Advantages & Disadvantages of Veneer Boards

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Veener boards combine aesthetics and durability.
Veener boards combine aesthetics and durability. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Veneer is a thin layer of material -- usually fine-grained wood -- overlaid on a cheaper material. Wooden veneers are have a surface backing to add durability to decorative pieces. Although a veneer is an economical choice when deciding upon aesthetics in construction, it also comes with several drawbacks.

Production Advantages

Veneer production starts by slicing or peeling selected logs to veneer “leaves” of 0.6 mm thickness. Common cutting methods produce three different patterns: crown cut with flowery grain, quarter cut with straight grain and rotary cut patterns. Once cut, the leaves undergo a matching process, which includes book matching, random matching, reverse matching and slip matching. The matched leaves are glue-pressed onto a substrate to form veneer sheets. The waterproof aerospace- and marine-grade glue used in veneer board production allows the board to have more strength, compared to solid wood structures. The overlaying methods also provide greater resilience to cracking or splitting. The production methods are environment friendly, as thickness and wastage are controlled to maximize production.

Application Advantages

Since the logs used are carefully selected to be high quality, the finished boards are almost always aesthetically pleasing. Common veneer applications at home include kitchen cupboards, wall panels, furniture and countertops. Veneers are also used in business and commercial institutions, hospitals, gym walls, lecture halls, workshops, sports and reception places and work factories. Acoustic wooden veneer-based boards provide suitable noise control applications.

Processing and Storage Disadvantages

Substrates for veneer boards include plywood, particleboards and medium density fiberboards. Veneer boards are characterized by two surfaces: the front, or face, and the back. The face is constructed from more finely-grained wood species, while the back is of less quality material, which may deteriorate easily. Finishing applications include lacquer, varnish, wax polish and oil, which also undergo wearing due to constant use. Because a veneer board is composed of several layers, in some instances, it might peel off when stored improperly.

Business Disadvantages

A veneer board business requires solid financial investing for equipment and technology, so that supply is commensurate with demand flow. Unless an investor has a steady market for finished products, going into the veneer board business may prove risky. Availability of skilled workers may also prove to be a challenge, as the technique in producing the material requires a high level of technical knowledge and expertise.

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