My Hands-On Review: Why Plank & Beam Makes Furniture to Last

As someone who just finished furnishing my new home, I‘ve become an expert at evaluating quality furniture brands. It can be an overwhelming process with so many options claiming to offer durability, style, and value. But after months of research and personal testing, one company stands out from the pack – Plank & Beam.

In this in-depth review based on my first-hand experiences, I‘ll explain why Plank & Beam‘s commitment to craftsmanship and direct-to-consumer pricing makes them my #1 recommendation for solid wood furniture that truly lasts.

My Story: Quest For Quality Home Furnishings

When my wife and I purchased our forever home last year, we were overjoyed. But reality set in quickly – we had lots of empty rooms to fill! As we browsed options, sticker shock set in fast. Even mid-range brands cost thousands just to furnish each room.

I wasn‘t willing to waste our hard-earned money on mass-produced junk that would fall apart after a few years. So I went on a mission to uncover hidden gems – brands making exceptional craftsman furniture for reasonable prices…

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Eventually all signs pointed towards Plank & Beam. On paper, they seemed to good to be true – solid wood beds, dressers, shelves, and tables made in America starting under $300. I decided to take the plunge and test them out myself as an initial customer. And I‘m so glad I did!

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Overview: Who is Plank & Beam?

Before analyzing the specifics of my experiences, let me provide some background. Plank & Beam is a small family-owned business launched in Pennsylvania in 2005 specializing in artisan hardwood furnishings. They focus exclusively on crafting beds, dressers, dining sets, desks and more from solid American red oak and maple.

The co-founders come from four generations of woodworking and leveraged direct-to-consumer eCommerce from the start to cut out middlemen and pass bulk savings to customers. This allows them to maintain exceptional quality standards in material sourcing and construction while listing prices 30-70% below competitors.

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Additionally, their commitment to sustainable domestic harvesting and manufacturing reduces environmental impact. And the streamlined product focus allows their woodworking mastery to shine through on every piece made.

Now that you understand the business, let‘s analyze the specifics of what I got first-hand and why I recommend them wholeheartedly…

Quality & Craftsmanship Analysis

As I assembled and started using Plank & Beam furnishings throughout my home, I paid attention to all aspects of construction, materials, and durability. Here‘s an overview of what makes them stand out:

Sourcing: they exclusively partner with suppliers harvesting maple and oak from U.S. based forests to guarantee syllabus quality. This shows through beautifully in the wood grain patterns that add uniqueness to every piece.

Joinery: Instead of cheap staples or nails, traditional joinery techniques like dovetails or mortise and tenons are used extensively to guarantee strength. Drawers slide smoothly for years thanks to hand-sanded gliding.

Finish: A meticulous 14-step finishing process brings out depth and luster in the natural wood tones beautifully. Multiple top coats provide scratch resistance without harmful VOCs.

Assembly: As expected for solid furniture, some home construction is required. But all necessary tools plus detailed visual guides make it straightforward enough for me as an amateur.

Longevity: After 6 months of daily use including moves, wear and tear – I see no issues. The sturdy build clearly stands up to pounding and activity from my young kids!

While cheap big box alternatives may look similar initially, there are night and day build quality differences. Plank & Beam pieces are made to become family heirlooms passed on rather than curbside trash.

Furniture Specific Reviews

I‘ve personally tried three of Plank & Beam‘s most popular furniture collections. Here‘s an overview:

Kent Series Bedroom Collection

The Kent series offers their take on traditional mission-style bedroom pieces with integrated drawer pulls, angular legs, and mixed material contrast. We chose the king-sized Kent bed as the showpiece for our master suite along with matching six-drawer triple dresser and two nightstands.

After 7 months of daily use, the Kent collection looks as stunning as the day it arrived. The moisture-resistant Baltic birch plywood drawer boxes slide smoothly while locking tight when closed thanks to the dovetailed solid wood frames. And the sheer heaviness of over 200 pounds for the chest ensures no tipping or movement. The distressed oak finish adds character while minimizing visible wear and tear – even with my kids jumping on the bed constantly!

