Veneer or Laminate? Which Is More Suitable For You?

November 26th 2019

Veneer and Laminate are mainly used as a decorative surface, which provides the finishing touch for your interior design. However, both have different kinds of properties, lifespan, etc. Here we are going to compare both, to provide you with a clearer idea.


image of veneer wallpaper living room

A veneer is a thin slice of wood which is obtained from peeling a tree log. Whereas a Laminate is an artificial material made from 4 layers, an overlay, decorative paper, underlay (usually with plywood) and kraft paper; and undergone high pressure to compress it into a thin material.


image of veneer cabinets

A veneer is more recommended to be used as finishes if the area is less prone to wear and tear, or want to have a luxurious feel, touch or being the premium is of importance.

Compared to laminate, laminate is more durable, impact or scratch resistant, thus they are usually more common to be chosen to be placed at areas where they are prone to wear and tear.

Resistance to Physical Components

Although Veneer is susceptible to water damage, less resistance to abrasion and scratch but they are resistant to clipping, wrapping and fragmentation; which are a total opposite of laminate.


image of veneer countertops

Each veneer is unique and exclusive to its wood grain design, thus it will be rare to be able to find another similar piece of replacement if it's required. The finishing on the furniture can be customised to be polished or painting.

While a laminate is an artificial material, similar pieces may be manufactured if a replacement is required. The finishing of the laminate is fixed once applied onto the furniture, however, one will be able to choose the various kinds of patterns, colour, and texture before the start of the carpentry.


Veneer's standard thickness: 8 mm to 4 mm in a standard veneer

Veneer's Standard length & width: 4 feet to 12 feet long (1220 mm to 3658 mm ), 4 feet wide (1220 mm)

Laminate's standard thickness: 6 mm to 1.8 mm thick plain sheets. 3mm to 18 mm thickness in self-supporting compact laminate sheets.

Laminate's standard length & width: 8 feet x 4 feet (2438 mm x 1219 mm)


image of carpentry tools

A veneer is a unique peel, thus it’s installation requires skills, types of equipment and adhesives. As post-processing is required before applying, thus it will require more time for installation. Most importantly, it cannot be installed over any existing surface.

While on the other hand, laminate is much simpler to install, where no special skills or equipment required. It can also be installed over any existing surface, thus it’s installation is much faster.


image of person mopping veneer floor

Most owners will probably need to take note of the maintenance of their finishing, to enable have their preferred finishing to be more lasting.

For veneer, it has high maintenance as it is still a natural wood product per se. Special care has to be taken note of when cleaning and the surface have to be re-polished periodically. Do check with your interior designer about it.

Whereas laminate is more fuss-free, no re-polishing required, and cleaning will only require a clean damp cloth to wipe it or vacuum is all it takes.

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