Cabinet buying guide

General information

Laura Ashley furniture is craftsman made with great care and attention to produce distinctive pieces that will bring pleasure for years to come. Each item of furniture is hand crafted, using traditional cabinet making and finishing techniques.

We offer a wide range of furniture options to suit all tastes. Some ranges have extra character added by using hand-applied patinas, such as the Provencale and Balmoral range, or distressed effects, such as the Bramley and Tiverton ranges. Some ranges have special finishes that require extra care, such as the Milton and Brompton ranges, which need periodic oiling, whilst some have low maintenance lacquered finishes such as Garrat.

To ensure you select an option that is perfect for you, we recommend that you read the information below, take time to study the features of each range on the relevant section of the web.

Features of Natural Wood

Our beautiful oiled, waxed or lacquered products are designed to highlight the natural beauty of wood and will often show interesting features such as knots, grain shading and medullary rays. These natural features will often vary from product to product and within components on the same piece so that no two pieces are the same. It is important to understand the unique properties of wood; which should not be mistaken for flaws.

Wood Shading, Grain and Splits

Each piece will have a slightly different grain pattern. Variation in colour shading and grain between different products and within the same product can occur. On distressed ranges some small splits will add to the character of the piece. These are a normal feature of all natural wood furniture.

Knots and Joint Lines

Knots are a natural property of all real wood furniture; they do not affect performance, and add interest to each piece.

Medullary Rays

These markings are created where wood is cut across the grain producing interesting features such as growth rings and flecks.

Resin Pockets

These are a natural feature of solid wood and may appear as small marks in the finish. These add character to each piece and are not defects.

Expansion

  • All timber will display movement from season to season because of changes in atmospheric temperature and humidity.
  • This occasionally may make drawer movement a little stiff, to ease movement simply rub a little candle wax on the drawer runners attached to the carcass of the furniture.
  • We do not recommend locating products in excessively high or low temperatures, or where the environment is often damp as this may cause product issues.

Levelling Assembly and Moving Products

  • It is essential that your furniture is positioned on a level surface to ensure that the doors hang correctly and open smoothly.
  • Wedges or adjustable feet or hinges are provided for products with doors to assist you in levelling the furniture. With wedges, when the furniture has been in place for several days, to allow carpets to compress, the unwanted part of the wedges should be snapped off so they are no longer visible.
  • If doors fail to operate smoothly, or the product is moved, levelling should be rechecked. Any suitable packing material can be used to level, by raising the lower corner as required.
  • If doors fail to operate smoothly, or the product is moved, readjust the doors or levelling.
  • Take care when moving products. We recommend they are lifted by two persons as dragging items across the floor will cause damage to the joints. Large items which are assembled on site from multiple sections should be disassembled before relocation to a new position.
  • Self Assembly items should be assembled at the intended location and lifted carefully into position.

Sunlight and Heat

  • Avoid exposing your furniture to excessive heat e.g. by placing it in front of a radiator, as this can cause cracking. A minimum 30cm clearance from heat sources is advised.
  • Direct sunlight will cause the colour of real wood to change, even if it is painted and lacquered, this will be more readily apparent if the furniture is placed under a window.
  • Use in hot and sunny conservatories is not recommended.
  • Leaving items such as vases or ornaments in one place on a piece of furniture in sunlight may leave a mark when they are removed. Such marks should blend in with time.
  • Never place hot dishes directly onto wooden or painted surfaces, we recommend you use tablemats.
  • Prolonged use of hot electrical equipment, such as a laptop, on top of furniture may also cause scorching.
  • The dark rubber feet used on electrical and other equipment occasionally contain chemicals that can leave a permanent mark on furniture surfaces; care should be taken.

Oiled Ranges

  • Oiled furniture will benefit from a limited amount of maintenance to keep it in prime condition. If this maintenance is not carried out the wood may become dry, lose its depth of colour and become more susceptible to staining and watermarking.
  • To help protect oiled furniture products from spills and to keep them looking great, periodic oiling is required. It is easy to carry out. Simply apply Danish oil, available form most DIY stores, with a lint free cloth, thinly whenever the product lightens, feels dry to the touch or displays lighter dry patches.
  • Due to the variable absorbency of real wood, Products may require a light oiling on delivery, or may require time for oil to fully absorb when unwrapped. Periodic oiling is required whenever the appearance requires it; do not over oil. Spills may stain and should be removed immediately, for full details see the Cabinet Cleaning and Care section

For information on caring for all cabinet ranges please see Cabinet Cleaning and Care section

Self Assembly Product

  • Some of our products are designed to be assembled by the customer at home. Assembly is simple and detailed instructions will be supplied with the product.
  • Self-assembly products will not be unpacked on delivery so a signature to acknowledge that delivery has been carried out successfully is all that is required.
  • Guardsman protection is not available on self-assembly products.

