Veneer wood is one of the most popular flooring options around today, thanks to its versatility, durability, and affordability. But what is veneer wood, and why would you opt for it over the many other choices on the market? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of hardwood veneers.

Not sure what type of wood to choose for your new floors or cabinets? Learn about your options with veneer wood!

What is Veneer Wood?

If you’re looking into veneer wood flooring for your home, it helps to know the basics. Let’s start with what hardwood veneers are!  

Veneer wood is a type of wood that is made up of extremely thin layers that are glued onto foundational panels. Hardwood veneers are commonly used to produce flooring, doors, cabinet panels, and parts of furniture.

While there are many layers that make up a veneer panel, you can group veneer wood composition into two main sections:

  • The bottom layer consists of several layers of ply bonded together.
  • The top layer is made of a thin veneer of solid wood. 

In some cases, reconstituted or engineered wood veneer is used instead, which is a more sustainable alternative to get the look of otherwise endangered or very expensive species of wood. 

Why Veneer Wood?

Veneer wood is an extremely popular flooring option these days, thanks to its long list of advantages. 


Wood veneer is much more durable than traditional real wood floors. This is because they are not subject to the same warping, expanding, and contracting that natural materials are prone to. 


Because the top layer is still real wood in most cases, they look just as good as hardwood floors throughout your home. Even engineered wood veneers can trick the eye into believing they are the real deal. 


Typically, wood veneer floors are less expensive than entirely hardwood flooring options. The only drawback here is that they will usually last around 25 to 30 years, whereas solid wood floors last for up to a century. Both will, at some point, need a little maintenance, so keep in mind that a hardwood floor can typically handle more sandings due to its thickness.

Picture of a person installing veneer wood flooring after learning about what is veneer wood?

What is a Wood Veneer Grade?

If you decide on wood veneer for your home, there are a few decisions you’ll have to make about your flooring. One of the first: what wood veneer grade are you looking for?

Grade refers to the number of knots and color of your wood, and is divided into four categories: prime, select, natural, and rustic. These don’t indicate any difference in quality, they only refer to appearance. 

Prime-grade floors are usually the most expensive because they have just a few small knots and a consistent overall color. On the other end of the spectrum, rustic floors have large knots throughout and inconsistent color. These tend to be less expensive than prime variations. 

How Thick Should the Top Layer Be?

You’ll also need to decide how thick you want the wood veneer top layer to be. This will depend mostly on the amount of wear you expect the floor to go through, and how often you expect to refinish your floor. 

Thicker top layers will stand up better to more foot traffic, and can handle more sandings than a thin top layer, which might quickly wear away.

How Thick Should the Boards Be?

The board itself- meaning the layers of ply underneath the veneer- can vary in thickness from 14 mm to 20 mm. 

When narrowing this down, you need to take into account how the boards will be laid: If they are going over an existing floor, they can be thinner. However, if they are not, they will need to be thick enough to support the weight of furniture and people on their own. 

What Finish Should You Select for Your Wood Veneer?

Finally, you’ll need to think about what kind of finish you want for your hardwood veneer floors. The color options are as vast as they are for solid hardwood, and the finishes are applied largely the same way, as both are wooden surfaces. 

Oil finishes are a bit more natural looking, while a lacquered finish leaves you with a shinier, more polished-looking floor. 

You can also opt for an unfinished wood veneer so that you don’t have to make your final decision until your floors are in your home. The finish can be applied once the floor is already laid, so it shouldn’t disrupt the installation process.

Where to Use Wood Veneer 

Wood veneer doesn’t have to be used just on your floors. In fact, some of its most common uses are in different spaces. 

Their durability makes them a great choice for cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms, where they will hold up to exposure to moisture and dirt more easily than hardwood. They can also be used for doors, walls, furniture – even musical instruments. 

Wood Veneer Flooring with Capitol City Lumber

When it comes time to pick out and install hardwood veneers in your own home, homeowners in Raleigh can turn to Capitol City Lumber. Raleigh’s best hardware store and lumber yard has just what you’re looking for, with a team of experts who can help guide you in finding the right veneer. 

For more information about our lumber yard and building supply store in Raleigh, shipping capabilities, wood cutting services, or items we sell, visit or contact us today. If you can’t swing by, check out the many wood products that we ship all over the continental U.S. through!

Shop Our Hardwood Veneers

Ready to shop online? Browse our beautiful veneers which each have distinct figures, patterns, and sheen. These new arrival veneers are a must-see in person as the camera doesn’t do it justice. 

Available in full 4’x8′ sheets and partial sheets as small as 2’x2′. The veneers are unfinished and have a paper backer and are ready to be installed. Ideal for furniture, cabinets, walls, and anywhere you want a hardwood accent.

Check out the wood sales & lumber discounts page to check for deals!

Anigre Figured Quarter-sawn Realtec:

Makore Figured Quarter-sawn Realtec:

Mozambique Figured Quarter-sawn Realtec: