Contemporary KitchenContemporary Kitchen, Sydney
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Timber veneerTimber veneer has the warm look of solid timber but without the cost. It is composed of a thin slice of timber that is pressed on MDF or a particle substrate board.Browse more kitchen design ideas
TIMBER VENEEROne of the great things about timber veneer is that you can choose an expensive or cost-effective species of timber and use it en mass (cladding an entire wall, for instance) because it is directly glued onto a cheap timber substrate. If you tried to do this with solid timber, it would be extremely expensive. Walls can be integrated with joinery and passage doors, as seen in this kitchen by Hobbs Jamieson Architecture. With the door closed, you have a feature timber wall that integrates the kitchen into the living space.PROS: Timber veneer can be more easily shaped than solid timber, and is available in a variety of species. It’s not prone to warping and splitting because the glue provides strength. It’s also cheaper than solid timber for the same application.CONS: It can’t be repaired by sanding back and re-staining the way solid timber can.WHERE TO USE IT: Low-impact areas such as cupboard doors and feature walls.WHAT TO COMBINE IT WITH: Solid timber. One way to cut the cost of a timber benchtop is to use a timber veneer, but when it comes to the borders, veneer can delaminate or chip. Using a veneer on the top and sides, and a solid timber edge in a matching timber species will keep it looking good for longer – and it can more easily be repaired in case of damage.
In this photograph, a poplar timber veneer on a plywood substrate has been used and finished in clear satin polyurethane. Different plywoods have different looks and grains to choose from. The varying types depend on the wood from which they are made. Birch is another beautiful ply, known for its strength, but much of it is imported from Scandinavia and Russia, so is potentially more expensive.