A Greater Understanding of Veneers in Wood Furniture
Veneering is the process of applying a thin sheet of material (usually wood) to the surface of another material. This provides a luxurious look and feel without the cost of solid wood. Veneers have become a popular choice in comparison to solid wood as they can withstand temperature changes better with the advances in adhesives, and they are also much stronger and more durable than solid wood. There are four main types of veneer cuts plain cut, rotary cut, rift cut, and quarter sliced cut.
Advantages of wood veneers:
- Veneering is typically a less expensive furniture production process
- With veneers the designer has a wide choice in grain selection based on the cut and placement of the wood veneers such as diamond, checker board, and reverse diamond to name a few.
- Veneers provide a durable surface not prone to splitting or seasonal movement.
- Veneers provide an environmentally friendly production option as less of the slow growing old stand woods are needed.
- Veneering accounts for about 80% or wood furniture in all price ranges because of its strength and versatility.
Disadvantages of wood veneers:
- More difficult to repair as veneers are thin.
- Early veneering lacked quality construction and adhesives. Some people may still hold with their old impressions of the veneered products such as lifting.
Veneers can be seen and touched by everyone each day as you come into contact with furniture. In reality, most everyone owns some if not all veneer furniture these days. The costs of solid wood furniture or perhaps the better phrase would be furniture without veneers is quite costly. The woods used are slow growers, and more rare these days. The use of wood veneers has grown over the years to include not only furniture like tables, bedroom pieces and living room furniture, but also can be found in cars, in lighting, purses, and artwork.
The fact that a piece of furniture is veneered does not mean it is not solid wood. Hard woods are still
used in veneer furniture production. Those used today are faster growing varieties such as parawood and thus more environmentally friendly. These solid hardwood products are just finished with a veneer that provides the color and grain we are attracted to without the cost associated of using solid cherry. This is perhaps the biggest misnomer about veneers. While some veneer furniture are at its core a form of high density or medium density fiber board many product can still be found with solid wood at its core.
Veneers are not laminates in the furniture world. Laminates are a pre-printed or solid color paper that is soaked in resin and bonded to wood under heat and pressure. In our next blog entry we will dig further into laminates as there are a variety of types that can be found everywhere in our everyday life. For now I will conclude, by saying that Veneer is not a dirty word when it comes to furniture.
Yes veneers do drive down the costs on furniture, but that is not to say it is cheap furniture. The use of veneers affords designers different options when styling a piece of furniture, it still is durable and it does offer us all environmentally conscious aspect that should not be taken lightly in this day and age. Enjoy your next furniture shopping, and hopefully this article provided a little knowledge about the furniture manufacturing process with regards to wood veneers.