Inspiration from David Lisle

Veneers vs solid wood: myths debunked

The concept of veneered furniture can understandably cause some doubt in its quality and hardiness. It can give the impression that the furniture is badly made, or that the cabinetmaker has used a shortcut to produce the final design. However, the negativity surrounding the use of veneers is very much unwarranted; they are not only beneficial to the quality of the furniture, they are essential.

It is often thought that using pure, solid wood, say walnut, is the best technique to produce a strong, stable and authentic piece of furniture. However this is not the case. Constant changes in temperature and humidity cause solid wood to expand and contract over time, distorting the shape of the furniture. This means that the mechanisms in pieces such as drawers and cabinets are unable to function properly, making the furniture effectively useless.

This is where veneers come in.

Veneers are thin planes of wood that are applied to a strong internal core, such as furniture-grade MDF. They give the impression that a piece of furniture is made from solid wood, without disrupting the structural integrity of the piece. Using a high quality MDF core, or even better, our new super-eco bamboo, ensures stability and long-lasting quality, whilst still looking like a solid wood piece.

Reducing carbon footprints

For the more eco-conscious, veneers have a further benefit. Depending on factors such as location and frequency, certain woods can be very rare, very expensive, or from an endangered species of tree. Veneers produce much less of a carbon footprint than solid wood for the simple fact that, because they are much thinner, many more planes can be cut from one tree.

(Please note: At David Lisle Kitchen Design, we encourage our clients to choose wood from trees that are responsibly FSC-managed in Europe or the USA. This ensures both fair and conscientious trade.)

Quality is essential

To ensure your cabinetry looks as authentic as possible, it is essential to use veneers of the highest quality. There are several veneers on the market that are made from plastic laminate or foil, engraved with a wood grain effect to appear like real wood. These cheaper, flimsier options understandably contribute the negative press that veneers have gotten over the decades.

At David Lisle, we only use real wood veneers of the highest quality. This is crucial in enabling us to deliver furniture of the exceptional standard that we are known for.