Is Solid Wood Furniture Better than Veneered?

man restoring wooden flooring with sandpaper

Solid wood vs Veneered – which is the best option? Here we take a look at why both types of furniture are fabulous in their own way.

Solid Wood vs Veneered

Many people assume that solid wood furniture is the better option. However, that is not the case. Both solid wood and veneered wood have fantastic benefits and qualities. In fact, many fine antiques have been veneered.

The quality of an antique piece of furniture depends on many factors. Carving, detailing, the type of wood, age, condition, history and joinery all come into the mix when assessing the value and appeal of a piece of antique furniture.


Veneering has been popular with fine furniture makers for hundreds of years. Cabinet making was initially done using solid wood but evolved to include decorating veneering. Veneers are thin bits of wood cut from trees that can form beautiful decorative detail using different patterns and grains of wood.

Veneered furniture items will have a solid body made from slightly cheaper wood. Often this will be oak or pine, and occasionally it may be mahogany. The main benefit of veneering furniture is the unique decorative effects it adds to the piece. This brings character and charm to many items.

Solid Wood

Solid wood is durable and stunning when it comes to antique furniture. However, solid wood does not necessarily mean a better quality piece. If solid wood is not cured correctly, it will start to decline much quicker than furniture that has been cured right.

Curing is the process of slowly drying wood in a controlled environment to ensure the moisture depletes. This takes time, often years. Cabinet makers have been known to leave the wood to cure for up to fifty years before setting to work.

As you can see, there are significant differences between solid wood furniture and veneered furniture. Both have their unique qualities, and neither one is overall better than the other. It truly depends on your preference and the individual piece. Antique furniture is beautiful, and every item should be viewed on its own merits.

If you would like advice on antique furniture care or restoration, contact an antique specialist, such as Abbey Antiques.

For further details on the service we provide at Abbey Antiques, contact us on 01708 741135.