Different Types of Wood Veneers

A sign in front of a cloudy blue sky

Veneers are very thin slices of wood obtained from the logs. One of the most common methods of obtaining veneers is by mounting the logs on a machine and rotating them about their longitudinal axis while a cutter peels off layers from the logs. These peeled layers are called veneers. Imagine how the layers come out when we sharpen the pencil, similarly, when we use the blade against the wooden log, layers will come off. The most come trees used for obtaining decorative veneers are teak, walnut, mahogany, maple, oak, cherry etc.

These thin slices of wood (veneers) are usually glued over lesser quality plywood surfaces to increase their beauty and richness. For example, decorative Teak veneered plywood would mean a veneer of teak wood glued over a cheaper plywood surface. Doing this achieves the effect of getting a surface finish of teak, while the total cost of the furniture remains under control because the plywood underneath is of a lower cost. In comparison, completely solid teak wood will cost several times more.

Depending upon the way we cut the wooden logs, we get different grains on the veneer. Following are few of the ways of cutting the wooden logs.

Dyed Veneers

A wooden door

Natural veneers are immersed in the dye so that it fully penetrates the veneer which results into a uniform tone and an enhanced natural grain. One of the greatest advantages of dyed wood veneer is that it offers colour consistency.

Smoked Veneers 

A wooden floor

Smoked veneers (sometimes referred to as ‘fumed’ veneers) are where the wood has been exposed to ammonia vapours to give a rich, warm quality to the colour. The process takes around two to three weeks and can be used on most species to include oak, larch, eucalyptus, sapelli, red gum, douglas fir and cherry. The fumed wood veneer is also more elastic and less brittle.

Stone Veneers

Natural stone slim veneer sheets are made of natural slate. The slate surface is split and separated into very thin layers of stone from 1mm to 2 mm thick. It is combined with fibre glass and polyester resins to create a flexible panel.

Thin stone slim veneer is so light and flexible making it possible to use stone in places where use of typical stone cladding would not be possible or viable. The applications of thin stone slim veneer are endless. It can be used on curved walls and partitions, columns, ceilings wet rooms, bathrooms and also on doors or furniture.

Things to take care of while buying veneer

⦁ Veneer is a natural product and hence in one lot there will be only limited amount of quantity. So before selecting any lot calculate your exact requirement and then shortlist only those shades which has the quantity greater than your requirement. For example if your requirement is of 15 sheets than shortlist only those shades in which more than 15 sheets are available.

⦁ Check the thickness of the face of the veneer. The face of the veneer should ideally be more than 0.4mm thick. Because before applying the coat on the veneers, carpenters rub the surface of the veneer and if the thickness is less, than while rubbing the face of veneer will get destroyed.

⦁ Check whether the base plywood used for making the veneer is of good quality or not. Ideally it should be of Gurjan Plywood.

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