To understand wood veneers one need to first understand plywood. Plywood is thin layers of wood (peeled from the tree – varying between 1.5 milimeter to 4 milimeter thick) glued together with phenolic resin based adhesive and hot pressed to form a single ply. Each thin layer of wood is referred to as “cores” or “ply” or “veneer” or “core veneer” or “face veneer”. In plywood construction we have two types of veneers i.e. core veneer and face veneer. Core veneers are the ones which are used in the inner part of plywood construction and face veneers are the ones used as the final top layer on the plywood. At times this mixed nomenclature may become confusing for the customer as in our industry, ply is also used in short for plywood and veneer is also used in short for decorative plywood e.g. teak veneer which is decorative plywood i.e. plywood with decorative teak “face veneer”. Traditionally plywood is made in a size of “8 feet x 4 feet” in varying thicknesses starting from 3mm and going up to 25mm. Customized plywood can also be made up to 75mm thickness in specialised factories.
Plywood was made to substitute wood as it has higher tensile strength compared to a single slab of raw wood, lasts longer, more durable, and highly resistant to the elements. For all these reasons and because it can be made from plantation timbers, it is also an ecological and economical option. Real wood furniture or carpentry would be costlier, in plywood only a 0.5 – 0.7 mm thick layer on the top is sufficient to impart grace and beauty to the creation. Similarly raw wood furniture would consume a significant amount of more decorative wood than is necessitated.
Wood veneers is also plywood, difference as mentioned above is the top layer (face veneer), wood used is that of decorative nature i.e. good looking grains from exotic tree species like White Ash, White Oak, Red Oak, Walnut, Hard Maple, Cherry, Mahogany, Ebony, Bocote, Zericote, Sycamore, Rosewood, Teak etc. These are used to impart beauty to all interior work. By cutting thin slices of wood and arranging them on pre-constructed plywood, we are able to achieve a greater amount of decorative surfaces without compromising on the look and feel of the interior work, also decreasing the cost of the project and cost to the environment.
Wood veneer manufacturing process is shown in the flow below:
Today using only wood is not only expensive but also not environment friendly this is where veneers come into play. We are able to get the beauty of exotic woods and superior strength of plywood by using wood veneers. It serves as a balance point where one can even use wood veneers of expensive wood at a nominal cost.