Wood is versatile – it ranges in color, shape, and size. Your piece of furniture starts as a tree, cut down by a lumberjack. The tree is sliced into logs by a mill and hand crafted into your dream piece. The process is exciting and challenging, now imagine slicing the wood to 2 mm thick making it as thin as a slice of cheese for a hamburger. The sheets can be as thin as 0.6 mm that can cover other surfaces instead of one solid piece of wood. That is veneer – a type of overlay decorative surface that can cover cabinets, dressers, counters, shelves, racks, walls…the list is essentially endless. Veneer makes the application of wood more flexible.
When you select a veneer that is sliced from an individual tree log and not repurposed in any way, it is a natural veneer. Natural veneer is more expensive, especially if it is a rare species that is cut down. With natural veneer, no one sheet is the same because no tree bark is the same. A trees’ reaction to growing conditions over time cause the color, depth, and curves of the grain to be unique. The uniqueness of the grain will be evident – often an easy way to distinguish natural veneer from reconstituted veneer. However, natural veneer can be sequence matched meaning that similar logs are used to maintain the overall effect of an uninterrupted grain and color.
At Woodstock, we have a private brand of reconstituted veneer called Remarkable Veneers. Reconstituted veneer is FSC certified, ensuring responsible stewardship for cutting trees and preserving rare species. A fast-growing species is cut down and turned into pulp, then resin and dye are added to transform the look of it into a rare wood species such as Ebony Zebrawood or Green Birds Eye Maple. The reconstituted wood is then put into a big block and sliced thin into veneer for use.
The pros of using a reconstituted veneer are the inexpensive cost, the multiple color options, and sustainability. The con being all the sheets of veneer may look the same because they are processed and replicated from the same log. Large commercial projects such as a hotel remodel, consider all the veneer being uniform, a perk. With a large order you can also get the full block of lumber to make moulding or trim that matches the veneer for a cohesive design.
Still don’t know what you can design with wood veneer? Here are a few examples to get your design juices flowing.
Adhere veneer panels to the bottom half of a wall for wainscoting design. Apply a full wall application with veneer architectural panels covering the entire wall. With Remarkable Veneers you can create almost any design! You can also renovate an entire kitchen mixing and matching veneer by using plain sliced oak, rift white oak and maple.