What is Timber Veneer?

What is Timber Veneer?

Timber veneer is an excellent choice for discerning homeowners looking for a cost-effective way to emulate the look and feel of real timber cabinetry—but what is Timber veneer and how can you tell if it’s the right choice for your kitchen renovation?

Read on to find out more about how you could utilise Timber veneer in your kitchen renovation.

Key Summary

What is Timber veneer? Timber veneer is a very thin slice of wood which is applied to a solid core to emulate the look and feel of solid timber.

what is timber veneer

Timber veneers are very thin slices of real hardwood (typically between 0.6mm and 3mm thick) which are attached to a hard-core substrate material, such as wood, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), plywood or particle board.

The Timber veneers are usually attached to the panels using a glue or adhesive, helping to seal and stabilise the substrate material.

Typically produced from lumbers such as oak, birch, teak, rosewood, mahogany, cedar, ash, cherry, maple and eucalyptus, Timber veneers can be used to emulate a variety of styles of wood grains and patterns at a significantly lower cost compared to solid timber.

Types of Timber veneers

There are various types of Timber veneers including:

  • Raw Veneers – only suitable for use on flat surfaces such as panels or cabinetry, raw veneer doesn’t have any backing, allowing it to be used with either side facing up.
  • Paper-backed Veneers – a costlier variety of veneer featuring a paper backing which allows it to be produced in large sized sheets, while also providing additional strength and flexibility which makes it suitable for use on curved surfaces.
  • Phenolic-backed Veneers – artificial or composite veneers which are also available in sheets and suitable for use on curved surfaces.
  • Laid Up Veneers – raw veneers which have been joined together to form larger pieces.
  • Reconstituted Veneers – veneer which is derived from strips of natural timber from fast-growing tropical species, which is dyed and laminated together to create a veneer with consistent colouring that is free from imperfections you would normally find on natural timber such as knots, splits and holes.
  • Wood on Timber veneers – also known as 2-ply, wood on Timber veneers include two Timber veneers which are bonded together, with the grains perpendicular to each other to prevent bubbling and provide additional flexibility.

Timber veneer can also be produced using various cutting techniques such as rotary, crown, quarter or rift cut, which will impact the display of the timber grain in the finished product.

Timber veneer vs Laminate vs Solid Hardwood: What’s the Difference?

Timber veneer

Timber veneer comprises of thin slices of real hardwood timber which are applied to a substrate core (which is typically made from a more affordable material).


Like Timber veneer, laminate is also applied to a substrate core, however it is typically made from a synthetic, man-made substance and can be produced with either a single bonded layer, or with multiple layers which makes it significantly more durable.

Solid hardwood

Solid hardwood is ‘real timber’ or lumbar, as opposed to manufactured or engineered varieties that are produced by combining wood fibres or strands together.

How is Timber veneer Used in Kitchen Renovations?

Timber veneer is often used in kitchens on cabinet doors and panels as a more cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative to solid timber.

Available in a variety of colours and textures, timber veneer is an excellent way to incorporate extra warmth and texture into your kitchen, and generally compliments most other materials you would commonly find in a kitchen, such as marble and stone.

What Are the Advantages of Timber veneer as Cabinetry?

There are several advantages to using Timber veneer for kitchen cabinetry.

  • Cost: As Timber veneer utilises a very thin layer of high-quality timber in conjunction with a substrate core made from a more affordable material, it is significantly more cost-effective than solid timber.
  • Durability: Solid wood can expand and contract in reaction to moisture or climatic changes, which can be problematic when used for items with hinges or moving parts. Timber veneer effectively seals the substrate core, adding strength and reducing the likelihood of warping and cracking. This makes it a more suitable option for kitchen cabinetry which is continually being opened and closed.
  • Aesthetics: Timber veneer is available in a variety of grain and colour finishes that are typically more consistent in their appearance and with fewer imperfections compared to solid hardwood timbers.
  • Sustainability: The thin profile of Timber veneer slices maximises the use of the timber, making it a more environmentally-friendly, sustainable option compared to solid timber. Timber veneer is also non-toxic and can be recycled.

Speak to the Kitchen Renovation Experts

If you can’t decide if Timber veneer is the right choice for your kitchen renovation, the team of award-winning kitchen renovation experts at Mint kitchen group can help.

Find out more about Mint kitchen renovations


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