Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

  1. #1

    Default Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

    Hi, brand new to the forum but have been lurking and reading all week. We have a fair amount of furniture to buy for a new home and one of the things is an upholstered cloth loveseat and couch. We had went shopping yesterday and kind of zeroed in on two options, one with Smith Brothers which would cost us about $4450 delivered and the other with Taylor King which would cost us around $4300. Our big dilemma is we found a one off Bernhardt couch and oversized chair at an outlet that would cost us $1500 total. I could order the Ottoman to go with the chair for about $500 so out the door I'd be at around $2000 vs. $4300 to $4400. I know the Smith Brothers and Taylor King is better quality but curious to get insights from others is how much better quality and how good of a quality is Bernhardt. Could I get 8 to 12 years out of the Bernhardt stuff? $2400 is hard to ignore when we have to buy a fair amount of furniture and have a lot of other expenses moving into a new home, but if the Bernhardt is really poor quality that would start to steer me other way. One other note, that the Bernhardt stuff the Mrs. is still real happy with the color scheme and look of it so we wouldn't be sacrificing anything there. Curious to get others opinions and thanks in advance.

    I do the Bernhardt furniture is all wood, but not 8 way hand tied. Here are the details I know on each:

    Smith Brothers: It is out of there 8000 series
    Talor King: I have a part number P46-92-2 Dakota (was told it is part of their Profile collection/program)
    Bernhardt: Franklin sofa/chair: B4827

    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    11,005

    Default Re: Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

    No one can say how long a piece of upholstery will last because everyone's lifestyle is different. Some folks are really hard on pieces, others not. Generally you get what you pay for, as in most things.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy Bernhardt - there's a reason why it's priced like that and like most Chinese-made furniture, it looks fine when new and doesn't have much durability. There are more complaints about them than you probably want to read. Here's one on this site and there seem to be several more.

    https://www.complaintsboard.com/comp...e-c722462.html

    Smith Bros vs Taylor King : The primary difference is the seat suspension. Both have good, well-made frames. Smith uses no-sag springs (zig-zag) or pre-made drop-ins vs a true 8-Way hand-tied suspension in Taylor King. I would much prefer the 8-way myself, it's a more costly suspension however. You can see the differences easily enough.

    No-sag
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	sinuous-640x480.jpg 
Views:	58 
Size:	93.1 KB 
ID:	9456

    8-way:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	8_way_hand_tied.jpg 
Views:	81 
Size:	72.1 KB 
ID:	9457

    From the Smith Bros Website:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	cutaway.jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	64.2 KB 
ID:	9458

    Taylor King Cutaway

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TK5.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	168.0 KB 
ID:	9459
    Last edited by drcollie; 02-12-2017 at 10:45 AM.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  3. #3

    Default Re: Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

    Hi Duane,

    Thanks for the insight. As much as I'd love to save the money, I think we are going to nix the Bernhardt as for fear it could be wasted money in a few years if it falls apart. I am a pretty big guy myself and I've got 2 young kids that I am sure aren't going to be easy on the couch. I am curious to get your opinion on another manufacturer that we ran across today which is Huntington House. It is American made, all wood, 8 way hand tied and it supposedly has a lifetime warranty. The local store here in Atlanta has a sale on this brand where the manufacturer is giving an additional 5% through tomorrow that I could get the couch and loveseat for about $3500. I am close to pulling the trigger, but I am curious to get your opinion on the brand

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    11,005

    Default Re: Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

    Sorry, no opinion on Huntington House as I haven't studied it. I'd suggest you see if you can find a cut-away of how its built and use the prior post as a guideline for the quality determination.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

    For alternative advice, I would say go with the Bernhardt pieces for the $1500 while your kids are young. I don't think Bernhardt has necessarily poor quality furniture (better than brands at most big box stores IMO) - although compared to the other two you mentioned, it is certainly middle of the road. Normally, I'd always lean towards higher quality, but you're getting a good price for those two pieces, and with young kids and other expenses to fulfill, I'd personally prefer to go with the cheaper, decent-but-not-excellent sofa and wait until they are a little older (and not crayons-and-chocolate-milk-and jumping-on-the-furniture age) for the Taylor King, Smith Brothers etc.

    I do think Bernhardt will last the 8 years you're talking about - not 20 for sure - but I'd be surprised if it couldn't manage 8. Depending on your family (mine is rowdy) and your cost-tolerance, I just don't want you to spend $4K+ and then be constantly on alert and nervous about wear and tear on an expensive piece. It might be easier on everyone to give your kids free rein on the furniture now, with the knowledge that when things settle down in 8 years, you'll upgrade to truly heirloom pieces.

