Wood veneers come in a variety of styles and types. However, there are a few distinctions between each type. These include the thickness, whether it is a solid or layered product, and whether the color will be uniform throughout.
So, what are the types of wood veneer? There are several types of wood veneer, each suited for a different purpose. These include natural veneer, rotary cut, sliced wood, decorative, multi-layer, spliced, and fine-line.
So, if you want to expand your knowledge about wood veneers, you have come to the right place. Here we’ll discuss the seven essential types of wood veneer and what makes them unique.
Before we learn about the various types of wood veneer, let’s briefly introduce what these actually are.
What Is Wood Veneer?
Wood is an excellent material to work with for many reasons. It’s durable, versatile, and sustainable. But what exactly is wood veneer? Veneer is a thin layer of high-quality wood that can be applied over cheaper or less desirable materials such as MDF boards or particleboard.
Its purpose is purely decorative, and its only natural function is to make cheaper woods look more aesthetically pleasing than they actually are. Wood veneers are made using a rotary cutting process to cut material of almost any shape from a log or plank of wood into thin slices.
The sliced pieces can then be configured into patterns that can be glued onto the surface of another type of backed material such as make ply panels or chipboards.
Types Of Wood Veneers You Should Know
1. Natural Veneer
A natural veneer is a thin sheet that’s removed from solid wood by sawing, peeling, chipping, or planing. It seems natural because the unique texture remains intact after going through the production process like any other type of veneer.
This middle-of-the-road price makes it cheaper than natural solid wood but more expensive than chipboard. Natural veneer has the qualities of being environmentally friendly, sophisticated, and unique. It is a substitute for solid wood featuring an elegant pattern that sits well with common species like oak or walnut due to their natural grain patterns.
When glued onto a chipboard, it seems indistinguishable from furniture made from solid wood. Its original texture carries through into a finished product while still sharing some of those classic features found in nature, such as knots or veins on certain trees.
2. Rotary Cut Veneer
A rotary cut veneer is a low-cost, common type of veneer made from oak, pine, birch, or alder. The process allows for the maximum amount of wood to be extracted from logs while keeping costs down and production steady.
To create this variety, thinly sliced sheets are mechanically carved off the surface of rotating logs before being glued together into patterns and stacked to form your desired size sheet (usually three 8×4′ panels). Rotary cutting allows for a final match between grain structure and pattern compared to other types of veneers, such as flat or quarter saw varieties.
That being said, it doesn’t have that remarkable textural quality that some people look for in their woodworking projects and furniture pieces, but it retains a high strength, so it has its merits.
3. Sliced Wood Veneer
Sliced veneer is a type of wood that’s made from valuable species. It comes in many different colors and patterns, but it has a more unique texture than a peeled veneer because you can change the angles when cutting them to create a specific look.
It is manufactured on veneer planing machines, and such products are mainly produced from expensive woods with beautiful textures like oak, acacia, or walnut. Thanks to this, it’s possible to achieve the solid wood grain pattern that many people love because of its natural and authentic appearance.
Veneers play an essential role in interior design because they offer extra protection against scratches. So if you’re looking into getting new flooring or furniture but don’t want it ruined after just two years, this is a great option.
Apart from this, natural sliced veneers are made mainly with valuable species like oak, beech, acacia, etc., that have attractive textures. These types can range anywhere between 2 millimeters (0.08 inches) up to 12 millimeters (0.47 inches).
4. Design/Decorative Veneer
The versatility of natural wood can be extended with the use of decorative veneer. For instance, designers and architects can create beautiful, custom pieces of furniture using veneer as an artistic medium.
A decorative veneer is made from natural wood and painted in different shades over the entire surface. This preserves all of the crucial characteristics which make it a viable option for use as an accent or decorative element in any room’s design scheme. In addition, it also gives you more creative freedom than other solid woods would allow.
Not to mention, a decorative veneer can be a great way to spice up your furniture by giving it texture or combining different colors with the same pattern. On top of that, they can add depth, luster, or richness to your pieces without adding cost.
5. Multi-Layer Veneer
Veneers have become more intricate and unique with the introduction of new technology. The multi-layer veneer is made from wood chips. It’s glued to an adjustable base that makes them thicker than any other type of veneer on the market today.
The big perk here is being able to get your hands on beautiful geometric or abstract designs you can’t find anywhere else in one piece.
It often resembles the least attractive pattern of natural woods, but it has many different colors to choose from. This product can be classy in any situation but looks best when paired with other Art Nouveau decor items.
6. Spliced Veneer
A spliced veneer is a type that’s most often made in the form of burls from valuable wood species. Each section can usually be peeled to expose different layers.
These are used for specific situations where grain is essential, and only certain types of lumber can be obtained in particular widths. In addition, it allows you not only to receive new and unique patterns but also to save on waste by finding suitable products with multiple sheets.
It is commonly used in making big pieces of furniture like couches or tables because the imperfections in the wood give them character and make them look more refined.
7. Fine-Line Veneer
A fine-line veneer is made from the softwood rotary cut type, and it can be classified as a more cost-effective alternative to hardwood. The blocks of fine line veneer are used in construction for ceiling panels or wall coverings because of their incredible detail that makes it seem like you’re looking at natural wood.
It’s considered more cost-effective and desirable than using thicker plies of veneer, but it has some disadvantages. For instance, the edges are susceptible to damage (daily bumping and knocking). However, the surface is not as smooth, so if you’re making furniture instead of doors, for example, finishing can be a little bit more complicated.
Apart from this, they’re also ideal for enhancing old finishes that show signs of wear and tear, like scratches and dings, because they don’t have to be sanded down.
Where Is Wood Veneer Used?
Wood veneer can be a natural, sustainable alternative to many plastics like Formica; it offers an elegant and contemporary look that most people find appealing. It’s also durable and easy to clean.
Many kitchen designs integrate wood veneer because of its homey appeal and the added protection it gives against loose spills. Plain stainless steel doesn’t offer much protection, but with a few layers of your favorite cherry or maple, you’re all set.
Wood veneers can also be found as tiles used on floors or walls. Many furniture items such as cabinets, tables, or chairs cover one of their sides with a layer or panel made out of wood veneer.
Wood veneer is processed into many different designs and styles such as parquet, wood veneer sheets for furniture, or wallpapers. It is also used to make some luxury products such as wine boxes, chocolate boxes, tags, and many more.
Wood veneer is the perfect coating for those high-end surfaces that need to look and feel authentic. Executive offices, conference rooms, kitchens, and home offices are just a few of these places where this material can make all the difference.
There are also certain types of wood veneer that are produced for crafting small things like house and plane models, jewelry boxes, and more. We recommend taking a look at this product on Amazon if you’re the crafting type.
Wood veneers can be used for many different purposes, from furniture to flooring. The versatility of these materials is a great way to get the look you want without paying top dollar and investing in an entirely new piece of furniture or flooring material.
With so many options available, it’s easy to find something that will work well with your home decorating style – no matter how traditional or modern!
If you still have questions in need of answers, take a look at this great video from GL Veneer on YouTube about what you should know before choosing wood veneer for more information.
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