What is the difference between Laminate and Veneer Finish?

Laminate Finish vs Veneer Finish


Laminate Finish and Veneer Finish have been discussed in detail in other articles linked here. These are two of the many different Type of finishes that are possible on woodwork. They are also some of the most popular finishes. So what is the difference between the two?

Difference between them can be discussed in various points:
  1. Cost
  2. Laminates are by far a much cheaper option. As far as the cost of the raw material is concerned, laminates are around 30-40% of cost of veneers. On top of that, veneers need to be polished, veneers have larger wastage and they require more skilled labor who will also charge more. This makes laminates a very good option in terms of affordability.

  3. Appearance
  4. Veneers are natural wood. They look much more premium compared to laminates. But if the design needs a monotone color or a non-wooden texture like a pattern, veneers will not work. In such cases, laminates may be a better option between the two.

  5. Manufacturing
  6. Veneers are natural material which are used as is with little treatment against borers, termites etc. Veneers may also vary in grain structure from batch to batch since two trees of the same species may also differ from each other a lot. Laminates are artificially made and hence standardized.

  7. Durability
  8. Laminates are waterproof and much more resistant to scratches. They are also much more easier to clean compared to veneers. Veneers are natural wood and hence may not take to water as easily but are more resistant to heat. In addition, while they can be scratched, they can also be repolished making them look as good as new.

  9. Application
  10. Laminates are a favorite of modular manufacturers. They are easy to use in machines and hence very frequently used. Even for on-site work, they can be used with ease. Veneers are not applied by machines but by hand and hence not promoted a lot by brands which only work on modular designs.


If budget and timeline for execution are not an issue, veneers are definitely an option to consider. Combined with PU finish, they can do wonders to a home. A good designer may be able to combine wallpapers, mirrors etc and give a wonderful home. If time and budget are of concern, go for laminates. You can get a fair idea of the budget needed from our Comparison Engine. Do check it out. Its free.

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