If you're planning the construction of a new home, chances are that you've come across the term 'wood veneer' along the way. Wood veneer is simply a thin slice of wood, shaved from a tree log, which is typically glued to the outside of panels, such as particle board or MDF. Using wood veneer provides several benefits.
More Available And Affordable
Firstly, a wood veneered product, a cabinet door, for example, possesses a beautiful natural wood grain at only a fraction of the cost of solid timber. Usually, the more attractive hardwoods are sliced to create veneer sheets. Harvesting these more limited and expensive timbers as veneer and then gluing them onto particle board or MDF makes them much more accessible and available.
Another advantage of wood veneer is that each slice is unique. Derived from nature, each strip carries a specific wood grain and colour within what is typical for a particular tree species. The grain, too, varies within the same log so that veneers sliced from different depths vary. Consequently, unlike a material such as laminate which is wholly manufactured, no two wood veneer strips will exactly replicate one other. As well, veneer can be custom polished or varnished to a lighter or darker tone, however you prefer.
Strength And Stability
A further benefit lies in its strength and durability. Glueing veneer to both particleboard and MDF strengthens these engineered boards as the glue is typically manufactured from tough bonding materials to do precisely this. Sometimes wood veneer is glued onto boards of plywood. Plywood is wholly constructed from veneer, both inside and outside; it consists of multiple layers of wood veneer pasted together. The most attractive veneer slice is then glued to the outside to create a decorative surface. In fact, these multiple-veneer layers make plywood more stable than solid wood, which is prone to warping and cracking as it naturally expands and contracts along with weather changes.
The sustainability of wood veneer is one of its greatest assets. Furniture constructed from engineered boards with a veneer outside layer use up less timber than solid wood furniture. Also, the wood veneer sheets can be recycled in the future, broken down into sawdust and wood chips to create manufactured wood products, such as particleboard and MDF.
So if you've been looking at cabinetry or other furniture for your new home, wood veneer is an excellent option. Home builders can provide more advice on various materials used in construction.