Measuring

Your furniture will be delivered by PHL (Premier Home Logistics) or a nominated carrier. Our delivery drivers will survey delivery access and take all possible precautions to ensure damage free delivery. Furniture will be put in place, unwrapped and the packaging taken away (excludes self assembly items). We are unable to remove old furniture. Charges will apply for redelivery caused by cancellation so please fully consider the information in this section.

Are there any access problems?

Please tell us at point of order if your home, or room is difficult to access. This will affect how we deliver your furniture and may involve an additional charge.

Have you ordered a large piece? Marked in Catalogue as

Certain pieces are marked as LARGE in our Catalogue.

Please take extra care to ensure they will fit into your home on delivery.

Please be at home at the scheduled delivery time.

At least 48 hrs prior to the selected delivery date you will receive a phone call or SMS text message to confirm a morning or afternoon delivery. To help in planning, we will call en route prior to delivery.

If you are not at home when the delivery arrives it is likely to be taken away to avoid delay to other customers. Charges will apply for redelivery caused by cancellation. A charge of £60 will be made for re-delivery or collection see full terms and conditions for more information.

You will be asked to check and sign for your furniture.

Your furniture will be unwrapped on delivery. You will be asked to check the furniture and sign a Proof of Delivery document. This document confirms that you have received your order in satisfactory condition, that you have been given a copy of the Furniture Care and Information Guide and that there has been no damage to your property. Goods cannot be left unchecked. Any issues must be reported to Customer Services immediately.

An adult must be present.

An adult must be present to accept delivery. Only an adult can sign the Proof of Delivery document.

Furniture Legs

Furniture legs and castors can cause marking to floor coverings (particularly wooden/laminate floors) if this concerns you please take steps to minimise such damage by using felt pads or castor cups.

For Measuring Up and Charges please read on, for our full delivery terms and conditions please click here. Please read before proceeding with your order.

Measuring up for Cabinet Delivery

When buying large items of furniture, it is vital to make sure it will fit through the property access and into the intended space in your room. Make sure there is enough height, width and diagonal depth to accommodate your furniture. entry and that there's plenty of room to manoeuvre around corners and through doors.

Steps to ensure a problem free delivery

Before ordering, please check carefully that the upholstery, bed and cabinet products you have ordered will fit into the intended space in your home. It is extremely important that customers advise us of any potential delivery difficulties or obstacles. Charges will apply for redelivery caused by failed delivery or cancellation.

Step 1: Check the furniture can access to the room.

Diagram

Cabinet Furniture

For cabinet furniture, check that the width of the door A is wider than the depth or width of the furniture. Then check that the height of the furniture is less than either the door height B or the entry into the room C.

For larger pieces of cabinet furniture e.g. wardrobes, tall cabinets and sideboards you will need to check there is enough space to turn the furniture. The width of the corridor D or staircase entry or exit turn E must be at least 100cm wide.

Upholstered Furniture

For upholstered furniture the width of the door must be wider than the arm height. The average arm height of our upholstered furniture is 66cm but some are as high as 79cm. If the width of any door the furniture has to pass through is less than 70cm then choose a furniture design with a lower arm height. The width of sofas must be less than the door height B or the entry into the room C.

For larger sofas you will also need to check there is enough space to turn the furniture. The width of the corridor D or staircase entry E must be at least smallest measurement (either Width or Depth) of the sofa plus 10cm.

Please note: This is only a guide and does not guarantee your furniture purchase will fit. Also our delivery drivers are not able to remove doors and windows to effect access. If doors, windows or stair banisters need to be removed in order for the furniture to fit, you will need to arrange this before the day of delivery.

Step 2: Measure the space where the furniture will sit.

  • Check that the furniture will fit the space in the room where it will sit. The dimensions of each piece of furniture can be found on this website or in our Home Catalogue.
  • Furniture can appear smaller in the store than it actually is. The furniture will appear a lot bigger in your room. The easiest way to check the amount of floor space a piece of furniture will take up is by marking the area out on the floor where the furniture will sit. This can be done by either using masking tape or a newspaper template.
  • If the piece of furniture is going to be placed in an alcove make sure when measuring that you allow for the skirting boards. For tall pieces of cabinet furniture e.g. wardrobes and dressers, check that the height of the cabinet is not too tall for the room. Check that you have enough space to walk around the furniture and for the doors and drawers of cabinet furniture to open.
  • When ordering a recliner armchair or sofa bed check there is enough space in the room for the chair or bed when fully extended.

