We are often asked what are the different types of Office Furniture finishes currently available with the main differences between laminated and veneered. In Brief Laminated is a plastic finish that looks like wood and Veneered is a thin slice of real wood on top of a substrate.
MFC - Melamine Faced Chipboard
MDF - Medium Density Fibreboard
Generally office furniture is manufactured in MFC though some executive ranges have a core of MDF which is heavier and stronger than MFC.
The two principle choices of finish for office desks and furniture are Laminated / Melamine and Wood Veneer.
Wood Veneer is a very thin slice of real wood with all the properties of that wood and it is very difficult to match two desks or worktops as the grain will differ from tree to tree.
Laminate or Melamine is a photograph of real wood that has been specially treated to make it hard wearing and this is applied to the MDF or MFC to give a finished piece of furniture.
Advantages of Real wood veneers
- Feels natural and warm.
- Looks expensive
- Ages and matures
- No two pieces of furniture will be exactly the same.
- Long Lasting
Disadvantages of Wood veneers
- Changes colour over time as it ages so can be difficult to match later on
- Can be easily marked and stained
- Very difficult to repair
Advantages of Laminated or Melamine finishes
- Hard to mark and scratch
- Easily cleaned
- Every desk or cupboard will look the same
- Does not fade or change colour over time
Disadvantages of Laminated Finishes
- Does not feel like real wood
- Last 15 to 20 years
Tips for Veneered Furniture
Keep away from direct sunlight as this will cause the wood to fade
Use paper or leather desk pads if using the desk for hand writing
Do not slide keyboards etc when moving, lift and place
Use a quality polish and always clean in the direction of the grain
Tips for Laminated Furniture
Stains can be removed with a detergent
Furniture polish can be used to hide fine scratches
Cherry Veneer Shade 3
American Walnut Veneer