Plywood Veneers are the construction materials that are produced from engineered wood and are often favored for their ability to remain stronger and less prone to splitting than hardwood. Plywood Veneers are made from thin layers of wood that are glued together and have their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees from one another.
Plywood Veneers are a type of engineered wood that is within the medium-density fibreboard (MDF), oriented strand board (OSB), and particle board (chipboard) category. There are various types of Plywood Veneers available including softwood, hardwood, tropical, aircraft, decorative, flexible, and marine veneers.
Plywood veneers have ancient origins, with the earliest examples traced back to ancient Egypt, where thin layers of wood were glued together for decorative purposes. However, modern plywood veneer production began in the early 19th century, when the first rotary veneer-cutting machines were invented. This technology allowed for the efficient production of uniform, thin layers of wood. The development of synthetic adhesives in the 20th century further improved plywood manufacturing, resulting in stronger, more versatile panels suitable for various applications.
The ideal thickness for a plywood veneer depends on the specific application and desired appearance. Generally, commercial plywood veneers range from 0.4mm to 3.2mm (1/64" to 1/8") in thickness. Thinner veneers (0.4mm to 1.5mm or 1/64" to 1/16") are suitable for intricate detailing, while thicker ones (1.5mm to 3.2mm or 1/16" to 1/8") are used for applications requiring more durability. Consideration of the project requirements will determine the best thickness for a plywood veneer.
The number of layers, or plies, in plywood varies depending on the thickness and intended application. Typically, plywood consists of an odd number of plies, ranging from 3 to 13 or more. This odd number ensures balanced construction, preventing warping or distortion. Standard 3-ply plywood is often 6mm (1/4") thick, while 5-ply is around 12mm (1/2"), and 7-ply is approximately 18mm (3/4") thick. Thicker plywood with more plies provides increased stability and strength.
Cabinet grade veneer refers to high-quality, visually appealing veneers used in cabinetry, furniture, and woodworking projects where an attractive appearance is crucial. These veneers are typically made from premium hardwood species, such as maple, oak, or cherry, and display a consistent grain pattern and color. Cabinet grade veneers are often used on plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to create a high-quality finish, combining the beauty of hardwood with the stability and cost-effectiveness of engineered wood products.