Finding out the difference Laminate, Veneer and Solid Wood Furniture and what is the best fit for the office
When furnishing an office space, we can agree that the task is difficult. There are a lot of furniture items that are needed. There are chairs, tables, countertops, cabinets etc. in the present times, looks are given a lot of importance and it is important to make your office space look professional as well as representing your style.
The furniture that you put in your office from a simple chair to the tabletop in your office is going to make a statement about your business/work/services and they are going to decide the atmosphere of your workplace. It is safe to say that furniture is one of the building foundations of an operational workplace.
One of the important things before buying the furniture is to know the types of furniture. There are three common types of furniture that are available in the market. Once you know what they are, their pros and cons and, how much they cost, you can easily choose furniture that you need for your office.The
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The Different Types of Material Furniture Tops
The types of materials that is available in the market include:
- Laminate Furniture
- Veneer Furniture
- Solid Wood Furniture
Laminate, veneer and solid wood furniture are all different from each other. Their material, construction and price are all different from each other. These are some of the most crucial factors which help us to choose the right type of furniture.
Material and Construction
Laminate basically means “overlay”. In laminate furniture, a synthetic material is shaped to form a thin layer which looks like wood. The most common example of such material is Formica. Laminate is not made of wood. So, it does not look like wood. The sheets or the layers are printed. The printing process gives the sheets a grain appearance like wood.
Once the thin layer sheets are printed out, they are attached to a durable core material. Most common example is, medium density fiber or MDF. Once it has been attached, the laminate has a shiny finish.
Pros and Cons
Since it is not made of wood, laminate is resistant to heat and scratches. Laminate furniture can also support heavy weight. These features make laminate furniture as a more suitable replacement of veneer and solid wood furniture.
Laminate furniture is low in cost as well. If you are looking for cheap yet durable furniture, laminate furniture is the best match for you. It may not be the best investment. You get your money’s worth when you use the furniture. You can easily replace the laminate sheets if they get damaged.
Laminate furniture is also easy to clean. The laminate surface is smooth and shiny which makes cleaning an easier task. You don’t need special products for wood because laminate is not actually wood. It is easier to maintain over an extended period. Laminate furniture has a medium density fiber in under the laminate covering. This makes the laminate furniture more durable. It is suitable to support heavy machinery and equipment.
The laminate sheets and coverings are usually printed from synthetic material. This opens up a great possibility for designs and colors. You can have your laminate furniture custom printed for your office. You can design a special design for an interior designer and cover major parts of the office with the laminate furniture.
On the other hand, you must be careful while buying laminate furniture. The material used in the laminate covering and the material it is attached can be of lower quality. Often, the low-quality material has caused the furniture to collapse. The damage to equipment and machinery can happen because of low-quality laminate furniture. If you want to make any changes to laminate furniture, you will have to change it. You can’t paint over laminate, nor can you easily change its design by sawing or sandpapering. The laminate also starts to lose its shine over time, making it unattractive to look at.
One of the most important things to remember is laminate furniture is not wooden furniture. It does not look like wooden furniture. It does not feel like wooden furniture and it cannot look as expensive and classy and solid wood furniture. Laminate sheets are printed to look like wood. So, you cannot really get rid of the fake look of the furniture. If you’re alright with that, then you should not find any problem with the laminate furniture.
Although it is made to be durable and heat and scratch resistant, laminate furniture is not made to last long. Like we said, it is not an investment. It is made to be used and discarded after some time. It is not meant to last long.
You cannot replace solid wood furniture. Laminate furniture is a very good option for a budget. You can easily furnish your office for an initial time. You can gradually add real wood or veneer furniture later as you progress.
Once step above laminate furniture and one step below the real wood furniture is veneer furniture. The difference between laminate and veneer furniture is the layer. While laminate is made from synthetic material, veneer covering is made from real wood.
Material and Construction
Veneer layers are often made of hardwood. Under the hardwood covering is the core that can be made of softwood, medium density fiber or particle board. The finished veneer furniture gives the look of solid wood furniture, but they have a softer core. The veneer layer is commonly less than 1/8 inch thick.
Pros and Cons
Veneer material is softer than laminate material. It is not as resistant to scratch or heat. It has to be handled carefully because of the soft core but it looks very much like real wood which makes it desirable.
