Why a Wood Veneer Office Desk Could Be the Right Choice for Your Workplace


What comes to mind when you think of the word “veneer”?

We’re guessing it’s not necessarily positive, and rightly so. Poorly constructed veneer has been the bane of offices, schools and universities across the country for decades. Which one of us doesn’t have memories of thin veneer being picked away to reveal the grainy particle board beneath?

Fortunately, furniture manufacturers have realized that today’s business consumer wants an excellent value at an excellent price and would rather not see their prized office furniture surrender easily to wear and tear.

Therefore, they’ve made big advancements in wood veneer technology that provide the value and durability that customers want.

And don’t think that veneer is a modern idea. According to Canadian furniture design company Revolve Furnishing, veneer has been around since the days of the pharaohs: “Veneering is actually an ancient art that dates back to ancient Egyptian times when veneers were used on their furniture and sarcophagi.”

In this post, we’re going to do a quick review of what veneer is, the pros and cons of wood veneer desks and give you an overview of the wood veneer desks we offer.

What is Wood Veneer?

Wood veneer is a technique in which a thin sheet of wood is glued onto a composite wood to give the piece of furniture a natural look without the expense (or weight) of using solid wood for the whole desk.

Here’s a little more detail from Revolve:

“Veneer is created either by ‘peeling’ the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood. The appearance of the grain and figure in wood comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and its appearance varies depending on the angle at which the wood is sliced.”

The Advantages of Wood Veneer

One of the most important aspects of wood veneer’s advantages is the concept of waste. You see, real wood veneer is sliced into thin sheets, requiring a knife-type technique to cut it rather than a saw.

As Revolve points out, an industrial-grade saw blade has a “kerf” which is the gap left behind by the width of the blade. This kerf means considerable amounts of wood are wasted, left behind in piles of sawdust instead of being used to build furniture.

Because veneer doesn’t require a saw blade, waste is decreased.

Another plus? Desks built from wood veneer are less likely to warp and shrink over time.

Solid wood desks undergo the same type of transformation over time that you’d see from a door that expands, shrinks and warps as its exposed to dry/humid conditions and repeated use.

And, of course, because wood veneer only utilizes a thick layer of real wood, building a desk with a real-wood veneer and composite material is more affordable than creating a solid wood desk.

Disadvantages of Wood Veneer Desks

While wood veneer desks are more durable than they used to be, they still are susceptible to wear that, over time, can cause the surface to bubble, crack, fray at the edges or come loose. If you own a solid wood desk, you don’t have to worry about this.

Also, consider the fact that, as the legendary book The Better Homes Manual points out, a solid wood desk can be conditioned and modified over time.

If, for example, your desktop becomes nicked and worn, a woodworking professional can come in and refinish your desk’s surface.

The final main advantage of a solid wood desk is one of pride – there are those who value a weighty, natural desk over a lighter, composite desk topped with veneer.

COE Wood Veneer Desks

Our two main brands of veneer desks are Cherryman and Mayline.

Cherryman’s products match the name. Their desks feature a rich, deep cherry color and come in dozens of traditional and contemporary shapes. We currently feature three lines of Cherryman desks: Jade, Emerald and Ruby.

Mayline’s desks are more modern and mix various colors of wood with silver metal accents and privacy shields.

If you want to learn more about our wood veneer desk options, head to the Wood Veneer section of our website.

You can view photos of our Cherryman and Mayline desks. If you have something different in mind, contact us and we’ll work with you to find the right wood veneer desk for your workspace.


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