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  1. #1
    NODAK is offline Its a celebration *****es
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    Buying solid wood furniture vs particle/compressed wood...

    As I've mentioned before, I am refurbishing my apartment...so far I have a really nice new area rug, a solid computer desk, and a pretty expensive new lamp. Next up: a bookcase and an entertainment center.

    I found a nice, solid wood bookcase for 100 dollars, so I figure I can't pass that deal up....I'll be picking that up fairly soon.

    As far as an entertainment center goes, there is a huge difference in price between one that's all wood versus one that's particle board. Now, I do want nice things, but I want to balance it out with price and practicality as well.

    In your experience, is there a huge difference in the durability and quality between the two?? Is it worth paying 3 or 4 times more for the solid wood one??
    I don't know about all y'all....

  2. #2
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    The better quality is worth the extra cost, but that totally depends on your situation.

    Do you plan to put a big/heavy TV on it? How long do you plan to keep it? If you think you'll want to upgrade in a few years, go the cheap route. If you're going to want to hang on to this as long as possible, you may want to spend the extra money.

  3. #3
    NODAK is offline Its a celebration *****es
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    Well my TV is about 27" I believe...it's kinda heavy, it's not one of those small flat screen TV's...there'd be other things that I'd have on the entertainment center of course, but they wouldn't be near as heavy.

    I'd like to have nice things, but i don't want to break the bank either. How much have you guys paid for decent entertainment centers? I don't mean like top of line ones, but good solid wood centers.
    I don't know about all y'all....

  4. #4
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    You're going to have to move at some point, probably a couple of times. That solid wood furniture starts looking a lot less like a good idea when you're hauling it up and down a flight of stairs.

  5. #5
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    My solid oak entertainment center has lasted for 15 years so far with no sign of crapping out despite multiple major moves. (The cheaper stuff tends to fall apart when moving.) I don't think it was that expensive. Pays to shop. It has gotten slightly dated in that it is more suited for an apartment than house. Haven't priced one lately but they are valuable assets for apartment living since the house the TV, DVD player, stereo, CD's, DVD's, speakers, etc.

    There is a major difference in solid shelves versus particle board shelves in terms of creep (deformation over time). You can see it in apartment particle-board cabinet shelves which have bowed under the weight of dishes.

    BTW, unless you're serious about this chickypoop, buying all this crap while with her around could be a big mistake because she is undoubtedly despite her assurances otherwise under the mistaken assumption that the two of you are nesting.

  6. #6
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    Absolutely nothing wrong with MDF or HDF (medium density or high density fiberboard)furniture.

    The shelving thing really isn't an issue if the thing is jigged correctly and braced properly................that's a quality of manufacturing issue, obviously.

    Sure, solid wood is way nicer................and it's reflected in the price.

    BTW, veneered fiberboard looks like solid, and usually requires little or no maintenance.

  7. #7
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    Go garage sale shopping this weekend and find yourself a solid wood piece for cheap. Better yet,you should hit the thrift stores and find a gem.

    If you were not in an apartment, I'd suggest you made your own.

    Some good suggestions from the peanut gallery.

  8. #8
    NODAK is offline Its a celebration *****es
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFog
    Go garage sale shopping this weekend and find yourself a solid wood piece for cheap. Better yet,you should hit the thrift stores and find a gem.

    If you were not in an apartment, I'd suggest you made your own.

    Some good suggestions from the peanut gallery.
    I've tried the thrift store route, but most of what they have is in such bad shape....I'm surprised they even try to sell alot of it. It's a good idea though, my dad says that thrift stores near where he lives are a little more "high end" since the people who donate the stuff are usually quite wealthy...it may be worth a look.
    I don't know about all y'all....

  9. #9
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    Just my .02, don't get an entertainment center. Take it from guy who built a beautiful desk (one of those expensive composite wood ones from Staples)and eneded up having to move it 3 times and got tired of taking it apart and putting it back together. Not to mention the frustration of wiring stuff. It ain't worth it. I ended up dumping the desk and got a folding table for my PC. I love my folding table.

    As for my entertainment center...all I have is a 4 shelf wooden shelf on wheels...and a small coffee table about 18" high and 3.5 feet long...24" wide.

    Both pieces of furniture hold a 50" HDTV, Slim PS2 system, PS2 controller, Cable/DVR/HDTV Box, DVD player, small video camera, and about 50 DVD movies. The best thing is that I can get behind my TV easily to wire everything standing up because I can drag the coffee table it is on and wheel out the shelf.

    That's what I hate about an entertainment center...it forces you to wire stuff in an akward way.

