Our last item to discuss in our series of Living Room Quality Control is the coffee table.
Like most wood furniture, coffee tables can be made of hardwood or softwood. For durability, look for a "solid wood" table and not one labelled "all wood". Solid wood tables are made of solid boards, while furniture labelled all wood is madeof engineered plywood and particleboard. Tables that are veneered may be either solid wood or engineered wood underneath, be sure to ask the retailer.
A well-made table shouldn't be wobbly or creaky. It should have legs permanently attached with mortise and tenon joints, or, in the case of removable legs, with brackets and lag bolts. Tables with legs that are stapled or glued won't have the same longevity. If the table has a drawer, look for one with dovetail joints. Dovetail joints are much stronger than stapled ones.
The finish should never feel rough or sandy. On a quality piece the finish will feel silky. The underside of a quality piece will also be stained and lacquered, to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood.