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Furniture Care Top Tip

Close up picture of mahogany corner desk.

Furniture Care – A Top TipVictorian style 4 glass door display cabinet with cupboards and drawers under

The top tip in caring for antique and solid wood furniture is to avoid placing it next to any heating source or air conditioning vent. This includes radiators, stoves or fireplaces.

Heating sources, particularly central heating and air conditioning reduce the moisture content of the air around and so draws moisture out of wood which causes shrinkage which in turn loosens joints and glues.

It can also cause small splits to appear in the wood, which are of course undesirable but is not a reflection of the quality of the workmanship or the skill of the carpenter it is just what natural wood sometimes does. If you can imaging a piece of wood that is fixed to other pieces of wood around its edge, when the wood shrinks it can’t move because it is fixed and to release the pressure the wood splits. This most commonly happens in really dry conditions such as when we have our central heating turned up high or in direct sunlight.

When conditions change back the splits can close again, in fact solid wood furniture can actually change size, expanding and contracting depending on environmental conditions.

Most well made furniture can withstand some shrinkage and all AKD Furniture is actually built to reduce any shrinkage to a minimum. However please remember that much of furniture is made in countries where it is hot and humid and moisture content will be slightly higher than UK conditions hence it is still advisable to avoid rapid changes in temperature to your furniture caused by heating sources.

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