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Bookcase Material Selection: Steel or Wood - Episode 2

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-06-23      Origin: Site


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Continuing with the topic of the material of bookcase. Material of an object is fundamental to determine its nature, so if you have the need to buy a bookcase, the material is a subject worthy of your study. Steel? Wooden? Aluminum? Synthetical? Which is the best material for your bookcase?

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

In the previous article: Need a Bookcase? The Material Matters: a Guide on How to Choose Between Wood and Steel, we at Yadan Steel Furniture have introduced to you that materials used to build bookcases mainly include metal and wood, and among metals, steel is the most common one. We've explored the advantages of steel bookcases over wooden ones, including healthier, moisture-resistant, longer-lasting, sturdier, and more. But that's not all.

We have more to say in response to some of the questions you may have. In the last article, we seemed to be overwhelmingly leaning towards the steel side. We want to prove that this is not biased. In this article, we would like to introduce you to some characteristics of wooden bookcases in more details. In addition, we will talk about some specific details of the steel bookcase made by us Yadan.

Part I - What We Do in Our Steel Bookcases

First of all, please allow me to introduce to you some characteristics of the steel bookcases produced by us at Yadan Steel Furniture:


steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

Formaldehyde-free and no peculiar smell, as we have said in the first episode, our bookcases can do this because steel furniture does not use liquid paint, which is usually used in wooden furniture, to treat the surfaces.

Instead, they use powder coating technique to color and protect the surface. Not only is the raw material steel free of formaldehyde and odors, the powder used for spraying is also environmentally friendly and has passed stringent environmental testing.

Built strong

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

In terms of sturdiness, the partition board of our bookcase can bear more than 45 kg, which is equivalent to the weight of a leaner adult woman, or 4 full bottles of water used in a dispenser. Imagine a bookshelf that can have a person or 4 buckets of water sit on it? That doesn't sound like your common sense. But, this is what we make true.

The acrylics

In addition, our bookcases use acrylic for the doors. Acrylic material has many advantages over traditional glass. They're lighter, less likely to break, and less likely to pick up fingerprints or dust. If you have children at home, it can be particularly good, for it can prevent your kids from being scratched after breaking the door in mischief.

Hydraulic hinges

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

The door of our bookcase is joined to the frame by hinges with advanced hydraulic technique. When closing the door, you can let go it confidently, as the hinges will create a buffer before the final contact, allowing the door to close slowly, rather than in a slamming way. Not only does this ensure safety, but it also reduces - no, should I say – eliminates the noise.

Unique aesthetic value

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

From the angle of aesthetics, our bookcase has a unique design. There’s a retro industrial style to it. The industrial retro style is modeled on a genre from the 1930s to the 1960s. At that time, furniture was mostly made of metals like iron.

They had a rough appearance and finish, with visible welds being one of the major features. Furniture at that time was typically designed for function over form, so in appearance they were simple and plain to the hilt. But trends change. After many years, it comes back a nostalgic fashion.

Part II - What Are the Wooden Ones Like?

Then, let's take a look at what common wooden bookcases on the market look like:

Wooden bookcases are relatively traditional and have a noble temperament, typically suitable for those well-furnished study rooms surrounded by books and knowledge, with an air of literary sophistication.  

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

The specific material types suitable for making a wooden bookcase usually include fir integrated boards, pure solid wood, melamine boards, veneer laminated boards, etc.

Fir integrated boards

Also known as “finger jointed boards”, the fir integrated boards are spliced together from small sections. It is not only affordable, but also has its own fragrance. But fir wood is soft and not strong enough. A bookcase made of fir wood may be prone to deformation and cracking. In addition, it attracts insects and is difficult to maintain.

Solid wood/imitation solid wood/solid wood veneer

These materials are basically taken directly from natural wood lumbers or at least so on the surface, with the real wood patterns generally visible on the surface. They are stylish and noble, but the price is higher. They need very careful maintenance, and are susceptible to either too dry or too humid environments.

Melamine boards

Most panel furniture today uses this type of material. Like fir, it is affordable, and avoids defects such as deformation, cracking and fading. It is also easy to assemble and disassemble. But it is less environment- and people-friendly, as it tends to contain excessive levels of formaldehyde.

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

Veneer laminated board

Veneer laminated board or veneer plywood, is material spliced with wood slats, or use a hollow board in the middle and cover it with two or more layers of plywood on both sides and glue together.

Its advantages include more economical price and ease for processing, while the drawbacks lie in its reliability and stability. It is prone to deformation and some boards may have hollow defects, which will affect the screw bite force.

And for something as practical example, share a question occasionally found on Quora about how to choose between steel and wooden bookcases, and see how this gentleman answered:

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

Part III - Steel VS Other Metals

Finally, let’s look at how steel compares with other types of metals.

In addition to steel, another commonly used metal for making bookcases is aluminum alloy. But its price is 2-3 times that of steel. This is because firstly, aluminum is a more expensive metal than steel in terms of raw material prices, and secondly, the manufacturing process for aluminum alloy bookcases is more complex and requires specialized equipment and expertise.

steel bookcase wood bookcase comparison yadan steel furniture

Bookcases made of aluminum alloy are lighter and easier to move, which is its advantage. But in terms of strength, steel is stronger and bears more weight.

In terms of appearance, opinions differ from each other. Aluminum bookcases are brighter in color and some even glitter, thus making them look more modern. Steel bookcases on the other hand, have their own unique style, which adds a hint of industrial and retro taste to any space, as we already discussed above.

We still have a lot more to say but time and energy (both yours and mine) are limited. If you want to hear more insights about anything in the furniture industry, just keep an eye on this site! Stay tuned. 

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