Wood Veneer, Laminate, or Solid Timber – Which Is It To Be?

square-timber-table-with-tolix-baseWood veneer, laminate, and solid timber have all been used in cafe furniture for many years and continue to be popular choices despite other materials such as aluminium and polypropylene coming to the fore. That said, there’s something about wooden cafe furniture that gives the appearance of being solid, rugged, and reliable. With this in mind, do you opt for wood veneer, laminate, or solid timber? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between them and their uses.

Laminate veneer

Laminate is made up of layers of thin paper-like sheets which are then glued together and pressed using great force onto a particle board substrate. This makes it incredibly durable and hard wearing Laminate is resistant to water (up to 180°C) plus any staining or cracking, making it perfect for use both indoors and outdoors. When it comes to cost, laminate is also considerably cheaper than solid timber, so it’s a great product for budget conscious owners and comes in a plethora of shades colours and styles.

The main disadvantage with laminate is that in some instances it can look quite unrealistic when compared to solid timber as it can lack the grain feel, warmth, and smell that real wood gives. That said, as laminate production is becoming more refined, modern laminate furniture is more life-like than every before.

Wood Veneer

For those who like the realistic feel and look of real wood, but don’t want to pay ‘solid wood’ prices, then they might want to opt for wood veneer cafe furniture. As the name suggests furniture does contain real wood but only the top layer, which is sliced very thinly. This is then usually glued onto a particle board base. It comes in a wide variety of woods, finishes, and grain directions and what’s more,veneer is also flexible enough to be bent into a wide variety of shapes and designs which solid wood isn’t. Finally if cared for and not exposed to moisture, wood veneer can last for many years.

The disadvantages of wood veneer are that when moisture gets underneath the surface it can bubble and swell, ruining the furniture. It’s also prone to cracking, so isn’t ideal for outdoor use. In addition wood veneer table tops also easily dented and scratched and therefore isn’t advisable for use in high traffic areas.

Solid timber

Let’s face it solid timber furniture is the real deal. It’s rugged, durable, and really makes a statement as part of your overall cafe design. It’s often referred to as a lifetime product with many pieces having a 10-15 year guarantee. Solid timber furniture is natural and unique and comes in a wide variety of timbers including oak, beech, maple, and cherry.

On the flip side and as you might expect, solid timber furniture is very expensive when compared to other options and it can be extremely heavy. This means that it’s not ideal for busy areas where furniture may need to be moved around to accommodate the needs of guests. In addition solid timber furniture needs regular varnishing and waxing to keep it looking in tip top condition, so in this respect it’s quite needy. It can also be prone to cracking, warping, and fading in adverse weather conditions and therefore isn’t the ideal furniture for use outdoors. All that said, solid timber cafe furniture adds that touch of class that you mightn’t always be able to achieve using laminate or wood veneer.

At Cafe Furniture Brisbane we’re having a timber sale this November on a wide range of laminate and wood veneer cafe furniture. So why not check out our website and grab yourself a real bargain To find out more contact us on 07 3205 1616 today.