Solid wood and veneer both create beautiful furniture even though some may think that solid wood is superior. It all hinges on craftsmanship and the quality of wood used. If done right and with the proper materials, veneer furniture can be more expensive and just as, if not more, beautiful. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of each.
What is solid wood?
Solid wood furniture is made from natural wood, generally using just one type of wood. No other materials are used. Solid wood furniture pieces are generally heavier than their veneer counterparts.
• Solid wood can be repaired, refinished, re-stained or painted and passed down from generation to generation.
• It recovers better from those scratches, dents and stains that are bound to happen with everyday use than veneer.
• It is great for framing, turnings, curved pieces, dining table sets and desk tops, and chair seats.
• The natural variation in the wood
• It can bow and warp over time.
• Weather changes, especially heat and humidity can make it contract, leading to splits and cracks.
• It can be expensive and heavy.
What is veneer?
Veneer furniture is made from a thin slice of wood cut or peeled from a log and glued together. It can be paper thin or up to 1/16″. It is then laminated to another wood surface. The top piece is usually made from beautiful or exotic woods while the base is made from manufactured boards like plywood and particle board. The base can also be made with MDF (medium density fibreboard), which is a stronger, better quality material often used for higher end veneer products. It is much lighter than solid wood furniture.
• One piece of lumber used to create a solid wood table can make 15 to 20 tables made of veneer.
• Veneer wood can be used to create a constant pattern, grain or colour.
• There’s more flexibility to be creative with veneer furniture because of the mix of materials used.
• It can be lightweight.
• It can be made cheap or expensive.
• It’s great for shelves and cabinets
• If you’re looking to be a little more eco-friendly, know that the base can be made of a particle board that is made up of recycled sawdust.
• Since veneer is made up of a thin piece of wood over a cheaper type of wood or particle board, sometimes deep scratches cannot be repaired without exposing the bottom layer.
• Sometimes veneer wood is done cheaply and can look cheap.