What is wood veneer?
Wood veneer is a thin slice of natural wood that is attached, through gluing or pressing, onto a panel of fiberboard or particleboard. In furniture, wood veneers give the appearance of an all-wood piece, when in reality only the surface is taken from natural wood.
Advantages: Wood veneer furniture pieces use a minimal amount of natural wood, making them more affordable and environmentally friendly. Wood veneers are also less prone to the splintering and warping that can come from an all-wood design.
Disadvantages: Wood veneers are attached to fiberboard, which are not as heavy as natural wood boards; if wood veneers are not coated with a surface polish, this makes it easy for liquids to be absorbed through the wood. And unlike solid wood, once damaged, wood veneers can be difficult or costly to repair.
Best for: Those looking for lighter pieces that are easier to move, as well as budget- and environmentally-conscious shoppers.
Solid Wood Furniture
What is solid wood furniture?
Solid wood furniture is furniture made completely from natural wood (excepting any areas of upholstery, metallic fixtures, etc.).
Advantages: Solid wood is easier to repair, as most forms of damage can be fixed with sanding. While solid hardwoods will often outperform veneers in terms of durability, softer woods such as cedar are rising in popularity for their susceptibility to distress, patina and other 'rustic-chic' signs of aging.
Disadvantages: Atmospheric pressure can cause natural wood to expand, leading to cracks or splits in the furniture design. While many designs now come with systems to prevent such from happening, it is still recommended that solid wood pieces be kept out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
Best for: Those looking for durability, minimal maintenance and an all-natural aesthetic.