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    Laminate vs Solid Timber Furniture: Which One Is a Better Investment?

    ARTICLE BY Todd Smith - Owner

    June 14, 2024

    When it comes to furnishing your home or office space, the materials you choose play a pivotal role not just in the aesthetic appeal of your space, but also in the longevity and sustainability of your furniture. 

    Two popular choices in the market today are laminate and solid timber furniture, each offering their own advantages and appealing to different tastes and budgets. Because of their distinct profiles, many shoppers have trouble deciding which material will best suit their needs for their home or office spaces. 

    In this blog, we will explore both options, looking into their durability, design capabilities, cost considerations, and other contributing factors.

    Laminate furniture

    What is Laminate?

    Laminate furniture is crafted from a composite base (typically MDF or particle board substrate) that is covered with a photographic layer to mimic the appearance of natural wood or other finishes. This layer is then sealed under a clear protective coating, which makes laminate furniture durable, resistant to scratches, and easy to clean.

    Its affordability and versatility make laminate a popular choice for those looking to achieve a specific style or design without the higher price tag associated with solid wood.

    It is important to know that there are two types of laminate: High-pressure laminate (HPL) and low-pressure laminate (LPL).

    • High-Pressure Laminate (HPL): Crafted through the bonding of multiple layers under intense pressure and heat, high-pressure laminate emerges as an incredibly durable material. It also does extremely well at resisting scratches, stains, and heat. 
    • Low-Pressure Laminate (LPL): Low-pressure laminate on the other hand is created from a single layer bonded to a base material. Due to the fact that LPL is created with fewer materials, you’ll find that it is not as durable as HPL.
    Solid Timber

    What is Solid Timber?

    Solid timber furniture is made from solid pieces of real wood. Furniture crafted from solid timber has been a long-time favourite due to its strength, durability, and the unique character it brings to a room.

    Solid timber furniture can be made from a variety of wood materials, with each species of wood bringing forward its unique colours, patterns, and qualities. At Jarrimber, we take pride in our honed craftsmanship of Jarrah, Marri, Tasmanian Blackwood, and Tasmanian Oak.

    Each piece of solid timber furniture is one-of-a-kind, with natural variations in grain, colour, and texture that add to its beauty and appeal. Solid timber is also highly durable and can last for decades with proper care, making it a beloved choice for those looking to invest in timeless pieces for their home.

    furniture durability and maintenance

    Durability and Maintenance


    Laminate furniture is known for its resistance to your typical wear and tear, making it a practical choice for busy households or office spaces. Both HPL and LPL options are heat, stain, and scratch-resistant.

    While laminate furniture is known for its durability and ease of maintenance, it isn’t immune to damage. If you do happen to scratch your laminate furniture, you aren’t able to repair the damage as you would with solid wood. Exposure to liquid can also cause swelling in the fibres which are not easily repairable.

    Maintaining laminate furniture is very user-friendly, with laminate-specific cleaners and polishes available for cleaning and maintenance needs. If you want to avoid buying laminate-specific maintenance products, you can use dish soap or vinegar diluted with water with a microfiber cloth to help with the upkeep of your laminate furniture.

    Solid Timber

    Solid timber on the other hand has stood the test of time when it comes to robustness and longevity. Solid timber furniture can withstand years of use and, if damaged, can often be restored to its former glory. Many like to refer to solid timber as a “lifetime product” because of these characteristics.

    The process of maintaining it is not as easy as laminate. Solid timber requires regular maintenance, including oiling and polishing furniture to keep it looking its best. The best practice for oiling your furniture is every six to twelve months, or when it’s starting to look dull or worn.

    If your furniture happens to sustain any damage it can be easily repaired, unlike laminate furniture. The surface can be machined, sanded and resurfaced, returning your furniture to a stunning condition. 

    hardwood laminate flooring designs

    Aesthetic and Design Flexibility


    Laminate offers a wide range of designs, including modern and contemporary styles that can mimic the look of wood, stone, or even metal. It’s a great choice for those who like to update their home’s look frequently.

    While the design possibilities are endless, laminate doesn’t replicate the unique, natural variations that you can achieve with natural solid timber furniture.

    Solid Timber

    On the other hand, solid timber holds a richness and warmth that only natural wood can provide, enhancing interiors with its timeless charm. Each piece of furniture brings forward its own set of distinct colour, grain, and pattern variations. You can opt to feature a raw edge on your timber furniture, which can enhance the piece’s beauty even further.

    At Jarrimber, we create custom pieces made to order to ensure that your vision is brought to life with our solid timber options. You can read more about our custom timber furniture options here.

    wood laminate solid furniture cost

    Cost Considerations


    Laminate furniture is generally a go-to for budget-conscious shoppers thanks to its lower price point. This can also make it a great option for shoppers looking to buy in bulk, such as companies that need to furnish large office spaces.

    Solid Timber

    Solid timber tends to come with a considerably higher price tag with its luxurious and high-quality look.

    When deciding between laminate or solid wood, it is important to consider the longevity of solid timber furniture. If you value high-quality build and materials and are willing to invest more upfront, you may find that solid timber furniture offers greater long-term value.

    eco friendly timber tree trunks

    Environmental Impact


    Laminate, with its synthetic components and production process, poses certain challenges when it comes to recyclability and the use of chemicals. Advancements in manufacturing have seen an increase in the use of eco-friendly materials, which improves its environmental profile.

    Solid Timber

    Sustainability-conscious consumers often prefer solid timber, especially when sourced from responsibly managed forests, because of its natural and renewable qualities. Jarrimber prides itself in being not only 100% Australian made, but also in its use of sustainable natural materials.


    Explore Jarrimber’s Timber Options

    Choosing the right furniture material is a significant decision, but it doesn’t have to be a compromise. For those leaning more toward solid timber’s natural beauty and durability, Jarrimber offers a vast range of high-quality timber furniture that will last you a lifetime.

    At Jarrimber, we offer the following timber options for our existing and custom-made furniture:

    • Jarrah,
    • Marri,
    • Tasmanian Blackwood, and
    • Tasmanian Oak.

    Our commitment to craftsmanship and sustainability means each piece is not just furniture, but a lasting legacy for your home. If you have any questions about solid timber furniture, or you’d just like to learn more about our products, get in touch with our friendly team to chat further about your furniture needs.

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    Todd Smith

    Todd Smith - Owner

    I've always had a passion for Australian timbers and turning it into beautiful timber furniture. Aussies have some of the most sought-after timbers in the world and being able to work with it and bring some of this beauty to our customers is a blessing.

    We create custom pieces made to order

    Custom timber Bar furniture

    We have a range of timbers and finishes for you to select from to ensure that your finished product matches your designs to a tee

    Learn more about custom designs
    Custom timber Bar furniture