    Also many people decorate significantly differently once they've lived in a house for awhile, or once their kids get older. This is particularly true for a new house - you're forced to make a bunch of furniture decisions at once, constrained by an overall budget and what "works" now but you may very well find that you don't necessarily like what you picked in 5 or 10 years. Also when your kids get older, you'll have more freedom to decorate - you won't need to compromise as much on fragile decor choices and toy-clutter, and you might want to change it up then anyways.

    On a seperate note, I've never heard of Huntington House but my experience with furniture warranties in general is that they are full of so many loopholes and hidden requirements that having a lifetime warranty or not really wouldn't influence my purchase decisions
    Last edited by Jenny; 02-13-2017 at 05:23 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alexandria VA
    Posts
    11,005

    Default Re: Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

    I actually take a different viewpoint on the most oft-used piece of upholstery - The Family Room Sofa. My perspective is this is exactly where you put your money, as it's the piece that is going to get used harder and longer than anything else in the house with exception of maybe the kitchen table and chair set. It's the piece you don't want to fatigue and you want to hold up. And let's face it, who really replaces a sofa at the beginning stages of breakdown? Hardly anyone does, the piece gets pushed for several more years until finally you can't stand it any more. Now you've been miserable on it for a while and you have to buy Sofa # 2. Total cost is now more than buying a single quality piece.

    Where you can back off on the quality is for a spot like a bedroom chair which is rarely used. They are there to "fill space" and look nice, and usually wind up holding clothes or just be a place to put on shoes. That's a spot you don't need durability as its not subject to much stress.

    I brought home a Bradington Young Leather Sofa for my own personal family room in 1994, my first leather sofa that I owned. My kids were young, 3 years and then a 6-month-old infant. And it was a pure aniline! Every family night movie, every barrage of Barney movies, every Birthday part, and every football game was watched on that sofa, along with many a nap. That 6-month-old infant is now a 23-year-old man who is 6 ' 4" and he uses that sofa every night in the media room after work. He's moving out in 60 days to his first apartment and he asked if he could have that sofa for his new place. He prefers it to a brand new one I offered him. He said "Dad, I grew up on that sofa and there's nothing wrong with it, its still in great shape - I'd rather have that than one from the store". And so that well-made, durable sofa will shortly begin a tour with the next generation. It was made right, has good leather on it, and I kept it clean and conditioned. After 23 years that sofa owes me nothing - and yet it's still very much usable and presentable, ready for more duty.

    That's why you buy the best you can afford, for the pieces you most often use.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum
    I ask that you do NOT call my store with general furniture questions, that is what the forum is for

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Furniture Quality Opinion vs Price for Smith Brothers/Taylor King vs. Bernhardt

    That's a great perspective Duane and gives me high hopes for my B&Y. I was in the position of having to furnish a new home with a decent (but not generous) budget recently - and I do agree, once you've worked everything out, buy the best you can afford for couch and mattress. That's what I did, and I don't regret spending the money.

    On the other hand, it's been a constantly losing the battle in my household lately - during the Superbowl for example - someone unwittingly left a chocolate bar on the sofa during half-time and someone else sat on it (and melted it) throughout the rest of the game. The poor thing still smells a little chocolate-y, even though I've cleaned and cleaned. I also know I would have handled it a lot less graciously if it had been $4K+.

    Over the year, I've also had some minor stylistic regrets. As my taste developed from "what-I-can-afford" thinking to "what-I-would-like," I sometimes regret that I bought a matching couch and recliner for the living room. Buying furniture as a young person is quite a bit of a different experience than buying furniture as someone with mature tastes and who has had time to collect a well-layered home. It's been an interesting process - none of our bad furniture damaging habits have changed, but my taste has!

Similar Threads

  1. Smith Brothers Recliner
    By Crs2x7 in forum The Lobby
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-22-2016, 06:27 PM
  2. Smith Brothers dealer
    By artman in forum The Lobby
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-24-2014, 06:59 AM
  3. Hello and Smith brothers vs Temple furniture
    By Shoppingforfurniture in forum The Lobby
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-14-2014, 02:52 PM
  4. Smith Brothers 413 vs 414 vs 8000
    By ISUFan22 in forum The Lobby
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-04-2013, 01:14 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-22-2012, 10:49 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •