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Its What's Inside That Counts?

by: Kent Schneider 6/17/08

In today's global furniture market your upholstery choices are almost unlimited. Everyone seems to have the next best sofa to sell. Unfortunately, not all sofas are created equal and many of the differences can be hidden from the naked eye. More often than not corners are cut in order to mass produce pieces that are good enough. The problem is that good enough doesn’t last and can in some cases actually be bad for you. Below are a few tips to consider before buying any quality piece of upholstery.

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  • Look for solid hardwood, kiln dried frames: A solid frame is the foundation of a nice piece of furniture. Frames that have not been properly dried (or use inferior wood) will warp and “rack” over time loosening the joints and eventually requiring repair. A good indicator of overall quality can be determined by inspecting the back leg. This leg should be the exposed end of the back rail (a single piece from top to bottom) and often signifies that the piece has been made solid. In most cases, a rear leg that has been screwed on was done to make the piece cheaply and quickly.

  • Ask what types of glues are used: Whenever possible ask for water based rather than formaldehyde based glues. Formaldehyde becomes a gas at room temperature. Furniture using it can release fumes into your home for years after purchase. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services classifies formaldehyde gas as a probable human carcinogen, and inhaling it for long periods of time can cause flu-like symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, throat irritation, headache, fatigue and respiratory problems.

  • Look for 8 Way Hand Tied, No Sag Deck: After you have established a solid frame to work with, comfort becomes the goal. In order to stand up to daily use, a piece of upholstery must have seating deck which is properly laid out and secured. Quality pieces will be constructed with individual seating coils of varying stiffness and height. By placing the slightly higher and stiffer coils in the center of the seat and securing everything to the deck, frame, and edge wire with eight individual ties the producer creates a seat that will last and not sag over time.

At Verde Home we believe that pieces you chose to live with day in and day out should be made to last and healthy. To that end we have partnered with Cisco Brothers to represent the Basal Living line of fine furniture. If you are looking for a great piece of heirloom quality upholstery or simply have a few questions please feel free to contact us.

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