Veneer Vs. Laminate: Pros and Cons

Both laminates and veneers can be used as surface finishes for your cabinets and closets. We give you the low down on each material so that you can make the right choice as per your needs.

Let’s start with what goes into the manufacturing of each.

Laminates are machine-made sheets that are made by bonding together decorative paper and plastic resins in the form of sheets. Veneers, on the other hand, are made from very finely sliced pieces of real wood that are pressed on a plywood base.


Many people love the rich, warm and natural appearance of veneers. Furniture or cabinets made using veneers are virtually indistinguishable from solid wood furniture. Veneer finishes look luxurious and expensive. They add warmth and a touch of class to your décor. As the veneers are sourced from real wood, no two veneers will look exactly the same.

Difference between veneer and laminate


Laminates, however, lack the natural appearance of veneer. The same surface patterns keep repeating as the laminate sheets are mass-produced in factories. Therefore, even if you opt for wood lookalike laminates, they will never look completely natural.

Solid colour and metal finish laminates look great in contemporary themed interiors.

Laminate vs Veneer

So, how do you Decide Which Material to Choose?

Here’s a table that indicates the pros and cons of veneer and laminate as follow:

Veneer Laminate
Durability The surface is natural, durable Laminates are Durable and machine-made
Resistance to heat The veneer can get damaged with the heat Laminates are resistant to heat and can not get damaged.
Resistance to water Not waterproof unless given a melamine coating Waterproof
Resistance to scratches Can get scratched, but can be sanded and repolished like real wood to remove scratches Can get scratched, scratch is permanent
Maintenance Veneer requires repolishing after a few years No maintenance required in Laminates.
Appearance Looks natural as it is made from real wood; high-end appearance Appears artificial, patterns are repeated at regular intervals
Cost More expensive than laminate, high cost of production Laminates are cheaper as compared to veneer with a lower cost of production
Staining and texturing Can be stained to a different colour and textured Surface finish cannot be altered
Feel Warm to touch, as it is real wood Cold to touch
Availability Available in natural wood finishes only Available in a wide range of textures, colours and patterns, including wood lookalike finishes
Environmental impact Veneers are a renewable, natural resource Laminates contain plastics and resins which could be toxic

Veneer vs Laminate: Final Verdict?

If you are looking for modern minimalistic interiors with solid colours like white or black, then laminates win as this option is not available as a veneer. (Alternatively, you could opt for Duco painted surfaces or membrane shutters.)

If natural finishes and rich, elegant décor that simulates real wood is what you are looking for, then do opt for veneer as your surface material. You could also make your final decision based on the cost factor or the ease of maintenance.

Veneer vs Laminates

As you can see, both finishes and materials have their pros and cons, and each looks lovely in its own way. The final decision is yours; but if you want help, do hop on over to HomeLane and talk to our design experts who will help you make a decision based on your specific requirements.

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