Step 3: Check our large delivery lorry can reach the delivery address

  • Our delivery vehicles are large. Please check that they can gain safe and ample access to or immediately adjacent to the delivery address.
  • Are there any access problems? Please tell us at point of order if your home or room is difficult to access. This will affect how we deliver your furniture and may involve an additional charge. Please consider:
  • Can a delivery lorry park immediately outside your home?
  • Is your home easy to find or are extra directions needed?
  • Are there steps up to your front door or other obstacles such as narrow gateways or railings?
  • Have you checked that your furniture will fit through your doors? Our delivery drivers are not able to remove doors and windows to effect access.
  • Are there narrow corridors or internal steps to negotiate? If there are turns to be made is there sufficient space to turn the piece of furniture?
  • Are there any internal obstacles? Wall lights, low hanging lights, framed prints on wall, low ceilings, beams?

Delivery Charges and Timeframes

  • A delivery charge of £25 applies to Mirrors marked  , Furniture and Upholstery Orders.
  • Additional charges may apply in certain circumstances. Please see our terms and conditions for more details.
  • When you order, we will give you an approximate week that our carrier will contact you to arrange delivery. Depending on the Products ordered, the Products with the longest time to completion may determine your estimated delivery week.
  • Please provide a mobile number where ever possible upon order placement.
  •  indicates mirrors delivered by Standard Home Delivery.
  • indicates furniture delivered by Standard Parcel Delivery at a minimum delivery charge of £4.50. Where applicable this is marked in all Laura Ashley mailers and publications.

Arranging and Completing Delivery

  • We have our own fleet of delivery vehicles. In some areas we use other carefully selected carriers.
  • Once your order is ready, we will offer you the first available delivery date. In some areas dates are limited to one day a week due to carrier availability. We are unable to agree specific delivery times and dates requested.
  • If we are unable to contact you we will leave a message with a selected available date for you, please contact us immediately should this be unsuitable.
  • At least 48 hrs prior to the selected delivery date you will receive a phone call or SMS text message to confirm a morning or afternoon delivery. To help in planning, we will call en route prior to delivery.
  • A two-person delivery crew will deliver to your room of choice, provided there is ample and safe access.
  • Please assist us by clearing pathways and removing fragile items in advance of delivery. Your furniture excluding self assembly will be unpacked, set in position, and assembled with the packaging removed and taken away.
  • If requested we can leave packaging after Products have been checked.
  • Products must be carefully checked at time of delivery and signed for by an adult.
  • Any defect or damage must be reported to Customer Services immediately after delivery.
  • Self assembly Products and Furniture marked will not be unpacked on delivery. A signature to acknowledge the delivery has been carried out successfully is all that is required.
  • We will provide a comprehensive Information and Care Guide on delivery to help you maintain the quality of your product. Please take time to read and follow this Guide carefully.

For full delivery terms and conditions, please click here.

Cabinet cleaning & care

We recommend the purchase of a Guardsman Protection Plan at time of ordering, to offer extra peace of mind in case of accidents. To prolong the life of your Cabinet furniture we advise the following:

Cleaning & Care - Hard Lacquer or Wax Finish

  • To maintain the appearance of your furniture we recommend regular dusting with a soft cloth. It may occasionally be wiped with a soft cloth very lightly dampened with a mild detergent solution and dried with a lint-free cloth.
  • A beeswax furniture polish from a reputable supplier may also be used.
  • The repeated use of a silicone-containing polish is not recommended, as it will lead to a build up of a silicone film altering the appearance of the piece.
  • Glass or mirrored panels should be cleaned using a non solvent based glass cleaner and soft cloth, carefully avoiding contact with wooden or painted sections.
  • Spills should be removed immediately by blotting with a dry cloth.
  • If the spillage has caused staining we recommend you contact specialist cleaners who are equipped to deal with such occurrences. For professional cleaning and maintenance advice contact Guardsman Home Services on 0845 6020789.

