All about veneer

When a customer comes to choose veneer, the conversation often pauses for a moment when entering the veneer department. "So much choice!" is a common one-liner we should hear.


Below you will find an overview of all possible veneers, both in thin and thick veneer. The world of veneer is a fascinating world: many colours and shades, many patterns. We have 100 varieties in stock. Usually sliced in 2 ways, which should satisfy even the most demanding customer.


Keep in mind, the veneers you will discover are only indicative samples. Under no circumstances should they be taken as the reference. We work with a natural product and sometimes have to sympathize with what Nature gives us.

What is veneer?

Veneer is very thin wood that is cut from a log. It is much cheaper than solid wood when it comes to processing it. Solid wood is sawn directly into blocks from the log, which causes some wood waste here and there. Because veneer is cut or peeled in very thin layers, the log is used almost entirely. Veneer allows to cover an area 30 times larger than solid wood.


The veneer layons are jointed together and bounded on a coreboard. These veneered boards can be used for various applications: doors, panels for interior design (kitchens, bathrooms, offices, etc.) or for parquet flooring. Realizations based on veneer give the impression of solid wood but are more accessible and environmentally friendly.


Did you know? 

Veneer is a technique that is thousands of years old. In ancient Egypt, veneer was already used to build furniture and sarcophagi, while during the Renaissance, veneer was mainly used on expensive decorative objects for the higher social classes.


Wood is a living matter. Each tree has its own unique character. That means that all veneered boards are different. Veneer can therefore contain minor irregularities. But these shape her character and make veneer a product full of charm and passion. Structure, color, knots, thread, pattern ... all this gives each board a unique character. Trees tell stories that can be read from their structure. They tell that story in the veneered panels that Finaspan produces.

Slicing techniques

Quarter Cut - QC

The log is cut in four quarters. The knife runs through the growth rings. The pattern is mainly straight grained.

Crown Cut - Cr

The log is opened in two half rounds. The knife runs along a tangent to the growth rings. The pattern is that of rounded shape (also called «flameshaped arches» or «cathedrals»).

Rotary Cut - R

The full log is mounted on a lathe and turns around its axis against the knife. This method follows the growth rings. The pattern is that of a coarse round shape and is not of big interest. In some cases however it can help to emphasize a particular character of the wood (pommelés, bird eyes, and so on).

Rift Cut - Ri

This is a combination of the 3 previous techniques: the log is cut in quarters and these are mounted on a lathe of «stay log» type. The cutting angle (15°) is set in order to produce a straight grain with a minimum of flake. This technique is mainly applied to the Oak.

Burls and Curls

Burls and Curls are very often taken one for the other. Burls are excrescences appearing on the side of the tree carrying many little branches. The result is a wild pattern combined with a lot of pin knots close to each other. According to individual case, burls are peeled or sliced but are always producing veneers of small sizes and are very fragile.
Curls are structures that are produced by the split of a tree at the level of the first big branches or at the bottom of the tree close to the big roots. Curls are generally flat sliced.

Jointing patterns

Depending on how the veneer is jointed, the drawing can differ greatly. 

Nowadays, the trend is "mixmatched" veneer : the repetitive pattern of bookmatched veneer is gone and homogeneity across a project can be better guaranteed.



The diversity of veneers that nature provides us with is huge, as are the tastes and perceptions of human beings. It is therefore not possible to produce a single quality that will satisfy the entire market. We grade each specie into 4 or 5 standard qualities that already offer a great range of possibilities. It is also possible to obtain specially graded veneers, but only on order.

A sequential
The veneers are jointed from top quality crowns; a repeated (but evolving) pattern is found over a series of panels, which are numbered. Recommended for high class fittings.
The pattern is well structured and balanced. This grade includes some sequences, but not necessarily. A few small, pin knots or sound knots may be included, on condition that they are not visible at first glance. Straight grain Oak is mostly rift cut (stay log production) without medullary rays. An oblique mirror is tolerated on +/-10% of the straight-grain oak. Crowns are full crowns or reconstituted crowns, well balanced. To be advised for fronts.
This particular grade is only available in those species having a large number of natural features such as oak, for example. This veneer is close to ‘A’, but distinguishes itself by the presence of one or other particular features: a slightly darker colour, one or two rows of pin knots or sound knots, slightly more pronounced veins or a more marked flake, etc. The general structure, however, remains attractive and will fully satisfy wood lovers who find in these the mark of a natural product.
The best value for money. Veneers with more character, combining wilder crowns, half crowns or false quarters, some variations in colour but not excessive, one or two rows of pin knots or sound knots or slightly more pronounced veins. The general structure, however, remains attractive. No mismatched sheets allowed. To be advised for carcasses or shelves.
Balancing veneer of the same specie. High tolerance on natural defects, including sapwood in acceptable proportions, but no open defects. Approximately 30 to 40 % of mismatched leaves.
Cheap balancing veneer, accepting any natural defect as well as significant discoloration, substantial traces of sapwood, open knots, but filled. No major open defects allowed however.
For straight grain Oak, we have added 2 complementary grades: EB (from the French “Ebénisterie”) and EEB (for Extra EB). For demanding customers, grading can indeed be further fine-tuned. We are focusing on 3 criteria: colour, mirror and grain. If the veneer meets 2 criteria from 3, it will be classified EB. For ex. If the colour is light, mirror invisible but the grain is not perfectly straight, the veneer will be classified EB. If the 3 criteria are met, the veneer will be brought one grade higher: EEB.