Table of contents:

Real wood veneer and solid wood: what is it?
Real wood veneer and solid wood: what is it?

Video: Real wood veneer and solid wood: what is it?

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Video: How to Identify Solid Wood and Real Wood Furniture 2023, January
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What wood quality should your new piece of furniture be made of? Real wood veneer, solid wood, partial solid or maybe solid wood? We present the different types of processing and show their advantages and disadvantages. We also help you to distinguish real wood veneer from deceptively real-looking plastic films and to recognize solid wood.

Table of contents Table of contents Real wood veneer, solid wood, solid wood: What the terms mean

  • Real wood veneer
  • Solid wood
  • Partially massive
  • Solid wood

Table of contents Table of contents Real wood veneer, solid wood, solid wood: What the terms mean

  • Real wood veneer
  • Solid wood
  • Partially massive
  • Solid wood

Real wood veneer

Veneer is wooden sheets used to cover furniture, doors, flooring or wall coverings. Veneer is extremely thin with a thickness of around 0.3 to 6 millimeters. In order to preserve the wooden leaves, the wood of a tree trunk is peeled off, sliced ​​or sawn off. Then the wooden leaves are dried, cut and put together to form a deck. "These decks come on substrates such as solid wood chopsticks, chipboard, MDF boards, multiplex boards or plywood, " explains the Furnier + Natur initiative. The standard DIN 4079 applies to the production of veneer in Germany. For experienced home improvement, wood veneer is not difficult at all.

How do you recognize real wood veneer?

The lettering on the furniture does not always provide information as to whether it is real wood veneer or a deceptively real-looking plastic coating. "Veneer - just like solid wood - can be identified by touching it, " says Ursula Geismann, spokeswoman for the Furnier + Natur initiative. "Like wood, real wood veneer is always pleasantly warm, whereas foil is rather cool." You can also recognize real wood veneer visually - if the same piece of furniture is available in the store multiple times or if there is more than one piece of furniture from the same series or production. Because: Every piece of furniture covered with real wood veneer has a unique grain and color, while chests of drawers, tables, etc. coated with foil usually look identical. If in doubt, it is best to ask in the shop.

Advantages of real wood veneer

  • Very sustainable use of wood: Since the wood leaves are cut very thinly, a large area of ​​furniture fronts can be obtained from a small piece of wood from local wood species. The rest of the harvest from the timber can be used almost entirely for the veneer base materials.
  • Top for ceiling cladding, cupboard walls and more: Non-combustible versions are available.
  • The base plate normally ensures that furniture covered with real wood veneer is dimensionally stable.
  • Veneer impresses with a natural and at the same time noble look and feel. Protection from paint, wax or oil also helps.

Disadvantages of real wood veneer

  • You must be careful when cleaning: It is best to use only a dry, soft cloth. Veneer does not tolerate cleaning agents, if necessary you can use a little water and detergent. Microfibre cloths are taboo for painted surfaces.
  • Slight scratches can be easily repaired, but deeper ones would be fatal. Since the top layer of veneer sheets is very thin, regrinding is only possible to a limited extent.
  • It changes color over time due to sunlight, but this can also look natural.

Prices of real wood veneer

The cost of real wood veneer varies depending on the carrier material: chipboard is cheaper, fiberboard is of higher quality and therefore more expensive. The type of wood and the thickness of the veneer are also decisive. The thicker the higher the price. For less than 1 millimeter, you usually pay a single-digit amount per square meter. Furniture with real wood veneer starts around the middle three-digit price range.

Solid wood

The standard DIN 68871 defines what counts as solid wood furniture: the piece of furniture must be made from a single type of wood, with the exception of the rear wall and drawer bottoms, and must not be veneered. Wood felled for solid wood furniture is delimbed, debarked, cut, dried, glued and finally joined using a plate press. Then it goes to the surface. This is sanded down and then treated with wood protection such as varnish, wax or oil. Then the piece of furniture can be built from it.

Tisch aus Massivholz
Tisch aus Massivholz

A reliable permanent guest in the dining room: the solid wood table.

Photo: living4media

How do you recognize real solid wood?

"You can distinguish real wood from wood foils by looking at the front, " explains the Pro Massivholz initiative. Because the annual rings of a tree can be seen on the sides. As with real wood veneer, you can also check for real solid wood to see whether the piece of furniture has a unique grain and color and whether it feels warm. If you are unsure, ask the seller.

Advantages of solid wood

  • Solid wood is very durable. Scratches are much easier to fix than real wood veneer.
  • The look and feel impresses with a charming natural look.
  • Solid wood is particularly stable.
  • If the furniture made of solid wood has an FSC or PEFC seal and the wood comes from Germany, it is much more sustainable than cheap furniture.
  • Solid wood contributes to a good indoor climate, since it absorbs moisture but can also release it.

Disadvantages of solid wood

  • Solid wood regulating the humidity in the room can cause it to swell or shrink. To keep this within limits, Stiftung Warentest recommends placing the piece of furniture in a room with a humidity between 45 and 55 percent. Solid wood works less than solid wood.
  • The same applies to care as for real wood veneer: If possible, only use a dry, soft cloth. If necessary, you can slightly moisten it with (neutral) soapy water.
  • Like real wood veneer, solid wood is discolored by the sun over time.
  • Solid wood requires significantly more wood than veneer. However, smaller parts can be used than with solid wood.

Solid wood prices

The cost of solid wood furniture starts for small pieces in the low to medium three-digit range. For larger pieces such as dining tables, four-digit amounts may be incurred.

Partially massive

This term hides a special type of solid wood furniture - namely that which is only partially solid. From the front they are indistinguishable from the usual variant, because the front is solid. The rest, however, consists of chipboard coated with plastic. If the product is not labeled, you should be surprised by a low price. You will notice it at the latest when the front, caused by the sun's rays, takes on a different color than the rest of the piece of furniture.

Solid wood

This term is often used as a synonym for solid wood in the trade, but this is not correct. The crucial point with solid wood: the boards are sawn from the tree trunk as a whole. After drying, they are then sawn into strips. These are in turn glued into panels that can be cut and sanded and then processed into furniture. Solid wood and solid wood work differently. Therefore, the body of a piece of furniture should only be made from one of the two, not from a mix. A solid wood front for a solid body is possible.

Hocker aus Vollholz
Hocker aus Vollholz

It couldn't be more natural: the stool was made of solid wood.

Photo: living4media

Advantages of solid wood

  • This variant is the most natural of all, because continuous pieces of wood are used.
  • Solid wood is also much more durable, stable and sustainable (if the wood comes from ecological, if possible local cultivation) than cheap furniture.

Disadvantages of solid wood

  • Solid wood works the most.
  • The complex processing makes it expensive.
  • Smaller pieces of wood (unlike solid wood) cannot be used, only large, undamaged areas. The residues can, however, be used for other purposes.

Solid wood prices

Since the processing of solid wood is the most complex and only large pieces of wood can be used, furniture made of solid wood costs more compared to solid wood. The prices usually start in the higher three-digit range.

Melanie Nees editors Haus.de

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