Frequently Asked Questions - Totem Road
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Frequently Asked Questions

Our solid white oak is sourced from Europe and 100% sourced from sustainably managed forests. It is 100% PEFC certified which ensures a Chain of custody - PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification system. Our Oak has a light white wash with a natural finish and a water-based one pack polyurethane for protection.

A sustainable forest is a forest that is carefully managed so that as trees are felled, they are replaced with seedlings that eventually grow into mature trees. This is a carefully and skilfully managed system.

These forests are renewable because the forest stewards manage the landscape to prevent damage to ecosystems,watersheds, wildlife and the trees themselves, taking a long term rather than short term view of the resource.

Oak is slow-growing and needs a longtime to mature.

All Totem Road furniture is made by a family owned manufacturer in Vietnam, near Saigon, where we go to visit several times a year (pre-COVID).

Carrara marble with its free flowing veins and slightly translucent quality is from the city Carrara in Tuscany, Italy.

Honedmeans the surface of the stone has been ground to a smooth, flat,consistent surface. For stones with a natural shine such as granite or marble,the polish or shine is removed leaving a matte (unpolished) surface. It is fairly porous and has a coarser finish. 

If you get a scratch on a honed marble, you can use fine sandpaper with a bit of water to sand it down.

The quality and beauty of your Totem Road furniture can be easily maintained. The patina, which will develop over time and adds to the natural beauty of the wood.

Solid Oak will absorb moisture over a few hours so it is recommended that any spills are not left for a long period and are wiped dry. 

Severe dirt and fluids should be removed immediately. We recommend the use of a dry cotton cloth and if necessary, a damp cloth can also be used here. We advise you to refrain from ever using any type of cleaning solution or solvent on your furniture. Our pieces are brushed and sealed with a natural one pack finish, the use of chemical products may damage this finish.

A majority of significant damage to furniture occurs while moving it without care. We strongly recommend using the supplied furniture glides on the feet of all Totem Road products. 

With large items (such as beds/large tables) we recommend lifting as opposed to dragging. Dragging can rip timber joints forcing them off kilter, ruin screw threads and lead to long term damage. 

When transporting furniture be sure to wrap & secure it well, be mindful of the weight of solid oak products when lifting and disassembling. 

If you follow these simple care instructions your furniture will maintain its natural beauty for decades to come. 

Over time screws can slightly loosen – this may cause some pieces to seem wobbly or squeaky, but rest assured this also is not a product fault. Please retain the Allen key for future use as it may be necessary to slightly tighten screws when need be.

As solid timber is a natural material it is subject to movement and will contract and expand depending on the environment. The expansion and contraction can  cause small cracks to appear, particularly in larger cross sections of solid timber such as table tops, which use 52 mm input material. This movement is influenced by many factors including exposure to sunlight, temperature variation, and humidity levels. Heating and air conditioning can all impact these changes.  These variations can also result in small misalignments in door and drawer fronts.
Unlike furniture made from composite material and veneers it is nearly impossible to totally avoid all surface cracking and movement due to the nature of the solid timber.

It's preferable to avoid placing solid oak furniture in direct sunlight or in the direct path of air conditioning systems. The timber will naturally expand and contract, but sunlight & great variations in temperature & humidity will exacerbate this movement. This potentially may cause weak points, cracks as per above information on surface cracking.

These colour variations and markings occur because of natural causes, and are influenced by many factors including: oil types, minerals, water levels, available sunlight, temperature, and genetic composition. This variation in colour is what gives our products their unique character. 

To have complete uniformity would require only specific parts of the tree to be  used. This would result in a recovery rate of less than 30%. This means 70% of the timber would not be used - which is at odds with our sustainability ethos.

All our products come with felt pads.