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5 Common Problems With Wood Furniture At La-Z-Boy

December 11th, 2023 | 6 min read

By Ryan Podnar

wooden end table next to recliner sofa

If you are thinking of buying furniture, you may be interested in the classic wooden-built style. Whether it’s a leather reclining sofa or a double recliner you’re looking for, you may have heard that the best-constructed furniture is made of wood.

Wood furniture, if it is constructed correctly, can become the longest-lasting and most comfortable furniture in your living room, dining room, or bedroom.

If you live in South Texas, you know that Texas furniture should be constructed of high-quality wood. At La-Z-Boy, our expert craftsmen use high-quality wood to construct every piece of furniture.

But wood furniture does not come without its own set of issues. Today we will discuss the 5 common problems customers experience with wood furniture at La-Z-Boy so you can identify whether wood furniture is right for you.

In this article…

  1. Watermarks on the Furniture
  2. Mold and Rotting of Wooden Furniture
  3. Rusty Metal Areas
  4. Easy to Scratch the Wood
  5. Delivery Damage

Types of Wood for Furniture

To get a deeper understanding of the common issues we’ll discuss, it’s also important to know the types of wood used for furniture construction.

Let’s run through the 3 types of wood used for furniture.


Hardwood is derived from dicot trees typically found in tropical forests. Hardwood furniture also can last for over a decade, making this a great choice for someone looking for long-lasting furniture.

Some examples of hardwood are:

  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Birch


Softwood is derived from conifers and is known for its versatility and strength. It is also well known for being more readily available than hardwood, making it a great choice for those looking to have furniture that they customize ready quicker.

Some examples of softwood are:

  • Cedar
  • Douglas fir
  • Juniper

Engineered wood

Engineered wood is wood made with both plastic content and wood fiber. Engineered wood furniture is also known for being more expensive than traditional lumber, making it unlikely to be a great choice for somebody looking for budget-friendly furniture.

Some examples of engineered wood are:

  • Plywood
  • Particleboard
  • Blockboard

5 Common Problems With Wood Furniture At La-Z-Boy

Now that you know the types of wood furniture and who they are best for, it is time to address the issues La-Z-Boy South Texas customers experience with wooden furniture.

1. Watermarks on the Furniture

watermark on wooden end table

Have you ever been sitting outside on a wooden picnic table and picked up a glass of lemonade off the table only to see a watermark or wet ring on the table? How about on a solid wood tabletop?

According to design experts at La-Z-Boy South Texas, this is a common problem with wooden furniture.

Shane McSween of La-Z-Boy San Antonio says that any drink, including water, will leave a mark and even with the best wood finish, can leave a permanent stain on wooden furniture.

Additionally, liquid from drinks can even seep into the cracks of wood to get deeper into the wood if not treated fast enough. When this happens, the wood can become weakened and more distressed which likely will limit its durability over time.

How Do I Remove Watermarks From Wood Furniture?

As upsetting as discovering watermarks on your furniture can be, there is a way to prevent this!

The best way to prevent lasting watermarks from happening in the first place is to use coasters under your glass or cup. If you still get a watermark on the furniture, you can clean the spill or sweat coming off the glass or cup immediately. Wiping your wood furniture with a cleaning cloth or even a paper towel moments after it happens can prevent the liquid from settling into the wood.

Unfortunately, some of you may not have the luxury of discovering a watermark immediately. You may be at work and one of your kids may have accidentally spilled their water cup onto your favorite brown wood coffee table.

Although this complicates the solution, there is still a way to make your coffee table look new again!

We at La-Z-Boy recommend using a humidifier to dehydrate the particular area, making the watermark disappear. Humidifiers can be set to a low heat temperature to avoid permanent heat damage while simultaneously saving your favorite coffee table or light brown wood dining table.

2. Mold and Rotting of Wooden Furniture

mold growing on wooden chest

Another reason that cleaning a liquid spill off your wood furniture as soon as possible is important is because wood is prone to molding. When trees become damp, they are more susceptible to fungal growth development.

Since wood is made from trees, the same will apply to wooden furniture.

If you reside in Texas, you know that our climate can get quite humid and uncomfortable at times! The weather can get sweaty here, and a natural wood end table would have similar adverse effects if left in a humid or damp environment for too long.

