Difference Between Veneer and Laminate

Difference Between Veneer and Laminate

We often get confused while choosing the finisher for our house furniture. In this article, we will see the difference between veneers and laminates, two of the most commonly used materials nowadays that is used for decorating plywood or other wooden furniture. Difference between veneer and laminates are as follows:

Difference Between Veneer and Laminate


Veneers and Laminate both are pasted on a sub-base of solid wood or plywood board or MDF.

2. Material

  • The veneer is a natural material.
  • Whereas laminate is an artificial material.

3.How it is made

  • A veneer is a very thin slice of wood obtained from a tree log that is why it is also known as wood veneer since they are actually slices of wood. its construction is similar, to that of laminate with the primary difference being that the outer layer of veneer is made of real solid wood.
  • Laminate is made by pressing together thin layers of flat paper and plastic raising. the upper layer is printed with a decorative pattern or colour. It is like a picture of wood that is bonded on a less expensive wood-composite usually MDF or particleboard. in India people often referred to laminate by the name of sunmica which is actually the name of the well-known the laminate company that was an early entrant in the Indian laminate market.

4. Durability

  • Veneers are usually not as durable as laminates and required maintenance and care since they are prompt to scratches.
  • Laminates are known for their durability and resist scratches and stains.

5. Variety

  • There are few types of veneer each serving a particular purpose. The types of veneers are raw veneer, paper-backed veneer, phenolic veneer, backed veneer, lad up the veneer, reconstitute veneer, woo on wood veneer. Since veneer is a natural material, it is available in the limited number of shade.
  • Whereas laminates are available in a variety of colours, shades, designs, patterns & texture. They can be broadly classified into texture, high gloss, soft and matte. Some digital printers produce personalize prints on the sheet too.

6. Look and Aesthetic

  • Veneer furniture looks like wood. this uses the furniture aesthetic look & make it appear high-end.
  • Whereas there is a synthetic feeling attach to laminates and it lacks the natural feel and variation of synthetic wood.

7. Effect of water

  • A veneer is susceptible to damage in the presence of water, as water is known to damage the polish and eventually the wood surface.
  • Whereas laminates can resist water up to a certain extent.

8. Lifespan

  • If timely polishing and proper care are taken veneer can last longer than laminates.
  • But laminates last only till the top layer is not damaged. Once the top layer is worn out the entire surface has to be replaced.

9. Uses

  • A veneer can be used in conference room luxurious home interiors walls etc. since the ad aesthetic value and a distinctive look.
  • Whereas laminates are the better choice for kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, tabletop, office furniture, doors and other frequently used furniture.

10. Eco- friendly

  • Veneers are a renewable resource and they go long way in economically replacing solid wood applications.
  • Whereas laminates sheet contains plastics and resins. Some resins give off harmful gases.

11. Recyclability

  • A veneer can be recycled.
  • Whereas laminates cannot be recycled.

12. Abrasion & Scratch

  • Veneers have less resistance to abrasion and scratches as compared to laminates.
  • While the surface of the laminate is hard and resistant to abrasion and scratches.


  • A veneer is a natural material and it is non-toxic.
  • But laminate is toxic as it is known to emit VOC (Volatile organic compound)

14. Installation

  • Installation of veneer requires special skills, tools and adhesive. It can not be installed over any existing surface.
  • While laminates are easy to install, as no special skill and tools are required. It can be installed over any existing surface.

15. Re-polishing

  • In case of veneer depending upon the thickness of the polish applied the surface can be sanded and repainted to cover warps or tears.
  • But laminates cannot be painted or re-polished.

16. Replacement

  • Veneer sheets are exclusive ones the sheet is damaged, similar replacement is never available.
  • But in the case of laminates, similar-looking sheets can be manufacture if needed.

17. Maintenance

  • In comparison to laminates, veneer required more maintenance. They need to be polished from time to time to maintain their beauty.
  • But laminates are easier to maintain. They are scratch resistance, waterproof and usually retain their look for the year.

18. Thickness Available

  • The thickness available in veneer is 0.4 to 6 mm.
  • Whereas laminates are available from 0.6mm to 18 mm.

19. Cost

  • Veneers are usually priced higher than laminates alternative and their maintenance cost is also high as compared to laminates.
  • But laminates are usually pocket-friendly and more affordable as compared to veneers. The price of laminates depends upon the quality and brand. The maintenance cost of laminate is negligible.

                                                               So, which one is best, well the answer is it depends on our need, Choosing between laminates and veneer really comes down to durability & consistency VS natural beauty & variations. Consider which of this benefit more important for while making your decision.

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Also, read - What is WPC Boards?

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