Wood veneer as a furniture piece? Most homeowners immediately think of flat-pack, cheaply-made furniture. But it’s high time to look deeper, to learn what is veneer wood exactly so you’ll know what to expect when choosing veneer wood furniture and other materials.
What is veneer wood exactly?
Wood veneer looks like natural wood because it’s real wood but in thin layers. These layers are bonded to a strong and stable composite wood or the base material. Strong glues are used on the wood veneer to the base wood and then the two are pressed to form a very durable bond.
Veneer wood may have a different type of wood material than the base material. And because of the difference, the base material can have poor anti-moisture qualities. Veneer wood can provide some form of waterproofing protection but water should be sparingly used to clean the piece. How to clean veneer wood furniture will be discussed later.
Veneer wood facts
Consider the following veneer wood facts when selecting veneer wood furniture
1. Veneer wood will make sure that wood furniture lasts a long time.
Natural wood may be impacted by water and moisture which means it can lose its shape, warp, or buckle and may be destroyed by molds. A layer of veneer wood can offer a protective surface. As long as you maintain wood veneer furniture properly, it will last longer than furniture made from natural wood.
2. Veneer wood is a more environmentally-friendly choice.
Because you’re cutting wooden pieces into smaller, thinner layers, you’re saving trees from being brutally cut down to make building materials. You can make veneer wood from fallen trees and also from scrap wood.
Solid wood furniture requires cutting a large tree to get the largest and the widest part to make just one furniture piece. But with veneer wood furniture, almost any kind of durable wood base is used and veneer wood pieces are glued with care.
3. Veneer wood offers versatile designs.
Because veneer wood pieces are cross-sections of real wood, you are guaranteed amazing designs and patterns. You can use wood veneer to make tables, cabinets, bookshelves, and office furniture. You may use wood veneer as wall cover or lining, countertops, and display shelves in your home, office, business area, and shop.
4. Veneer wood is available in different finishes.
There are so many veneer wood finishes you can choose from. Each has special features and outstanding benefits. The three most common are walnut, white oak, and oak veneer.
- Walnut veneer wood – walnut veneer produces a rich, warm and inviting look. This type of finish looks great with chrome furniture pieces and glass pieces which will lighten and modify your living space.
- White oak veneer – white oak offers a seamless and contemporary look. The surface looks glossy and fresh, perfect for modern homes, condominium units, and offices. However, a white oak veneer is not as reflective and not very shiny but you’ll love the subtle wood grain over the surface.
- Oak veneer – oak wood veneer has a lighter surface with a Scandinavian style. It is the most popular veneer finish as it creates a modern feel and charm. Oak veneer wood works great with brushed metal furniture or glossy pieces. Oak veneer dining tables, for example, will provide a light wooden texture but will make your room bright, fresh, and inviting.
5. It is easier to clean veneer wood.
Veneer wood is far the easiest to clean as you don’t need to wax, polish and buff the surface. To clean veneer wood furniture pieces, use the following tips:
- Remove spills and messes as they happen. Never leave any mess or spill as it will affect the lovely wood finish. Use a damp cloth or soft tissue to pick up the mess. Don’t wipe the mess or spill as this will only make it worse.
- When wiping the surface of veneer wood on a regular cleaning day, wipe in the direction of its grain. Always use a soft, dry cloth to remove dust and dirt and a slightly damp one to pick up sticky messes and spills.
- To remove very stubborn spills and marks, use a small amount of dishwashing liquid on a clean soft cloth and wipe in the direction of the grain.
- Dust the surface with a soft and dry piece of cloth. If you want a quick way to clean veneer wood, use a very small amount of glass cleaner but the product has to be ammonia-free. Use a paper towel to wipe the veneer carefully.
- Prevention is the best way to maintain veneer wood furniture. Use coasters and placemats on your veneer dining table or desk to prevent exposure to extreme heat and avoid water damage.
6. Veneer wood does not need furniture polishes and waxes.
There’s no need to use any furniture polishes especially products that contain silicone or wax. Waxes can cause a hazy or cloudy build-up on the surface of the veneer and this can lead to an ugly and uneven appearance. Using silicone will leave a white film or residue on the surface. This can destroy your wood veneer finish.
Always stick to safe, non-abrasive products when cleaning veneer wood surfaces. If you want to use a cleaning product, check if it’s okay with veneer wood before use.
7. Veneer wood furniture should be kept away from direct sunlight.
Natural light can affect the surface of veneer wood. Therefore, veneer wood furniture should be placed away from windows as sunlight can cause the surface to warp and peel. If this is not possible, use blinds, UV films, and UV screens to filter out sunlight from the window.
After learning what is veneer wood, you’ll be surely more confident to choose veneer wood furniture for your home or office. Just remember to apply correct veneer wood cleaning hacks to keep your furniture looking brand new. Although veneer wood furniture won’t last as long as natural wood furniture, it can be a good alternative for people who don’t want to spend too much on home furniture.