A Tale of Two Materials: Melamine vs Wood Veneer
When doing a kitchen, one of the important things that need to be considered is the finish, not the colour, but the type of material. Al though there are more types of materials, two types of the most well-know and commonly used is melamine and wood veneer.
Melamine is a synthetic (man-made) board used extensively by carpenters to make products used in kitchens and other furniture items in South Africa. This is a product that results when a thin paper is pressed at a high pressure on raw board such as chipboard or MDF. Although there are a large variety of colour or woodgrain options in South Africa, ultimately the choses are dependent on what the suppliers have to offer. These finishes can be described as a picture taken of the wood grain and placed on to the melamine sheet. Thus, what you see is what you get; it cannot be stained nor painted. Since this finish has its limits. Nonetheless, if there’s a finish in the wide variety that you that you love, it’s the perfect option for a tight budget.
When taking a look at wood veneer in comparison to melamine, the wood veneer is a very thin piece of wood that is shaved, layered and applied to plywood or particle board. Wood veneer can be made from the wood of various species of trees such as mahogany, walnut, cherry, oak, maple and beech, as well as rare and exotic species such as Brazilian rosewood and eucalyptus (there are hundreds of different types of wood veneer available). Unlike melamine, wood veneer can be sanded along the grain, painted, varnished, stained as well as curved or bended to give the cabinets the illusion that is made entirely from solid wood without breaking the bank.
Both materials certainly have a number of respective advantages and disadvantages. Melamine is the more affordable option of the two. Wood veneer, on the other hand, is stronger and more durable and if you have your eye set on at specific colour or stain that is not available in the melamine range, one can definitely solve it by choosing a stained wood veneer. As always, the decision is up to you – can you see which one of these kitchens is melamine and which is wood veneer?