What is the opinion of Reddit about the
Martin Furniture Hartford Hutch, Brown – Fully Assembled?

A total of 1 review of this product on Reddit.

1 point


22nd Dec 2019

Everyone is going to be different, but I finally got to the point where I realized that unless I get an engineered wood desk that I would forever be trapped in a 2-5 year purchasing cycle. I also wanted something exceedingly tasteful to match my office, which is a small, cozy room.

I wound up picking this desk from Nebraska Furniture Mart. I got it during a promotion, but even then it was ridiculously expensive – $1100.00 – but it is built like a brick shithouse. I also grabbed this matching hutch from Amazon “used” with a small, unnoticeable scratch on the top for $325 vs. the standard $675 that Amazon charges, or the $650 that Nebraska Furniture Mart charges. Lastly, I got this matching filing cabinet from NFM on a scatch and dent sale for $99, vs. the list price of $419. Total cost = $1,524. Normal pricing would have cost $2,378. The collection is the Hartford Collection by Martin Furniture, though NFM rebrands it as Wycliff Bay for some reason.

There are a lot of people mentioning IKEA. IKEA quality is not discernibly different from most other cheap furniture, save that they tend to use Medium Density Fiberboard, whereas your opening price point stuff at say Walmart generally uses particle board.

MDF is a cheaper alternative to solid wood, but tends to be absorbent, and will swell if it comes into contact with moisture.

Particle Board is even cheaper than MDF, and is generally used in very low quality products. It is also even more sensitive to moisture than MDF. If it becomes saturated with water, it will swell and crumble. It also tends to sag over time. It is not ideal for anything that requires lasting structural integrity, which is exactly what you need for a PC and Monitor, and even more so if you have speakers, streaming equipment like Mics and Lights, etc.

Solid wood is also a terrible idea, as it will warp over time, which is why generally the only real “Solid Wood” shit you see is DIY stuff. The best option if you can afford it is engineered. Not all engineered wood furniture is equal, but it is almost always orders of magnitude better than MDF or Particle Board furniture.

This type of desk has a sturdy core (substrate) constructed with engineered wood panels to ensure durability, while the exterior of the furniture is made from wood veneers and hardwood solids. Wood veneers are thin sheet of wood that is adhered to a solid wood surface. Using wood veneers over a stable substrate helps prevent cracking, warping, and other common problems with furniture constructed solely with solid wood. MDF and Fiberboard generally make use of adhesive laminate to have a faux wood finish.

The only other suitable alternative for longevity is tempered glass, and more often than not such desks skimp on both the materials and engineering of the frame, as such frames are usually made from think aluminum, which leads to stripped out screw holes, bent or crooked supports, etc.

I absolutely never plan to go desk shopping again. Yeah, it was $1500 bucks, but I would have spent that anyway on $250 MDF/Particle Board desks every 3-5 years. This desk will likely last a couple of generations at minimum, and far longer if it is properly maintained.


MDF and Particle Board desks are poorly made and you’ll be buying a new one every 3-5 years. Real wood DIY is prone to warping, while engineered (Wood veneer over solid sectioned substrate) will last a lifetime or more.