If you’re shopping for Amish furniture online, you’ve seen all kinds of terms being used to describe it. Solid wood, veneer, and others all allude to how the furniture was made. What does it all mean though? And is one better than the other? This guide to veneering in Amish furniture will help you find out more about the veneering process.
What Is Veneering?
While shopping around, you’ll have seen pieces of wood furniture that are described as being ‘veneered wood’. What does that mean? Essentially, using a veneer on a piece of furniture means that a thin layer of one wood is layered over another.
This is often done with more expensive and attractive woods, as a more affordable option. The expensive wood is layered onto another piece of wood to make it appear as though the whole piece of furniture is made of it. It’s become very popular in recent years as it makes much more attractive looking furniture more widely available. That really pretty coffee table in your friend’s living room? It’s probably veneer.
Veneer Vs. Solid Wood
So, what’s the difference between veneer and solid wood?
A piece of furniture that uses veneer will use several kinds of wood in its construction. Depending on where you’re buying it, and how much you’ve spent on it, there could be several different types of wood that make up the body, underneath the veneer.
Solid wood, on the other hand, it exactly what it sounds like. A piece of furniture made with solid wood is made entirely out of that wood. They’re more expensive, but they’re often considered to be much better quality as they’re milled out of the same piece of wood.
Where Veneering Is Most Commonly Used
Now you may be wondering why an Amish furniture store is talking about veneer at all. If they’re so interested in keeping the quality of their furniture high, why would they talk about veneer at all? Isn’t everything solid wood?
Well, this is because other stores have given veneer a not so stellar reputation. The problem is with the quality of the wood used and the workmanship of the company who makes the furniture. As there’s several different types of wood used, it’s much more likely to be a cheaper, low quality wood that’s forming the substrate of that table or chair. This makes it lighter and much easier to move, but it also means that it’s nowhere near as strong as a solid wood piece of furniture.
Because of all the layers involved, it’s also seen that in cheaper veneer pieces, the veneer can actually start peeling away to show the cheap wood underneath. This is especially true in humid climates, and when the veneer itself has been cracked or penetrated. As such, veneer has earned itself a reputation as ‘bad’ furniture that it doesn’t entirely deserve.
Solid Wood Veneering
So, is there something in between solid wood and veneer furniture? Something that’s good quality, but still affordable? Luckily there is. Solid wood veneer splits the difference, but still gives you a piece of furniture that will last for years and years.
Essentially, a good quality wood is used as the substrate in the piece. It may be a wood that’s not as aesthetically pleasing, but is solid and will give you the quality that you need. It’s then overlaid with a veneer of a more attractive wood, so you get the look that you want.
The best Amish furniture craftspeople know just how to make these pieces so they last. Looking at them, you’ll never know that the beautiful wood is a veneer. There shouldn’t be a crack or line in it anywhere that gives it away. This also makes sure that nothing can get under the veneer and start lifting it up. You’ll also get the weight and solidness that the solid wood underneath gives you.
Other Furniture Types
There are other furniture types to look out for when you’re shopping around online. Keep an eye out for these descriptions, as you may be getting something that isn’t top quality.
- Solid wood products: This sounds like you’re getting a solid wood piece of furniture, but in fact you’re not. The key is in the word ‘products’. It actually could be the by-products of the milling of hardwood, made into products such as MDF.
- Laminate: Laminate furniture is similar to veneered furniture in that it’s a non wood veneer that’s placed over sections of cheaper wood, to look like like a real wood product. It’s not solid wood, but it can be good for kid’s furniture as it’s easily cleaned.
If you want to find out more, check out what’s available in our store. Every piece is lovingly crafted and will last you for years to come.