Customize Woodwork with Wood Veneer

By HomeAdvisor

Updated May 29, 2018

Wood Veneer in Bathroom

Unfortunately, many manufacturers mass produced wood products that have given veneer a bad name. They’ve accomplished this feat by using inferior veneers and adhesives on everything from doors, floors, cabinetry, and furniture. The truth is that wood veneer is not a second rate product and it should not be used deceptively to make lower value products appear to be made of higher quality materials. What veneers do offer, when used correctly, are a wonderful range of beautiful finishes, grades, grains, and wood styles that would not otherwise be available to custom wood builders. In fact, some of the highest quality furniture, floors, doors, and cabinets being built today utilize wood veneers as a top-notch building material.

Wood Veneers and Custom Woodwork

Wood veneer is a very thin cut piece of wood, usually 1/8″ thick or less, that is subsequently glued and pressed onto another material. That material can be plywood, particle board, real wood, pressed wood, solid wood, or even plastics and composites. It’s cheaper substrate material (like particle board) that has given wood veneers a bad reputation. When glued and pressed over solid wood furniture, cabinets, and flooring, however, it makes for some of the highest quality and attractive materials you can purchase.

The other reason veneers are such an excellent building material is that cutting the wood so thin gives the manufacturers a chance to bring out even more beauty in custom woodwork. They can experiment with angles, thicknesses, and cuts that wouldn’t be possible with larger pieces of lumber. Custom woodwork is often only practical with veneers, as it’s not uncommon for some of the most impressive wood grains in the world to actually come in veneers rather than in larger, solid, pieces of wood.


Even flimsier versions with cheap substrate have legitimate reasons for consideration. First, the cost of wood veneer is a whole lot cheaper than the cost to build an entire piece of furniture out of a rare cut piece of wood. If you use a flimsy substrate, yes, your paneling or furniture may crack or chip, but it won’t be hard to replace. Moreover, you can use a strong wood substrate with an exotic wood species to create truly elegant and cost-effective wood veneer paneling and furniture. Take bird’s eye maple, for example. A dining room set made of solid bird’s eye maple can cost nearly $20,000! A piece of furniture finished in bird’s eye veneer, however, has all the great looks of that rare wood at a fraction of the price. It’s still not going to be cheap, but it might actually be something you can fit into your budget.

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Wood Veneer Panels and Sheets

Larger projects usually involve the installation of wood veneer paneling or wood veneer sheets, typically sized at 4’x8′, although they can often be ordered in a variety of dimensions. Wood veneer panels are a perfect wall covering, or they can be fashioned into cabinets, flooring, or any number of applications. It’s often necessary to cut these wood veneer sheets down to a specific size for the project at-large or for corners, seams, etc.

Wood Veneer Contractors

Because there is a veneer out there in every type of wood imaginable and probably hundreds or thousands you’ve never heard about, it pays to talk to a custom furniture builder, cabinetmaker, or other craftsman about what your options are before you get started on your project. These various wood veneer contractors are incredible resources when it comes to cost-effective furnishings and wall paneling. And if you really want to open your eyes to the possibilities of wood veneers, talk to a retailer or supplier who specializes in different cuts, grades, and styles of veneers, about which will be the best fit for you. In the end, however, a larger project that involves paneling or sheets requires the technical expertise of wood veneer contractors. Remember, the best veneers can literally transform a door, floor, piece of furniture, cabinet, or just about any other wood product, into a beautiful thing to behold.

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