Elliot Dining Table & Chairs

Searching for the perfect dining set was tricky – we needed something high quality to become an heirloom passed down but also family friendly enough for messy kids. After exploring custom shops with huge price tags, the Elliot table from Plank and Beam ticked all boxes.

The solid oak tabletop showcases gorgeous wood grain in a warm cerused finish certain to age gracefully. And the hand-applied polyurethane top coat makes cleaning up spills and sticky fingers a breeze! I love the turned legs and double X-frame stretcher providing superb stability and structural rigidity through years of holiday meals with packed houses.

We‘ve had some epic food fights around the Elliot over the past year and it still looks brand new. I have no doubt this will get passed down to my grandkids one day! When it comes to durability, the peace of mind is well worth the money.

Other Collections

Beyond bedroom and dining furniture, Plank & Beam produces bookcases & shelving, office collections, living room tables, and more. While I don‘t own them personally, customer images look just as solid and beautiful as my pieces thanks to their unwavering production standards. Definitely browse their whole catalog!

Buyer-Focused Perks & Benefits

Beyond the core furnishings themselves, Plank & Beam strives to make every customer touchpoint pleasant and seamless. Here are some of the key advantages I experienced first-hand as a buyer:

Pricing: As highlighted earlier, their direct business model leads to incredible value pricing up to 70% off traditional retailers for similar all-wood constructions. I was stunned to furnish multiple rooms for under $2,000 total!

Shipping: Convenient standard curbside delivery took just under two weeks after ordering. The delivery partner kept me updated throughout and all packages arrived in pristine shape.

Unboxing: No cheap foam peanuts here! Plank & Beam uses durable cardboard boxes secured in custom crate structures for maximum protection. Removal was quick and pieces escaped free from scratches.

Assembly: Clear visual direction pamphlets accompanied each flat-packed collection to simplify home construction without special tools needed. I had both bed and dresser built solo in under 2 hours.

Returns: While thankfully unnecessary in my case, Plank & Beam provides a 30 day return period if needed due to defects or fit issues. Simply reach out to support for assistance.

Service: Customer service responses were personalized, friendly and prompt throughout my order. Contact them via phone, email or live chat with any questions!

The entire shopping experience reflected the craftsman attention to detail carried into the furniture itself. At no point did I feel like another faceless transaction.

Comparing Top Furniture Brands

I analyzed countless brands thoroughly throughout my initial research process before discovering Plank & Beam. Here is a brief competitive overview:

Brand Price Materials Style Options Reviews
Plank & Beam $$ out of $$$$ Solid oak/maple Traditional/modern ***** "Superb value for real wood pieces"
Pottery Barn $$$$ Veneers Modern *** "Overpriced, disposable quality"
Restoration Hardware $$$ out of $$$$ Solid oak Traditional **** "High quality yet extremely expensive"
IKEA $ out of $$$$ Particle board Modern ** "Bargain but won‘t last"

As you can see, brands like Pottery Barn or IKEA lure in style and price conscious buyers but eventually disappoint with flimsy constructions. While traditional players like Restoration Hardware carry the all-wood craftsmanship ethos, outrageous price tags limit access greatly. This leaves a massive gap for Plank & Beam to fill very successfully!

Final Verdict: Wholeheartedly Recommended!

I couldn‘t be happier with my discovery and now passionate recommendation for Plank & Beam when it comes to future-proof furniture. Their heritage craftsmanship shines through brilliantly in construction and finishing details setting them apart from competitors focused on mass production margins over mastery.

And by maintaining control from sourcing to production to selling direct-to-consumer, Plank & Beam manages to list at extraordinarily affordable pricing versus traditional retailers. This removes the #1 barrier most families face to invest in solid wood pieces made to become generational heirlooms.

Between the exceptional quality furniture itself and wonderful customer-focused buying experience, I confidently think Plank & Beam should top every household‘s wishlist. Don‘t waste money on disposable junk – check them out today to unlock furniture made to last just like the good ol‘ days. Just beware – once you try them you‘ll want to furnish your whole place!

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