It looks like solid wood, it does not cost as much as solid wood furniture. If you want something a little better than laminate but you don’t afford solid wood furniture, veneer furniture is a good option. It gives an authentic look as solid wood as well. This is helpful if you want the furniture to look impressive while avoiding the cost. Veneer furniture is manufactured from wood. It is not real wood crafted to make furniture. It has a uniform look which makes it easier to match with other furniture. You can also furnish the entire office with veneer furniture and make it look classy. Since veneer furniture uses a thin layer of wood on the exterior, you can also use exotic wood to make veneer furniture.
Some of the other advantages veneer furniture has over solid wood furniture, is that it is warp-resistant. It does not warp like solid wood furniture, so it lasts longer. It is also lighter in weight than solid wood furniture. Since the core of veneer furniture is of a lighter material, it is lighter. It depends on glue and chemicals for strength. It makes it easier to move if needed.
Laminate furniture cannot be painted or polished. Veneer furniture outer layer is made from real wood. It can be painted and polished like real wood. It has to prepared to make the paint stick to it. it’s better to let a professional do it because veneer furniture has a thin wood layer which can get damaged if you sand it too much. Or you will risk exposing the lower layer.
Veneer furniture is durable but since the outer layer is made from hardwood, it can scratch easily. You have to be careful about moving the furniture. So, it is better to keep veneer furniture in spaces where it cannot get scratched or dented easily. Other than sanding too much, veneer furniture can get damaged from the inside. The softer core, which may be of lower quality, can get damaged quickly. It is harder to repair. It a part breaks off, it is very hard to repair it.
Other than that, if you are getting your material from some shady dealer, they can give you low-quality material under the hardwood exterior. It can decrease the life of the veneer furniture and easier to damage. It cannot support heavy weight as well. if the core is made of particle board, it starts to absorb moisture which weakens it over time.
Solid Wood Furniture
Material and Construction
Solid wood furniture is made of wood. The wood can be hardwood and softwood. Each wood has its own distinct qualities. Some of the most common woods used to make furniture include rosewood, mahogany, oak, teak, pine, maple, etc. The wood comes from the respective trees and it can be sawed, cut, shaped and put together with nails to make furniture. All the knots, texture and variations of the original wood can be seen in solid wood furniture.
Pros and Cons
Solid wood furniture holds the highest standard in furniture market. Many people consider solid wood to be the best material to make furniture. That’s because solid wood furniture has a great aesthetic feel. It can do with anything and in any setting. Solid wood furniture is specially made. It is not manufactured; hence it can be made to look different and it can also be made into sets.
Solid wood furniture is also durable. It is best for daily use in any setting. It can be easily polished, painted, maintained and reconstructed if needed. It does not break easily because it does not have a different core material. It is wood through and through. Solid wood furniture does not contain any chemicals. It is all natural and not hazardous for health. One of the best features of solid wood furniture is that it has a resale value. Solid wood furniture can be sold at a premium.
You have to be very careful while buying solid wood furniture. Some shady dealer can sell you softwood furniture which can be easily damaged. Wood is a natural product and it can wear off with time, especially around the edges. Even though it can be repaired, solid wood can be easily dented, scratched and stained.
Solid wood furniture can be expensive as well. it is more expensive than laminate and veneer furniture. It is a good bet however, because solid wood furniture has a long life if maintained properly. It is heavier in weight though. So, if you are thinking of buying it, make a proper space for it. Don’t move it because you won’t be able to do it easily. If you are keeping solid wood furniture, you also have to be careful about the conditions. Solid wood can absorb dust, moisture, and other particles in the atmosphere. It can make the furniture life short. Solid wood furniture is very durable. It is not easily damaged and it is able to support heavy weight.
Choosing the Right Furniture
Furniture is a sound investment to make your office a great atmosphere for everyone. The features and characteristics of laminate, veneer and solid wood furniture are important to know. You can make the best decision once you know how much you afford to spend on the furniture, how long the furniture can last and where it can be placed.
The pros and cons of each type of furniture can help you decide if laminate or veneer or solid wood furniture is the best for your office space. it is important to assure that the material used to make the furniture is of the best quality. A shady dealer can sell you low-quality material which can damage easily. It can cost you a lot of money to get new furniture or repairing it. It is important to remember that you can easily make the life of your furniture longer if you maintain it.