Timber veneer can be used in many ways to enhance building projects. However, not everyone is enthusiastic about using it, or even understands what veneer is and how it can be used.

Veneer is real timber

The term ‘veneer’ might give some people the impression that it is not real timber. But that’s not true: Veneer is definitely real timber – just a very thin slice of it. Veneer means ‘a thin decorative covering of fine wood applied to a coarser wood or other material’.

Veneer is timber adhered to other things that aren’t timber or lower grade, cheaper timbers. For example, a sideboard might be made of MDF, but have timber veneer applied to the outside. Veneer is wonderful because you can have the look of expensive timbers without using as much of it or even paying as much for it. From a costing perspective, it is cheaper to veneer with more expensive timbers than to build it wholly out of those timbers. It is also a more efficient use of timber as you can veneer many more things from one log. For example, one cubic metre of timber can produce 1000 square metres of veneer.

How is veneer made?

Veneer is made by peeling or slicing a timber log on a machine. Matilda Veneer can achieve veneers to 0.6mm in thickness and even thinner depending on the timber species.

There are a number of ways to peel or slice the log, but probably the easiest way to visualise the peeling process is to imagine a toilet roll as a log. When a large knife is pressed against the log and the log rotates, it peels off a thin layer of veneer, much like the paper coming off a toilet roll. This is known as ‘rotary cut’.

‘Sliced veneers’ are relatable to a block of cheese. The log (the block) moves up and down on a stationary knife cutting off thin slices of veneer, much the same way as a cheese grater or slicer.

The way a log is peeled or sliced has a major impact on the aesthetic of a veneer. No two logs are the same, resulting in unique patterns that emerge during the production process. Beautiful veneers come from sourcing quality timbers.

Sourcing for quality and sustainability

Matilda Veneer sources logs from around Australia and overseas, choosing only to work with suppliers that meet relevant certifications. This ensures the wood used for veneers is sourced in a sustainable manner, which supports forest management that protects animals, plants and communities for future generations.

Matilda Veneer is accredited under the PEFC and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification programs. CoC certification provides a guarantee about the production and source of products. From a customer’s perspective, it represents a promise that businesses certified by these programs are supporting responsible forest management.

Matilda Veneer’s commitment to sustainability is an important part of their business, as is their reputation for sourcing uncommon and hard-to-find timber species for veneer. These qualities make the brand a favourite among architects, cabinet makers, interior designers and other design professionals that utilise or specify timber veneer.