What is Wood Veneer? Advantages and Disadvantages

what is wood veneerWhat is wood veneer?

Veneer used for woodworking projects refers to thin wood slices, often lesser than 3 mm (1/8 inch). They are usually stuck onto core panels made of wood, MDF or particle board and used for cabinets, parts of furniture, doors, parquet floors and marquetry. It is therefore a kind of manufactured board.

Wood veneer is obtained by peeling off a tree trunk or slicing off large blocks of wood or flitches. If you can see the grain and figure in the wood, it is due to slicing through the tree’s growth rings and depends largely on the angle of wood slicing.

Veneer applications:

Wood veneer is used largely for interior decoration in homes, hotels, offices and other projects such as advertising boards. It is also used to make wood veneer wallpaper and sheets, flexible veneer sheets and veneer parquet. By using veneer in your home or office, you can give your environment a completely unique look.

Differences between wood veneer and solid wood: If you’re shopping for furniture, you’re could be like many others who don’t know the difference between solid wood and wood veneers. People often think erroneously that veneered furniture isn’t half as good as solid wood. However, the truth is that veneers are used to make premium furniture pieces and are often be more expensive than its solid wood counterpart.

Solid wood furniture:

All exposed parts of solid wood furniture are made of the same species of natural wood. These exposed pieces do not usually contain either particle board or particle board.

Veneer furniture:

Veneer furniture is made by sticking thin wood veneer layers together with the grain set at right layers on a thick centre. This crisscross design reduces the chances of veneer sheets from cracking or splitting. The glue used for this purpose is identical as the one used in marine and aircraft building, making veneer wood much stronger than natural wood.

Advantages of solid wood

• It’s practical as it is durable and easy to repair. If it develops scratches, dents or water marks, they can be repaired.
Advantages of veneer
• It is aesthetically very appealing.
• Its most beautiful logs are cut into veneer for money.
• It is versatile, affordable, flexible and pliable to work with and can be used for walls, ceilings, cabinets and furniture.
• It is also easily available.
• It is very stable and does not warp or split. It is also very durable.
• For home projects that involve curves, such as siding, entertainment centers and stairs, veneer sheets are very good. Being pliable, they work very well for these projects.
• It uses substrates such as plywood and MDF.

Disadvantages of solid wood

• It is prone to splitting when exposed to differences in temperature and weather. To counter this, furniture is made with a floating case system in which the case and table pieces are held together by brackets. This allows the furniture to withstand any environmental changes without damaging the wood. To prevent wood from splitting, solid wood should be kept away from the direct glare of the sun.
• Premium quality veneer furniture usually has a solid centre with legs, drawer fronts or doors made out of solid wood with a straight grain.

Disadvantages of veneer

• It’s thin. Sanding a layer of veneer to finish it can be impossible to repair.
• It can peel at the edges, blister or delaminate.

Author: John Clax

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