Why Wood Veneers are More Sustainable than Solid Wood

When managed properly, wood can be a naturally sustainable furniture making product. With less impact on energy resources and air and water pollution and with less waste by-product than alternatives such as plastic and metal.

Sustainability is incredibly important. Preserving our resources is vital, as is reducing carbon in order to protect the planet against the devastating effects of climate change. Trees play such a crucial role in reducing atmospheric carbon, so making sure no timber goes to waste is essential. One effective way of doing this is to use wood veneers rather than solid wood.

Whilst some people may consider wood veneers the inferior choice in comparison to solid wood, the fact is that they have a great deal going for them.

When you pit wood veneers against solid wood, you find they present a host of advantages, including versatility in design, stability and lower maintenance. And what they also offer is a higher level of sustainability.

What are wood veneers?

Veneers are formed by slicing very thin layers of wood from the log. These thin layers are then applied to a substrate, such as MDF, plywood or particle board, or sometimes hardwood or softwood.

Different veneer cutting techniques produce a variety of results, with different grain patterns, knots and burls. When applying the veneer to the substrate, a range of veneer matching techniques can be used to create all sorts of magnificent effects. Narrow strips of veneer are used around the edges of the furniture to create a perfect finish. This is known as edge banding.

The main advantage of using wood veneers is that there is no waste, with all the wood from the log being used.

Wood veneers sustainability

Why are wood veneers more sustainable than solid wood?

Whilst it’s true that furniture that bears Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) certification is made from timbers sourced from forests and plantations that have been managed in line with environmentally friendly standards, with new trees are planted to replace those cut down for furniture making, the fact is that some trees can take many, many years to grow to full size.

This is especially so for the rarer species of trees, such as ebony, which can take 100 or more years to their full size. In these cases, it is much more sustainable to use wood veneers rather than solid wood.

Using a wood veneer involves using less wood. The amount of veneer needed to cover one side of a piece of furniture is considerably less than if solid wood were to be used, making specific types of wood go much further. This means that fewer trees need to be cut down.

Some companies will also upcycle reclaimed wood and transform it into veneers, which is another boost for sustainability.

Wood veneers: the sustainable option for furniture makers

Wood veneers are a sustainable option for furniture makers looking to reduce their carbon footprint and be kinder to the planet.

Providing the wood veneers are handled by Forest Stewardship Council ® (FSC) certified woodworkers and furniture makers who adhere to the organisation’s standards governing the promotion of responsible forest management across the world, you’ll know that you can rely on their integrity in terms of sustainability.

Here at Read Veneers, we have for three decades been working closely with interiors specialists, bespoke cabinetmakers, joiners and contractors. Our services are all encompassing, allowing us to provide whatever you need in terms of wood veneers, either fully machined and ready to fit, or prepared for your own finishing.

To learn more, give us a call on 01277 811 771 or get in touch for more information on our natural wood veneering services for home interiors.