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Solid wood versus veneer

Solid wood versus veneer

At The Wood Veneer Wood Hub we often get asked what are the main differences between veneers and their real wood counterparts. 

Most people assume that solid timber is better than veneer, and therefore it must be of superior quality. It’s true, solid wood is likely to cost more than veneer, but it definitely doesn’t make it the premium product to opt for, just because it’s more expensive!

The harvesting process

Fundamentally both wood veneer and solid timber are harvested from the trunk of the tree. Solid wood, as you might expect, is cut into thick timber sections to be used in all manner of applications, whereas veneer is cut into almost paper like thin sheets.

One of the latest additions to our portfolio is a range of lighting, which as well as looking super chic, needs to allow light to illuminate the room. With solid timber this would simply have not be been possible, whereas the wafer thin veneer allows the light to shine through, creating truly spectacular effects.

Species dependent

The more common the species of wood, the less likely it will be harvested into veneer sheets. Pine for example, whilst available as a veneer, is frequently used in new build construction for roof trusses and floor joists, and in solid pine furniture.

Likewise, there is little point in having solid kitchen doors made from fabulously eye-catching Birds Eye Maple, when only the fronts and backs of each door are ever visible.

Ultimately, the rarer the species, the less availability and the more costly the timber, making certain woods simply unaffordable if they were to remain in their solid timber state.

Veneer is more eco friendly

The Wood Veneer Hub specialises in sourcing responsibly harvested, premium grade veneers from around the world. The selected trees are cut down to make way for many more trees to grow, thus ensuring that the species will thrive in the long term. Rather than a single tree, that has taken years to grow, being used for only a select few furniture items, it can be cut into many sheets of veneer from a single trunk.

Plus, by creating veneer from a rarer species ensures that more people can enjoy and appreciate the woods’ beautiful surface in their own homes.

Book matched in appearance

The term ‘book matched’ refers to the way in which the surface grain of a wood appears to seamlessly continue or almost identically repeat over two adjacent doors or drawers.

This effect is simply not possible when using solid timber, as the growth of every tree is unique. However, when a trunk is cut into veneer, each subsequent sheet will appear almost identical, making ‘book matching’ truly possible!

Stability and strength

Whereas solid wood is prone to warping, frequently due to moisture ingress or because of the central heating systems in our homes or offices, wood veneer is far more stable, due to the substrate core that the veneer is adhered to.

It’s just one of the many reasons why kitchen doors are frequently made from timber veneer, as the kitchen is one such room where temperatures fluctuate, and due to their size, wardrobe doors are often made from veneer too!

With an extensive portfolio of veneers, in both sheet format and as ready to use panels from our Lusso range, whatever the type of wood veneer or associated veneer product you’re after, the team at The Wood Veneer Hub is always available to offer guidance and answer any queries that you may have!

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