Wooden living room furniture is usually made from pine or oak. While other woods are also used, these two are the most popular in Europe and America. Both furniture craftsmen and carpenters have been making tables, chairs and other furniture from these two types of wood for centuries. Pine and oak living room furniture can be painted or only varnished. Both types of wood have beautiful grains and high grade wooden furniture is often stained to further bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

Pine Living Room Furniture

Modern pine living room furniture is made from commercially grown pine. The pine trees grown in plantations are usually denser and more resinuous than natural pine. While technically classified as a softwood, pine is still hard enough to make good quality furniture. Anyone who has accidentally stubbed his toes against a piece of coffee table or armchair made of pine can certainly attest to that. Nevertheless, pine is not weather-proof and should not be used for outdoor furniture. Most pine living room furniture include cushions to make the seating more comfortable.

Pine living room furniture comes in many styles. Older more traditional styles tend to be big and heavier pieces of furniture, made in a time of larger houses with spacious living rooms. Old living room furniture made from pine often feature intricate carvings and need plenty of space between each piece of furniture to be properly appreciated. They are sometimes stained to look darker or bring out the details of the wood, and always waxed, varnished or lacquered to protect the wood from the elements as well as make it look even better. Not only are there the usual coffee table, armchairs and couches, but there are often also chests, end tables and corner tables as well as dressers to store or display various knick-knacks and souvenirs. Antique pine living room furniture are handmade, and usually use mortise and tenon joints, which are very strong - this is why they can last over a hundred years if well cared for.

Modern styles of pine living room furniture usually come in sets and feature a coffee table, two armchairs and a sofa. High-end living room furniture sets will also feature shelves or stands for your home entertainment center. They are usually smaller in size than traditional styles, catering for smaller living rooms in apartments and suburban housing. Most modern-style furniture are mass produced, using simplified construction techniques for higher productivity. Better quality furniture are made using pocket hole joints, while cheap wooden furniture is made using butt joints which simply nail or screw two pieces of wood together to join them. Premium handcrafted pine living room furniture is still made from the very strong mortise and tenon joints.

Oak Living Room Furniture

Unlike pine, oak is not commercially cultivated in plantations although it may be replanted by more ecologically friendly timber companies. This means oak living room furniture is often less ecologically sustainable than pine living room furniture. On the other hand, oak is a harder and stronger wood than pine, and furniture made of oak can last many decades with only minimal care. Oak furniture that is properly cared for can definitely last one or two centuries. Furniture like this is should not be easily thrown away and is well worth repairing when damaged.

Like living room furniture made with pine, oak living room furniture comes in many styles. Old-fashioned styles feature bigger and more varied pieces of furniture meant for larger and more spacious houses while contemporary designs feature smaller pieces of furniture to fit modern apartments.

There are 400 different species of oak, each with distinct characteristics. Some are more weather-resistant than others, some resist attacks from insects and fungus better than others. For example, there are some species of oak that were used to make wooden warships in the past. Then there are also other species of oak used to make wine barrels, and yet others used to make cork. The actual method as well as how often you need to polish and maintain your oak living room furniture depends on which species of oak it is made from.

When buying oak living room furniture, make sure all the pieces are made from solid oak and not just some cheap wood with an oak veneer. There are many dodgy businesses and salesmen who try to pass off these fake oak furniture for the real thing. Since oak living room furniture is expensive, you should make sure the set you buy is made using mortise and tenon joints. It is the strongest possible joint for woodworking - century-old antique furniture is made using this technique. Do not accept the second best of pocket hole joints used by many mass production furniture makers. Never ever accept oak furniture made using butt joints - these are the weakest joints. Your furniture will become wobbly in just a few months of hard use.

If you are looking for living room furniture made from wood, you will not go wrong choosing oak or pine living room furniture. Take good care of your wooden furniture and they can last for many decades. Especially with oak living room furniture, they are worth repairing when they get damaged.