In any home or apartment, urban or suburban, woodwork plays an important role in construction, but in areas such as doors, floors, cabinets and decorative elements. With plenty of synthetic alternatives and wood veneers available to do-it-yourselfers and decorating professionals, having solid, often ornate wood elements in your building or apartment is considered a luxury nowadays, as many boards and supers opt for cheaper solutions to fix deteriorating wood, rather than using the real McCoy.
Of course, this makes the preservation of old wood a very worthwhile project, and the preservation and restoration industries have seen a boom in recent years as buildings and apartment owners try to maintain their woodwork to cultivate a traditional, antique look. Well cared-for wood features can help enhance the value of a property, while giving apartment owners and shareholders the cozy charm that only real wood can impart.
Real Versus Not-So-Real
When the woodwork in your apartment or common areas needs serious attention, and you’re offered the option to use synthetics or veneers over the more authentic—and more expensive—solid wood, what might help make up your mind in favor of one over the other?
“Beauty, for one,” says John DeRosso, a contractor and cabinetmaker with DeRosso Finishing Co., Inc. in Chester. “You’re never going to get the same appearance [with an imitation] that you would from real wood.”
While some people opt for more cost-efficient pine or cedar woods, many still prefer to use the hardwoods that better match what’s already in their home or building and can readily withstand the test of time.