What is the difference between Solid Oak and Oak Veneer?

Today lots of different types of materials are used to make all sorts of furniture, but despite the huge range of options available one material has remained popular for centuries – wood, and in particular, oak. However, if the only positive quality of real oak furniture was its appearance, surely artificial oak would be much more popular?


What is Oak Veneer?

Furniture made from oak veneers, or artifical oak, is actually made mostly from something other than oak entirely. Only a thin strip of oak, usually 2-3mm, is used to coat a much less expensive material. This could be a cheaper wood or even plywood.


What is Solid Oak?

Solid oak furniture is exactly what it says it is – furniture made from nothing but real oak. Solid oak is a natural product, and as a result every piece of genuine oak furniture is completely unique. So, when you have a choice between artificial oak or solid oak, what things do you have to consider?

The Appearance

A large part of the appeal of solid oak furniture is down to the unique grain. While man-made oak furniture is supposed to give the look of authentic solid oak, sometimes the thin panel of oak looks so obviously tacked on or there is such a clear difference between the veneer and the other material that it can look cheap and tacky.

Even though some artificial oak products may be manufactured to a higher quality than other, there’s no doubt that if you need furniture that impresses, there’s no substitute for real solid oak.


The Quality

Of course, because artificial oak furniture is largely made from another, weaker material, it’s naturally not as strong as solid oak furniture. While solid oak furniture is strong, long-lasting and durable, imitation oak furniture can be much more frail.

If you do buy oak replica furniture, it’s really important that you know what other materials have been used to create the furniture so you can determine whether it will be able to put up with the strain of daily use.


The Cost

As the bulk of artificial oak furniture is made from a cheaper material, it’s almost always much cheaper than solid oak furniture. While this would automatically appear to be an advantage, you have to consider that in the long-term solid oak furniture will still be around while artificial oak furniture will almost definitely need to be replaced.

The idea then that imitation oak furniture is more affordable than its genuine oak counterpart is a false economy that could end up costing you in the future – therefore it’s vital that you don’t just think of the price, but also the value of what you’re buying.


The Choice Is Yours

Sometimes artificial oak might be a perfectly good choice for your furniture depending on the circumstances.
There’s no doubt, however, that in the majority of cases solid oak furniture is the better choice for a number of reasons such as its appearance, its quality, and even its value as a long-term investment.

Just bear in mind that once you’ve decided you want solid oak furniture, there is still plenty of variety when it comes to appearance, quality and price!

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