Cleaning & Care - Oiled Ranges

  • Oiled furniture will benefit from a limited amount of maintenance to keep it in prime condition. If this maintenance is not carried out the wood may become dry, lose its depth of colour and become more susceptible to staining and watermarking.
  • To help protect oiled furniture products from spills and to keep them looking great, periodic oiling is required. It is easy to carry out; simply apply Danish oil, available from most DIY stores, thinly with a lint free cloth to the outside of the furniture to nourish the wood whenever the product lightens, feels dry to the touch or displays lighter dry patches.
  • Oiling must be repeated periodically whenever the appearance requires it; do not over oil. Small cans of Danish Oil are available from most DIY or hardware stores. Do not use oils sold for cooking or eating.
  • On receipt furniture will have been wrapped since manufacture and due to the variable absorbency of real wood, Products may require a light oiling on delivery, or may require time for oil to fully absorb when unwrapped. Oak seats may take 2 days for the protective oil to completely dry, and care should be taken to protect clothing during this time.
  • We also recommend that drawers are left open and empty for 24 hours to allow any residual odour from the oil to dissipate and ensure the oil is dry.
  • When oiling chairs, take care not to stain the seat fabric.
  • Glass or mirrored panels should be cleaned using a non solvent based glass cleaner and soft cloth, carefully avoiding contact with wooden or painted sections.

Spills

  • Spills should be removed immediately by blotting with a dry cloth. Product that is not correctly oiled will be more susceptible to staining.
  • Light stains may be removed by gently rubbing in the direction of the grain with 400 grit (very fine) sandpaper and re-oiling as directed above.
  • If the spillage has caused permanent staining we recommend you contact specialist cleaners who are equipped to deal with such occurrences. For professional cleaning and maintenance advice contact Guardsman Home Services on 0845 6020789.

Cleaning & Care - Mirrored Ranges

  • Spills should be removed immediately using a damp cloth.
  • To maintain the appearance of your furniture we recommend regular dusting with a soft cloth.
  • Glass or mirrored panels should be cleaned using a non solvent based glass cleaner and soft cloth, carefully avoiding contact with wooden or painted sections.
  • The repeated use of a silicone-containing polish is not recommended as it will lead to a build up of a silicone film altering the appearance of the piece.

General Cabinet Care

  • Take care when moving furniture, dragging pieces across the floor will cause damage to the joints, as will dropping furniture onto corners or feet.
  • Leaning backwards on two legs of a chair will weaken joints.
  • Take care to prevent sharp objects such as toys, buckles and heels from coming into contact with your furniture.
  • If your furniture becomes stained, scratched or chipped or suffers other damage we recommend professional help is sought to restore it.
  • If you have relevant insurance you may wish to contact them for advice. Alternatively a nationwide service is offered by Guardsman Home Services 0845 6020789.

Levelling Assembly and Moving Products

  • It is essential that your furniture is positioned on a level surface to ensure that the doors hang correctly and open smoothly.
  • Wedges or adjustable feet or hinges are provided for products with doors to assist you in levelling the furniture. With wedges, when the furniture has been in place for several days, to allow carpets to compress, the unwanted part of the wedges should be snapped off so they are no longer visible.
  • If doors fail to operate smoothly, or the product is moved, levelling should be rechecked. Any suitable packing material can be used to level, by raising the lower corner as required.
  • If doors fail to operate smoothly, or the product is moved, readjust the doors or levelling.
  • Take care when moving products. We recommend they are lifted by two persons as dragging items across the floor will cause damage to the joints.
  • Large items which are assembled on site from multiple sections should be disassembled before relocation to a new position.
  • Self Assembly items should be assembled at the intended location and lifted carefully into position.

Sunlight and Heat

  • Avoid exposing your furniture to excessive heat e.g. by placing it in front of a radiator, as this can cause cracking. A minimum 30cm clearance from heat sources is advised.
  • Direct sunlight will cause the colour of real wood to change, even if it is painted and lacquered, this will be more readily apparent if the furniture is placed under a window.
  • Use in hot and sunny conservatories is not recommended.
  • Leaving items such as vases or ornaments in one place on a piece of furniture in sunlight may leave a mark when they are removed. Such marks should blend in with time.
  • Never place hot dishes directly onto wooden or painted surfaces, we recommend you use tablemats. Prolonged use of hot electrical equipment, such as a laptop, on top of furniture may also cause scorching.

The dark rubber feet used on electrical and other equipment occasionally contain chemicals that can leave a permanent mark on furniture surfaces; care should be taken.

Care

  • We recommend that delicate flooring is protected from potential marking by feet or legs.
  • Dropping furniture onto corners or feet will cause damage to the frame and/or legs.
  • Leaning backwards on two legs of a chair or stool will weaken joints.
  • Take care to prevent sharp objects such as toys, buckles and heels from coming into contact with your furniture, and avoid contact with any chemicals which may permanently mark the surface.
  • If your furniture becomes stained, scratched or chipped or suffers other damage we recommend professional help is sought to restore it.
  • If you have relevant insurance you may wish to contact your provider for advice. Alternatively a nationwide service is offered by Guardsman Home Services 0845 6020789.

Following the guidelines above will ensure product performance is maintained. Laura Ashley is not responsible for defects caused by the misuse of your product.