Don’t be duped by sofas and sectionals on the
market here in Mexico that are cheaply made.
If you are shopping for upholstered goods for a new condo you have just
purchased, buyer beware! This past week,
I received several emails from people who bought a sofa based on its look
rather than its construction. They spent
their hard-earned, after-tax dollars on what they hoped would be a good
investment. Unfortunately, within just a
few months of purchase, they already have problems and are no luck with the
retailers to remedy the issues. Sadly,
they all wrote that they are likely going to need to buy a replacement.
Sofa construction matters. How long a sofa lasts and how long it is
comfortable is primarily due to its wood frame and suspension. To help protect you and your sofa investment,
here are some tips.
Every well-built sofa starts with the right wood
frame. The best option is a frame
constructed from hardwood. Although more
expensive, it will not be prone to bending and breaking. Just to be clear, softwoods could be used in
a sofa but on non-critical areas such as arms and feet. All woods used in your couch should be
kiln-dried. Unless moisture is removed,
your sofa could warp, shrink and crack quickly.
Frames can also be made from wood composites such
as plywood, OSB, HDF, and MDF. These are
good options if you are looking for a sofa that is less expensive. Keep in mind
that it will have a shorter life expectancy than hardwood. Avoid particle board at all costs. Different from plywood and MDF, it will not
last in our environment. If the
manufacturer uses quality engineered woods and resins and offers a solid
warranty, this can be a good option for those looking for a reasonably priced
The joints of your sofa need to be solid and
strong. Basically, they need to be just
as strong if not stronger than the wood itself.
The best sofas have corners that are interlocked, glued, doweled,
screwed in and reinforced with blocking.
Next, make sure the sofa has the right
suspension. The suspension is key for a
long-lasting, comfortable sofa since its job is to bounce back in response to
the weight of your body. Most sofas today use either springs or webbing.
When it comes to springs, there are two main
options. One is an eight-way hand tied
spring coil, and the other is called a sinuous spring. If budget is not an issue, the hand tied
spring coils are considered by many.
Most, however, will recommend the sinuous springs since they are less
expensive and still very durable if the correct type of wire is used.
The third option is web suspension, in which there
are bands of webbing across the seat and back that make a platform for the
cushions. Unless the webbing is made
from the right materials and attached correctly to the frame, your investment
is likely to go south quickly. Look for
polypropylene webbing and avoid jute.