The choice between whether to choose Wood Veneer or laminate becomes tough when it comes to the choice of the finishes. Veneer and laminates, both are popularly known finishes used on furniture, doors, windows, for surfacing, walls, ceiling and put to more such usage. Veneer and laminate both are applied to a board base that can be plywood or a fiberboard (MDF or HDF) for its practical use.
These finishes have their respective strengths and weakness which help you make sure of the choice that you would want to make.
Veneer is a thin layer of real hardwood applied to a thicker base like plywood. We describe here the strengths and weaknesses of wood veneer.
Aesthetics-: Since veneer is extracted from real wood, you get different patterns with every sheet. The organic patterns and the different colors achieved from the varied real woods gives a variety and choice of textures. Every sheet has a different look.
The final look-: Wood veneers can be further polished and colored to get the desired finish according to the interior theme. You can derive the real wood finish out of the veneer to compliment your interior.
Resistance-: Wood veneer resists warping and fragmentation.
Eco-friendly-: Veneer is eco-friendly since it is recyclable. Since the veneer is an extremely thin sheet of real wood, a number of veneer sheets can be derived. Also, the veneer is non-toxic.
Durability-: Veneer isn’t durable since it is not resistant to scratches and stains. Wood veneer is extremely thin and more susceptible to water damage.
Maintenance-: It is not easy to maintain veneer because they require polish from time to time. Veneer needs regular polishing to regain its lost color and finish.
Cost-: Veneers become costly since their value is determined by the choice of the wood. Hence, the use of high-quality veneer becomes a costly affair.
Laminate is a man-made product that is made to resemble wood. It is an artificial material that is printed with a color or pattern. We describe here the strengths and weaknesses of Laminates.
Durable-: Laminates are more durable than veneer since they are scratch resistant and are waterproof. Hence, you don’t need to be as careful with laminates are you are with veneer.
Variety-: Laminates have endless types from glossy to matt to texture along with the availability in different colours. Since laminates can be replicated into any texture and pattern, therefore different surface finishes like wood, marble, leather etc can be replicated.
Affordability-: Laminates are quite economical and pocket-friendly depending upon the brand and the quality.
Non-recyclable-: Laminates are non-recyclable and are toxic at times since they release a toxic known as formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound.
Clipping-: Laminate is a brittle material and hence it is prone to clipping. The clipping of laminates often results in breaking of the panels which ultimately results in replacement of the worn out sheet.
Always a replica-: Laminate will never be able to attain the natural look of the veneer. Despite being of the highest quality, the laminate would still be a replica of the real wood.