This is a question most consumers have when they are furniture shopping, but rarely know how to answer.  Knowing the difference between solid wood furniture and other materials can help you select the quality and durability needed for your specific needs.

Solid wood furniture will be more durable, maintain its natural beauty longer and will  cost more than veneer or laminate.  Here some characteristics of each furniture type:


  • Veneer is a thin layer of hardwood, usually less than 1/8”, that is bonded or glued to a cheaper composite material hidden underneath
  • If you see flaking or peeling on the corners it is veneer
  • Finishes will be smoot to the touch
  • These finishes can peel and be easily damaged


  • Laminate is made with synthetic materials sometimes including wood chips
  • Laminate finishes have a shiny appearance and are often found on low end pieces of furniture because it is cheaper to produce than either veneer or wood
  • Finishes will be smooth to the touch
  • These finishes can peel and be easily damaged

Solid wood

  • Solid wood is more dense than composite material so will be heavier, the exception being light wood like pine
  • You can feel the grain on solid wood
  • If the furniture has carved details it is solid wood….veneer or laminate cannot be carved

Look for these characteristics when you shop.  Of course, you also can ask the store associate about the furniture materials.  Then determine the combination of quality, durability and price that best meets your needs.

Garden City Furniture has been bringing the latest fashions and quality furniture to the families of Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area since the early 50’s.   Our professional associates will help you shop for the living room, dining room and bedroom  furniture you want and give you complete information so you can make an informed decision.  When you’re ready to begin your next furniture project, be sure to visit our showroom to get started.