Simple ways to differentiate Laminate vs Veneer!

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

How to tell Laminate and Veneer apart? Comparing them simply by using our 5 senses.


Simple ways to differentiate Laminate vs Veneer!

Photo Courtesy of Circular Connection


 

What is laminate VS what is veneer?


Laminates are usually made up of multi-layered sheets of paper, plastic resins, and even foil stuck together into one. Veneer is a very thin layer of wood or bark that is sliced from a thicker log. Both of them are then attached to solid wood or a less expensive wood board like plywood. They can also be pasted on MDF (Medium-density Fibreboard).



How to differentiate laminate VS veneer by using your 5 senses?


“When you knock onto the surface of a laminated piece, it will produce a higher pitch sound as compared to when you knock the surface of a veneered piece.”

At first glance, laminate and veneer are very much alike in terms of appearance. However, you will be able to differentiate them easily if you take a closer look into how the joineries are done for both laminate and veneer; as well as the appearance of their wood grain patterns.


When laminate is being installed on the surface of furniture, cabinetry, walls, and ceilings; the edges of laminate will be broken off and will not be joined continuously to surface the bent area. This is because laminate cannot be bent. Hence, separation lines can be seen and often laminate wears away at the edges. As for veneer, the edges of veneer will still be joined continuously to surface the bent area. There are no separation lines when veneer is installed for surfacing furniture, cabinetry, walls, and ceilings. Veneer is usually seamless with perfect corners.


Furthermore, the look of veneer’s wood grain patterns is more natural than the wood grain patterns of laminate. This is because veneer sheets are taken directly from actual timber logs whereas wood laminates are synthetic. When you spot that the wood grain patterns in a piece of furniture do not follow through, you can be sure that it is a wood laminate.


When you knock onto the surface of a laminated piece, it will produce a higher pitch sound as compared to when you knock the surface of a veneered piece.


Laminates can replicate the texture of wood or stone. However, the texture of laminate does not feel as realistic as veneer. Laminate’s texture still gives off the plasticky feeling.



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