Wooden furniture can develop mold or begin to rot. This is also a common issue with wood furniture in houses without AC, as those rooms and areas become more humid.

How to Prevent/Treat Wood Furniture Rotting

As is the case with preventing lasting watermarks, the best way to avoid rotting or molding is to identify the problem early if possible.

If you spot mold build-up in the early stages of development on your furniture, you can easily get rid of the build-up by using a damp washcloth with warm water. However, if the molding issue is bigger than just the initial buildup, natural cleansers like white vinegar or vodka will be a more effective solution.

Ultimately, the best way to prevent molding or rotting from happening in the first place is to avoid putting wooden furniture in damp or humid areas if at all possible. Keeping your favorite solid wood end table away from potential moisture exposure will go a long way in keeping it safe from mold development.

If you begin to see white spores circulating or surrounding a specific area and want to discuss the issue further, call your local La-Z-Boy furniture store. Our service department will assist you and determine the proper solution.

3. Rusty Metal Areas

rusty metal on wood coffee table

Even though wood furniture is made up mostly of all wood, there are metal materials that hold the wood frame in place.

The metal material can oftentimes be exposed on solid wood end tables and a natural wood dining table and if water spills reach the metal, the metal can begin to rust.

How to Avoid Rusty Metal Areas

Although the sight of rusted metal can be daunting, there fortunately is a solution!

If you use a wired brush to scrub the rusty areas with applied pressure you can weaken the rusty areas. Once you’re done scrubbing, simply use a rust-inhibiting primer in the designated area. This will have your metal looking as good as new! 

4. Easy to Scratch the Wood

scratches on wooden table

As beautiful as a solid wood dining table looks when you first get it, it can lose its aesthetic value quickly if scratched.

The surface of wood furniture can become scratched more easily than the metal portions. If this happens, the wood can also weaken over time and become more easily exposed to liquid leakage.

How to Fix Scratches On Wood

before and after of scratches on wooden table

As bad as scratches to your wood surface look, it can be treated!

It is recommended that if you’d like to avoid scratches from occurring, get a can of wood finishing wax apply it to the surface of the wood furniture, and spread it all over the wood with a clean cloth. This will provide the wood with a protective coating, and will make your wood look shiny!

If scratches do occur, you can remove the scratches by using white vinegar and olive oil with a cotton rag. Apply pressure to the area affected by the scratch and rub in a circular motion and the scratches will be gone.

5. Delivery Damage

cracks on wood table

Another common issue we hear at La-Z-Boy South Texas is that they see scratches or damage to the furniture on arrival. This can be a result of delivery damages and quality control malfunctions that happen among manufacturers and delivery teams.

Quality control issues can occur before the furniture even gets loaded onto the truck. If not checked for quality assurance, manufacturers can sometimes miss construction defects and rusted metal framing.

If the furniture is quality-assured, sometimes damages, like broken or dented areas, can occur during the delivery process.


Since these issues are entirely manufacturing or delivery-related, these issues are completely out of your control. We at La-Z-Boy South Texas recognize these uncontrollable issues, which is why La-Z-Boy does a quality assessment prior to delivery. If damages do arise, the issues are covered under our Warranty Programs.

La-Z-Boy’s standard and extended protection plans will protect your furniture from delivery and manufacturing-related issues. Our warranty plans offer other coverage and benefits as well, and this article on La-Z-Boy’s extended warranty will go over the many benefits.

What’s Next?

After reading through this article, you now have a better understanding of the common problems La-Z-Boy customers face with wood furniture.

Whether it’s a natural wood dining table you’re looking for or even a coffee table, it is important to know that both of them are susceptible to scratches that can devalue the furniture aesthetically.

Additionally, wood furniture can experience molding or rotting if exposed to liquid or moisture. Knowing the common issues with wood furniture before you buy is important to help you decide whether wood furniture is best for you.

Ultimately, the decision on wood furniture is up to you. If you would like a second opinion from a design expert on if wood furniture is a great fit in your home, you can set up an appointment with our design experts or come into your nearest La-Z-Boy South Texas store to visit with our in-house design consultants.