If you’re shopping for furniture, chances are you’ve come across the terms ‘veneer’ and ‘solid’ timber. We'll explain the pros and cons for both to help you decide when making your next furniture purchase.

 


What’s veneer?

Veneer is a thin decorative layer of material glued on top of a medium. Veneer is therefore used to dress up or even hide a less desirable or appealing material.

Advantages of veneer

  • Much cheaper to manufacture.
  • Lower initial purchase price.
  • Lighter than solid timber, so easier to transport or move.

Disadvantages of venner

  • If scratched or chipped, cannot be properly repaired.
  • Veneer may be peeled off, exposing the underlying material which is usually not water resistant – causing the furniture piece to deform.
  • Costs more over the long term due to its shorter life span.

 


What’s solid timber?

‘Solid timber’ is 100% pure wood, through and through. Quality furniture will usually utilise hardwoods such as Oak, Ash or beech wood. This is especially the case on high use items such as dining tables and chairs. Pine wood is sometimes used, however this is typically a cheaper wood due to its lower durability.

Advantages of solid timber

  • If scratched or chipped, it can be repaired easily by sanding and restaining.
  • Cost to own is reduced over the longer term due to increased durability which reduces need to replace.
  • Each piece is original with its unique natural grain patterns which are grown, not manufactured.

Disadvantages of solid timber

  • Higher initial purchase price
  • Usually heavier than veneer, so more difficult to transport or move

 


While veneer furniture may suit customers on a budget, we have seen retailers list veneer pieces at premiun prices. We recommend that next time you're shopping, to ask if pieces are solid timber or timber veneer. Always do your price comparisons (including online) before making a final decision.