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What Advantages Does Oak Furniture Have Over Plastic

By Jeff Frank

What Advantages Does Oak Furniture Have Over Plastic?

There are massive books written about the advantages (and disadvantages) of one species of wood compared with another.

Whether or not the wood is oak does not seem particularly relevant here.

Because of that I will assume your actual question was, “What advantages does wood furniture have over plastic?

The two primary advantages of plastic furniture are:

  • Large quantities can be mass produced efficiently at low cost.
  • Very strong institutional furniture (primarily seating) can be made that will be far more durable under heavy use conditions.

A disadvantage is that the molds required to produce plastic parts are expensive. Small changes in size or shape require costly new molds.

  • Plastic parts do not look or feel like “real” residential type furniture and have never been widely accepted by the public for use in homes, except at the lowest price levels.

Plastic’s cost advantage for high quantities was reduced with the development of engineered wood products such as particle board, chip core and fiberboard, which were more suitable for home use.

  • The development of computerized cutting equipment greatly increased the efficiency and consistency of cutting wood parts from plywood or engineered wood panels.

Wood is more practical than plastic for making small batches of furniture products. In addition it is aesthetically more pleasing and appropriate for homes with traditional or transitional styling.

High end custom plastic furniture can be found in homes with high end modern style decor and furnishings.

3D Printing technology may eventually increase the number of non-wood furniture products available, but that will not make any major impact in the near future.

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