As a leading specialist in joinery in London we are often asked what type of veneer and substrate material we recommend for different tasks (a veneer is a thin layer of wood attached to a substrate material). The choice of veneers is very wide as practically any type of wood can be used, however each type of wood has it’s advantages and disadvantages.
There are several things to consider when selecting the type of veneer best suited to the job, generally these can be broken down into functional and aesthetic characteristics, they include:
Aesthetic features include:
For example light or dark colours, you may choose to compliment or contrast with existing decor.
For example smooth, rough or mottled textures. Having several different textures in a space offers a greater level of visual interest, however if you are trying to achieve a simple clean finish select a veneer that compliments the existing decor.
Lacquer falls into both the aesthetic and functional groups, it is applied to the wood veneer to protect it from chipping and to protect the colour and integrity of the wood veneer it covers. Lacquer can be high glass, gloss, satin or matt and virtually anywhere along the scale of shininess to a matt protective finish.
Functional features include:
The durability of the veneer is important in most situations as the outer surface of any functional piece of joinery often takes a considerable amount of wear and tear. Striking a balance between the durability of wood, it’s cost and finish also need to be considered as hard woods are better wearing and often have a pleasing appearance, but they are considerably more expensive than softwoods.
Ability to accept lacquer finish
Some wood types require several applications of lacquer, this increases the cost of production of the veneer and the overall cost of the project, especially if they involve large areas of veneer.
Method of production of the veneer
There are many ways to produce a veneer and then apply lacquer. We use a process of which involves the vacuum application of the veneer to the substrate, which produces excellent properties of durability and quality of finish. Other processes include simply gluing the veneer in place and applying a finishing lacquer, this type of approach is better suited to smaller projects or repair work of existing veneers.