's definitely true.
Let’s say your veneered piece suffers major damage - like it was dropped during a move. There is a good chance you’ll have to replace it rather than get it repaired. And when you need to replace something, where is that old, damaged piece going to end up? Often, it goes to a landfill.
That’s just the reality of constantly replacing furniture, and with solid wood, you don’t have to do it as often.
Additionally, the process of making an engineered board (to which the veneer is applied) uses a lot of glue that off-gasses in your home. Off-gassing occurs when an item emits chemicals that were used in production.
Jeff McElheran recalls that, in his first home, he had a closet built out of an engineered board. For some reason, the closet continued to off-gas for years. In fact, anything that was left in the closet for too long would start to smell.
It is true that the finish on any piece of new furniture will off-gas a little bit, but a veneered piece will off-gas much more than solid wood because of the chemicals used in the construction of those pieces.
Reason #4: Canadian solid wood furniture is customizable
Solid wood furniture manufacturers have more ability to customize pieces. Perhaps this is because the manufacturing process is still very hands-on.
Whether you’d like a different finish or want to change the shape and edge of a piece, solid wood is easier to personalize, as opposed to a veneered piece. Those are much more difficult to change.
Reason #5: Solid wood furniture should last a lifetime (or two)
Properly built and dried solid wood furniture will last a lifetime. In fact, with some proper maintenance and care, there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to pass it along to the next generation.
Real wood is stronger, more durable, and easily repairable should anything happen to your furniture. We have all dropped a heavy plate or caught your kid using the dining table as a racetrack for their Hot-Wheels. While frustrating, this damage doesn’t need to be devastating.
The great thing about solid wood is that it's pretty easy to touch up. And because you aren't dealing with a thin veneer, it can always be sanded down and refinished by a professional.
Is Canadian-made solid wood furniture right for me?
There are many advantages to buying Canadian-made solid wood furniture (you just read a bunch!), but that doesn’t mean that looking outside our borders is the wrong move.
If you are leaning a little more international for your next furniture purchase, check out 5 Myths About Imported Furniture.
At McElheran’s, we’re committed to bringing in the best quality products regardless of where they’re made. We just want you to feel confident in your purchase, and if that means choosing Canadian – great!
Drop by our showroom to see our selection of Canadian-made solid wood furniture – and any other top-quality product from anywhere in the world.