    Nonetheless, to answer the question...I'd go with a compositie wood one. Yeah they break after 3-4 moves, but you can be CAREFUL it just takes patience. Also, it would be better than solid because your TV is a 27 incher...someday you might upgrade to a flat screen and have absolutely no need for an E ctr. Whereas solid wood would be a tough a$$ed move and could be rendered useless and you'd have a hard time selling it if technology were to change (i.e. everybody has a flat screen). With compositie..you can just break it down and toss it away easily when it's more trouble than it's worth.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NODAK
    As I've mentioned before, I am refurbishing my apartment...so far I have a really nice new area rug, a solid computer desk, and a pretty expensive new lamp. Next up: a bookcase and an entertainment center.

    I found a nice, solid wood bookcase for 100 dollars, so I figure I can't pass that deal up....I'll be picking that up fairly soon.

    As far as an entertainment center goes, there is a huge difference in price between one that's all wood versus one that's particle board. Now, I do want nice things, but I want to balance it out with price and practicality as well.

    In your experience, is there a huge difference in the durability and quality between the two?? Is it worth paying 3 or 4 times more for the solid wood one??
    I think even though it's more expensive, the wood is a better investment. It'll last far longer & will have far higher resale.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyped
    Just my .02, don't get an entertainment center. Take it from guy who built a beautiful desk (one of those expensive composite wood ones from Staples)and eneded up having to move it 3 times and got tired of taking it apart and putting it back together. Not to mention the frustration of wiring stuff. It ain't worth it. I ended up dumping the desk and got a folding table for my PC. I love my folding table.

    As for my entertainment center...all I have is a 4 shelf wooden shelf on wheels...and a small coffee table about 18" high and 3.5 feet long...24" wide.

    Both pieces of furniture hold a 50" HDTV, Slim PS2 system, PS2 controller, Cable/DVR/HDTV Box, DVD player, small video camera, and about 50 DVD movies. The best thing is that I can get behind my TV easily to wire everything standing up because I can drag the coffee table it is on and wheel out the shelf.

    That's what I hate about an entertainment center...it forces you to wire stuff in an akward way.

    Nonetheless, to answer the question...I'd go with a compositie wood one. Yeah they break after 3-4 moves, but you can be CAREFUL it just takes patience. Also, it would be better than solid because your TV is a 27 incher...someday you might upgrade to a flat screen and have absolutely no need for an E ctr. Whereas solid wood would be a tough a$$ed move and could be rendered useless and you'd have a hard time selling it if technology were to change (i.e. everybody has a flat screen). With compositie..you can just break it down and toss it away easily when it's more trouble than it's worth.
    Yeah it's possible it might be difficult to sell it down the line, but I don't think that will be for a while. I still think the wood is a better investment overall... guess it depends a lot on what your budget is.

    And I suppose this thread has been of little help so far too :p

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyped
    Both pieces of furniture hold a 50" HDTV, Slim PS2 system, PS2 controller, Cable/DVR/HDTV Box, DVD player, small video camera, and about 50 DVD movies.
    Jeez, I feel like a Luddite with only a 27" curved screen TV and a DVD player.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padrino
    Jeez, I feel like a Luddite with only a 27" curved screen TV and a DVD player.
    Yeah, sometimes I think I have too many toys......nah.....

  14. #14
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    I work at a store that sells furniture among other things. The solid wood will last 5X longer than the particle board, as mentioned the shelving units will break much easier than the solid wood. In terms of moving the unit, particle board likes to bend and break if you do not literally pick it off the ground with two guys and move it, maybe three. Also even putting the particle board together you may risk breaking some of the boards if not done correctly. I have just a TV stand made of particle board and holds a big 30" TV just fine, but i take the TV off to move it because it would probably break if i tried to move it with the tv on.

    While solid wood is nice, the good part about the particle board is the price. Both have their weakness and strenghts. Solid wood will last, particle board will fit in the budget.
    'VT'

  15. #15
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    In addition to the thrift stores, see if you have any 'consignment' stores in your area. This is where people take their furniture to sell it 'on consignment'... meaning they set the price and the store takes a percentage. You can bargain with them.

    I bought a beautiful brand new imported Italian leather sofa ($6k brand new) for $750. All the stitching is hidden, it's a work of art. The lady who put it up for sale had just got it shipped to her when she caught her husband with his shorts at his ankles. She was taking him to the cleaners and wanted this thing sold for whatever. I think I was at the store only a day or two after it came in, and I got it for nothing. I go by that store everytime I'm in that area just to look around and see what's new. There is often nothing I'm hot for, but sometimes there is. I'm always on the lookout for antiques and Grandfather clocks.
    Gang Way!

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