Why is wood veneer more expensive than laminate?
Wood veneer is inherently more expensive than laminate for a number of reasons...
Fundamentally, this is primarily due to wood veneer being a naturally made product, whereas laminate is a man-made product. Ultimately, anything that can be ‘mass produced’ is usually going to be cheaper!
Whilst uniformity in terms of finish and size is certainly desirable in some applications, if you’re looking for a wooden finish to surface cabinetry or furniture, much of the allure of real timber is its uniqueness.
Wood veneer is harvested from actual timber – thin layers of wood are individually cut from the tree trunk. Each veneer sheet will feature the natural growth patterns of the wood, making every single wood veneer piece as distinctive as the next.
Laminates are man-made from layers of paper and resin, which are bonded together. The decorative uppermost surface is usually photographically printed to replicate the real finish that nature created, whether that be a wooden finish, or something like a granite or marble.
Whilst a single veneer sheet can be photographically reproduced and then replicated onto a laminate surface, a second laminate sheet will be no different to the first, often resulting in a noticeable repetition of the woodgrain, which will be more evident across larger surface areas!
Whilst available un-backed, both veneers and laminates can be applied to a wood composite board or MDF backing for ease of use.
The majority of veneers that The Wood Veneer Hub offers are supplied in their original thin sheet format. Some are backed with paper, whilst others are supplied finished with a resin to give them a flexibility.
From furniture and clock restoration, to transforming kitchen units and internal doors, wood veneer can be used in all manner of applications.
Wood veneer is actually used for one of our most popular wallcovering ranges too!
Acupanel is a wooden wall panelling comprising a series of individual veneer strips, which are then backed and supplied in a larger sheet format for ease of application.
The choice of finishes for both veneers and laminate is vast, with laminates being available in a variety of colours, in both high gloss and matt surfaces.
With so many species of tree, the choice of veneers is also extensive! Some of the most exquisite veneers that The Wood Veneer Hub offers are sourced from Asia and beyond.
Each unfinished veneer can be stained, waxed or sealed as desired, and naturally ages over time, whereas laminate has a sealed surface and is therefore not customisable. Any surface scratches on a laminate will be permanent, but can be removed on a veneer surface.
Advances in technologies have made it possible to emulate the surface texture of real wood onto a laminate, but that comes at an additional cost too!
One property that is impossible to artificially replicate is the smell of real wood! Timber has a distinct aroma, which simply cannot be synthetically reproduced.
So whilst a laminate might be cheaper in the short term, if you’re wanting a wooden finish that truly has all the properties of real timber, wood veneer is the perfect solution!