On furniture and central heating

On furniture and central heating

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Blog | No Comments

Sitting at home on our first really dark evening, with the central heating on, makes me think it’s a good time to write about why your solid wood furniture doesn’t like central heating !

The wood in your solid wood furniture is, clearly, no longer alive, but it retains many of the properties of the living timber, particularly its ability to absorb and expel moisture. Even though your furniture will have a finish, whether it be oil, lacquer or polish, this won’t seal the wood entirely. There will also be surfaces that are not finished eg underneath a table top or inside a drawer. This means that your furniture will react to the atmosphere in your home.

The cell structure of timber means that it absorbs moisture during periods of humidity and expels it during warm, dry spells. This process leads to expansion and retraction within the structure of the wood, and this leads, alternately, to swelling and shrinking across the grain.