Veneers sometimes evoke negative connotations of being inferior to solid wood. In reality, they are commonly used on high-quality furniture as well as budget pieces.
Veneer is a thin sliver (about 1/28 inch) of wood applied to a wood or plywood base.
Veneers can be used to create intricate patterns on the surface of veneers furniture with grain matching or with marquetry and intarsia inlays.
Veneers are often made from highly-valued woods like mahogany and walnut, or exotic woods like tiger wood and maple burl. Veneers are applied to both solid wood and engineered wood substructures.
A single slab of wood, such as a tabletop, can warp and split over time. For a tabletop made of a secondary (cheaper) wood, several boards are edge-joined, then covered with veneer furniture of a finer wood. A veneer can also be applied over plywood.
Veneers attract a lot of eyes by making the most of the grain-lines in the wood. Grain-lines can be matched to look like one solid piece, or they can be arranged in diamond, radiating, checkerboard, or other patterns.