A term you will have no doubt come across many times if you’ve surfed Plyco’s website or social media channels is the word “veneer”. Veneers are a pretty big part of what we do here, but it’s not exactly a common expression for your everyday person. What is a veneer? Well, if you were to look it up in the dictionary you would see it referred to as “a thin decorative covering of fine wood applied to a coarser wood or other material” or “a layer of wood used to make plywood”. While these aren’t incorrect in defining what veneer is, it’s incredibly surface level and really doesn’t what it is. This why today we’re looking at what exactly Plyco’s veneers are and will have a little look at what is involved in their creation and application.
The Jarrah veneer from our Strataply range
Firstly, let’s take a more detailed look at what a veneer is. Essentially, a wood veneer refers to thin slices of wood that are typically glued onto plywood core panels. These slices are usually thinner than 3mm (or 1/8 of an inch) and can be cut as thin as 0.6mm (1/40 of an inch). You’ll also find that there are several types of veneers:
- Raw Veneers have no backing and can be used either side facing up
- Paper Backed Veneers are backed with paper (as the name suggests) and are available in larger sheet sizes.
- Phenolic Backed Veneers are an artificial wood veneer that is becoming increasingly popular due to their environmentally friendly nature
- Laid Up Veneers consist of raw veneers that have been combined to make larger pieces.
- Reconstituted Veneers are manufactured from fast-growing, tropical species.
- Wood on Wood Veneers are commonly referred to as 2-Ply and are a decorative veneer with a utility grade wood backer applied.
The production process for producing veneers starts off with large logs being sent to a company that produces veneers, where the wood is cut by a saw kerf. This process allows companies to maximise what can be obtained from the log adding increased value for each log and ensuring that precious resources aren’t being wasted.
Plyco's Veneered Beech MDF
Veneers are quite different to Laminate products (which we also have a wide range of), although similar in theory. Laminates are generally produced with synthetic materials and typically have a very shiny finish, while often being made to look like wood grain. Plyco’s Decoply range has examples of both the shiny finish and wood grain finish.
Veneers offer a wide array of advantages, benefits and positive characteristics as a result of their usage. Arguably, the most important and stand out advantage is that a wood veneer helps increase the stability of a product. Regular wood can at times be prone to warping and splitting, but thanks to the veneer being made up of thin layers and glue the chances of this happening are drastically reduced. This glue also adds additional strength to the product and overall makes it stronger. Some projects would quite literally not be possible if it weren’t for wood veneers!
There are also a number of environmental advantages. The recyclability of wood veneer of wood veneers is something a lot of people covet in this day and age. Building with wood products has the least impact on total energy and pollution, which is a major win for the environment. You’ll also find that sustainability is a big upside of wood veneer products. A veneer can help extend the use of a piece of plywood and allow it to cover a much greater area than would be possible with no veneer applied. Finally, they are a non-toxic product.
We hope this look into the world of wood veneers has been helpful, insightful and allowed you to have a better understanding of what exactly a wood veneer is. If this has piqued your interest, why not check out our Veneered MDF, Strataply and Veneered Particleboard on our online store? Or if you want to see the beauty of wood veneer in action yourself, come visit our Fairfield showroom.