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The Environmental Benefits of Wood Veneers

Updated on March 20, 2016

Some people believe that veneers are a negative thing, and solid wood is the way to go for furniture.

The thing is, veneers produce a very eye-catching finish and are used extensively throughout the world's most luxurious buildings and high end properties. What is more, wood veneers are more ecologically sound than solid wood. In this article we are talking about why you should be championing veneered furniture, rather than avoiding it.

Longer Lasting Furniture

Solid woods are inclined to crack and warp and people will often find they have to replace their solid wood fon a regular basis, especially if moisture from spillages gets into the cracks. This further pressures environmental resources. If you opt instead for plywood finished in natural timber veneers, then you will not suffer this problem and what is more, using the likes of plywood helps the environment as it is formed from trees of lower quality. Remaining trees in these plantations are left with less competition for light and food which means they can grow faster and replenish the forest faster.

Rain Forest Conservation

The use of veneers significantly reduces demand for solid wood and therefore reduces the impact on the environment. Deforestation is a substantial problem, however certain furniture manufacturers still try to convince you that solid wood is the better choice.

However, veneers are a sensible option for a number of reasons, especially as they allow you to achieve a solid wood finish, without the use of so much timber.

When timber is processed by a mill in solid form, it will usually be sawn into boards of around one inch thick and this produces a large amount of sawdust. However, when cutting veneers, waste is eliminated and several thin sheets are produced from a single log. This means the quantity of wood required to craft furniture is cut, and so is the waste.

Veneer finished kitchen
Veneer finished kitchen
Veneered kitchen
Veneered kitchen

Greater Appeal

Solid wood doesn’t offer anywhere near the scope of choice that you can achieve from a wood veneer finish. Stunning timbers and exotic species with striking patterns and features can be used to amazing effect thanks to specialist veneer cutting techniques. The knots and burls of timbers like walnut for example are incredibly alluring, but they will only appear courtesy of the veneer cutting process.

Solid wood tends to expand in higher temperatures and then shrink back when it gets colder. Fine detailing on solid wood is an impossibility as the seams open in low temperatures and swell as the temperature rises, which inevitably causes buckling.

In summary, natural wood veneers are a resource that can be consistently renewed and they offer a far more eco-friendly method of using timber compared to solid wood.


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