WHAT IS WOOD VENEER
Wood veneer refers to very thin slices of wood that are about 1/8th of an inch or about 3mm in size. They are typically used after being attached to another core panel such as another type of wood, particleboard, or medium density fiber board. These attachments can be used to make different types of items like doors, cabinets, parts of furniture, tops, and various panels for parquet floors, etc. plywood is made by attaching three veneers together and each of them has their grain perpendicular to the layers alternatively. There exists a technique known as veneer beading where is used as a decorative outline on different things such as jewelry boxes. It is a type of manufactured board and can be used as a replacement for decorative papers in wood veneer HPL.
Wood veneer is misunderstood as a more cheap and lowly than solid wood would be but it can be used for more high-end furniture and can cost a lot as well. This can be due to the fact that it was an ancient art used in Egyptian times where they would use it on their furniture and sarcophagi. A veneer is obtained by peeling the trunk of the tree or by slicing big rectangular pieces of wood. The look of grain and figure of wood is there due to the fact that it is sliced through the growth ring of the tree. The shape of the grain varies due to varying angles of slicing.
A veneer can also be used to create the look of higher-end furniture by using a cheaper material to which the veneer of an expensive wood is attached. It will also take less time in manufacturing so it is a win-win. An example to better understand this is that if you want to make a mahogany bench that will cost a lot. But if you make it using an inexpensive wood and then apply a mahogany veneer on the top, and you will have the bench looking like it was made with mahogany wood but at a much cheaper cost. You can sand it with sandpaper and then apply a stain to make it look even more real and beautiful.
This type of furniture is made by attaching multiple layers of veneers on top of each other in a way that their grain is at a right angle with each other. This pattern allows the furniture to have the strength and prevents the chances of splitting or cracking. To give it even more strength and make it even stronger, the glue used is the same as used in aircraft and marine construction which makes it a lot stronger than natural wood. The furniture uses a solid core and the parts of legs, doors, posts, or drawer fronts are made with straight-grain solid wood.
Depending on the type of core we use the veneers can be differentiated in the following types
- Wood on wood veneer: this type has a veneer attached on top of another veneer. The wood used on the inside may be of a cheaper quality because you can’t really see it. And the wood on the outside is a more pretty looking one. These can be used for decorative interior furnishing. To make sure the greatest strength the grain is again attached in a crisscross pattern.
- Phenolic-backed veneer: a veneer attached to a piece of plastic on the back, and because there is plastic on the back it is water-resistant. This can be cut with a knife which gives it a slight advantage. It can curve as well so you can fit it anywhere accordingly. It is another great option for interior decoration.
- Paperbacked veneer: it is back by paper and is made to match curves to make sure the veneer does not crack and gets damaged. This type of veneer is most likely found in automobile dashboards and interior columns.
THE PROS OF WOOD VENEER
It is very eco-friendly. The boards that are made are typically 1” thick. ¼” thick kerf is cut in between by the saw and it ends up as sawdust. On the contrary, the logs are not sawed but cut into veneer so no sawdust, and have a length of 1/32”. This means that 32 veneers would be produced for every 1 board made. And another 8 more for the wood that is wasted as sawdust. So in total, every 1 board would be equivalent to 40 veneers and hence more environmentally friendly
It is very pretty and only the best logs get cut into veneers. It is also due to an economical reason, where veneer makers can make way more money by making the log into veneer than they can by cutting them into boards. Woods like burls are very structurally unsound as solid wood and it will rarely be utilized unless they are made into veneers.
It creates new design possibilities. The veneers can allow arrangements of wood that solid wood will fail to achieve because the veneer is thin and attached to a core. Solid wood expands and contracts when seasons change from summer to winter even if they are kiln-dried. A radiant table top cannot be made with solid lumber because its outlines would open in winter and swell tightly in summer.
It is stable because of its attachment with a stable substrate or core. So warp, splitting and seasonal movements are not prone in it.
It uses substrates which are typically plywood and medium density fiberboards. These create a market for the landowners with these trees and also creates better forest over time because the low-quality trees are used up and the remaining trees grow better and faster with less competition for resources.
THE CONS OF USING VENEERS
It is thin and can be concerning for the builder more than the buyer. This is due to the fact that if you sand through a veneer layer while construction for the purpose of finishing it, that is impossible to repair and will require redesigning. Or it could have difficult repair which can not really be hidden. Once the construction is done there will be no problem though.
It can blister, delaminate, or peel back at the edges and can be prevented by using proper techniques and using construction material of high quality. This used to be a concern of the past and nowadays it is not very concerning since the quality of production has increased greatly since then.
So this is hopefully all you would need to know about veneers and if you want to buy it then go for it. It is just as useful as solid wood and the only differences are the ones mentioned above. You can eliminate your concerns about anything you want by referring to the above text and start the project you have been wanting to. Good luck.