Veneer Vs. Solid Wood


When shopping for furniture--such as tables, cabinets and chests--you may encounter the choice between a wood veneer and solid wood. Some traditionalists may consider veneers less desirable, but the reality is that both options can be attractive, and each has benefits.


  • Solid wood furniture is constructed of 100 percent softwood or hardwood lumber. Such furniture uses no veneers or particleboard fillers. The grain of the wood will be visible and the piece of furniture will likely feel heavier.

    A wood veneer is a thin layer of wood that is applied in a sheet over plywood, particleboard or some other less expensive inner material. Furniture made with a veneer can be very attractive while also being lighter and less expensive.

Benefits of Wooden Veneers

  • Most furniture today uses a combination of solid wood and wood veneers. Veneers are more affordable, make furniture lighter, and can allow for unique style treatment--such as special design on a table top. Veneers benefit the environment and may give you the option to use a rare wood--such as rosewood--as part of a design. Using veneers can help prevent warping and other problems that may occur to solid wood as humidity levels change.

Benefits of Solid Wood

  • Solid wood furniture is preferred by many for its extreme durability; such furniture can last a lifetime and may become a family heirloom. You can sand, stain or otherwise refinish solid wood if it is damaged or you simply want to refresh a look. Solid wood furniture offers superior stability and reliability. It is more likely to be handcrafted and is generally of higher quality.

Advances in Veneers

  • Veneers have existed for centuries. In fact, the master furniture makers of the 18th century used veneering techniques to create many classic looks. The advent of mass production in the second half of the 1900s led to the use of veneer as a cost-cutting measure and it was often applied with poor technique. Peeling, bubbling and other quality issues led to the negative opinion of veneers that many still hold today despite significant enhancements in how this product is used.

Selection Tips

  • Selecting furniture is not a matter of veneer vs. solid wood but rather of overall quality and construction. Any piece of wood furniture that you are purchasing for long-term use should have solid wood legs and supports. Look at drawers, hinges and other materials to assess overall quality. Anything that looks or feels flimsy should be avoided. Drawers with "guides" will hold up better over time. You shouldn't see any excess glue anywhere on a piece of furniture. You can push lightly on the doors of a piece of furniture to assess quality as well; furniture should not feel weak or overly flexible.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit accessoires image by Jacques PALUT from
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Solid Vs. Veneer Cabinet Doors

    Buying kitchen cabinets can be a major investment for many homeowners. Because of the high price tag associated with this process, it...

  • Brick Veneer Vs. Solid Brick

    Many homeowners have a hard time understanding the difference between brick veneer and solid brick. Some believe that brick veneer is made...

  • What Is Solid Wood Veneer?

    For more than a century, thin layers of solid wood with distinctive grain or color have been used to cover less desirable...

  • MDF vs. Wood Cabinets

    Wood and medium-density fiberboard are materials used to build cabinets. MDF is a manufactured product consisting of wood byproducts and resin glued...

  • Cabinet Refacing Thermofoil Laminate Vs. Veneer

    Refacing your kitchen cabinets is simpler and less expensive than replacing them. There are several types of cabinet surfaces to choose from,...

  • How to Paint Laminate Furniture

    Laminate furniture is produced when a thin sheet of plastic laminate is adhered to a piece of particle board. The particle board...

  • How to Clean Solid Cherry Wood Furniture

    Properly cleaning your solid cherry furniture may seem like a difficult task considering all of the products available on the market meant...

  • Care for Wood Veneer

    Veneer is a thin layer of an expensive, desirable wood over a less expensive substrate, creating furniture that looks like it is...

Related Searches

Check It Out

22 DIY Ways to Update Your Home on a Small Budget

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!