Wood veneer is a thin slice of wood which is used to impart a wooden finish look to a surface. The wood veneer is bonded to a substrate made of paper or plastic. The thickness of the wood veneer is usually 1/8th of an inch. Wood veneer makes a plain interior or exterior trim look like a high-end wooden product. Wooden veneers are obtained from a large number of wood species including teak. All in all, more than 90 species of native and exotic trees are used to make wood veneers. When it comes to exterior wood veneers, teak veneersheets are the best and also used for boats and marine furniture. Imported Burmese Teaks are usually used to make teak veneer.
Properties of Teak Veneer
The teak wood veneer sheets are very hard and have a coarse texture. They are usually golden brown in colour with dark veining. Teak wood veneers sheets can be finished with non-water based stains such as lacquer, polyurethane and tung oil. Apart from the famous Burmese teak, Indian, Thai and other varieties of teak from South-East Asian countries are also used to make veneer sheets.
Uses of Teak Veneer
Teak veener is used on plywood. Plywood made up of 100% teak is rare because teak is very expensive and is not used to make plywood. Thus, the plywood manufacturers make teak veneer plywood by obtaining veneer from teak wood log and fixing it on the top surface of a plywood made of other kind of wood. Gurjan is the most popular species of wood used in making plywood. In order to impart eye-catching aesthetics to the Gurjan plywood, teak veneer is fixed to the topmost surface of the plywood.
Apart from plywood, teak veneer is also used to make teak veneer furniture such as teak veneer table, chair, etc. It is also used on flooring, paneling and automobile interiors. Special kinds of teak veneer are also available in the market. For example, marine teak veneer is used on ship decking. High quality teak and holly veneer sheets are also available for using on interior floors and cabinetry in yachts and ships.
How is Teak Veneer Obtained?
Teak logs are subjected to rotary-cutting to peel off layers from them. The logs are then mounted on rotary lathe machines to rotate them along the longitudinal axis. The logs rotate while a cutter slice away thin sheets called veneers from them. The thicknesses of the veneers vary between 0.15mm and 3.2mm.
The teak veneer obtained from the log is then attached to a substrate. The substrate is commonly known as backing. Following types of backings are used for teak veneers.
Paper backing is used when the teak veneer is to be used on a curved surface. Paper substrate ensures that the veneer does not crack or get damaged in anyway when fixed on a curved surface. Commonly used on dashboards of cars and interior columns.
Phenol backing or plastic backing makes the teak veneer waterproof in nature. This type of veneer can be easily cut with a knife unlike other types of veneer which require table saw. Plastic backed teak veneer can also bend on curved surfaces but to a lesser extent as compared to paper backed ones.
Wood-on-wood teak veneer has wooden backing. The wood veneer used as backing is inferior in quality as compared to teak veneer. The direction of the grain of the backing is in opposite direction to that of teak veneer to impart more strength.
If you plan to buy teak veneer, you need to shell out more money as compared to other kinds of wood veneer. This is more true in case of imported Burmese teak veneer sheets. For example, the teak veneer price for a sheet measuring 8ft height and 4ft width with thickness of 0.5mm and natural wood finish is close to Rs 4000 per sheet.
Benefits of Teak Veneer
Teak veneer exhibits high resistance against decay because of the high oil content of teak.
Teak veneer is highly resistant against water and is also very durable in nature.
Teak veneer is unaffected by termites and other kinds of insects and pests.
Teak veneer is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Teak veneer enhances the aesthetic value of the thing on which is attached.