How To Tell If Furniture Is Laminate Or Veneer? [9 Easy Ways]

How To Tell If Furniture Is Laminate Or Veneer

Identifying between laminate and veneer furniture is challenging if you don’t know the proper way. Now you may think, how to tell if the furniture is laminate or veneer?

It is easiest to tell whether the furniture is veneer or laminated by its origin, weight, durability, cost, design, and purpose of use. Furniture is made of laminate covered with a thin synthetic coating. On the contrary, a layer of plywood is placed on top of the original veneer when it is made.

Nonetheless, many people are confused about the presentation of laminate and veneer when it comes to distinguishing them. I have learned from my long experience that to distinguish between laminate and veneer, you need to know some ways with the differences between them.

Here I’ll share all of my tips and tricks about telling whether a piece of furniture is veneer or laminate. Hence, let’s start without further ado.

9 Ways To Tell If Your Furniture Is Laminate Or Veneer:

There are many variations between laminate and veneer furniture. However, not everyone understands the differences. Anyway, here I will discuss some ways to tell if the furniture is laminate or veneer. 

Way-1: Look At The Pattern

Look at the furniture patterns first. Since veneer is made of real wood, there is no need to create artificial patterns in its furniture. The same pattern applies to wood veneer in the case of veneer.

Laminate furniture has a wood pattern, but it is artificial. Many people can recognize the artificial pattern of laminate at a glance. Nowadays, some expertise is being used to bring a wood touch to laminate.

However, it was impossible to bring the veneer pattern to the laminate even after this. But if you can’t identify the materials of the furniture, go the other way. 

Way-2: Thickness Level

The laminate furniture is covered with a thick synthetic coating. This coating adds a special feature to the furniture. This protects the furniture from heat and water. However, no coating is used on the veneer furniture.

As a result, veneer furniture is less thick than laminate. Laminate furniture is 0.6 mm to 18 mm thick, whereas veneer thickness is 0.4 to 6 mm. However, despite being less thick, the weight of the veneer is much higher than that of the laminate.

So when you go to buy a piece of furniture, its thickness can easily recognize its material. The use of separate coding on the laminate may make it look like wood, but it must have an artificial pattern.

Way-3: Check Solidity Level 

To recognize which material is used to make the furniture, check its solidity level. Laminate is a piece of plastic, however, its strength will be different from veneer. The veneer is generally not stiffer and more durable than laminate. Since both laminate and veneer are thin, veneer furniture is less prone to damage. 

Another easy way to find out if your furniture is made of wood is to look at its growth rings. If there is wood, then there will be a large panel with a repeating grain pattern, and you will see a thin layer of wood with its substrate. 

However, when your furniture is made with laminate, it will be stiffer and more durable than the exterior. Another advantage is that they are less prone to damage from scratching, chipping, and other stains. 

Way-4: Consider Design

There are many differences between the appearance of the veneer and laminate furniture. Glue is usually attached with screws when making laminate furniture. On the other hand, in making veneer furniture, the wood is stuck in the groove with the tongue. 

If any part of the furniture overlaps with real wood on boards or low-quality material, it should be understood as veneer. Also, laminate furniture looks artificial. But the exterior always looks like natural wood. It can be easily combined with additional furniture. 

However, laminate furniture has a synthetic feel attached to it and looks artificial. Laminate furniture comes in various shades and colors that do not seem artificial at first glance. Similarly, the top and bottom of the laminate pieces have different granular textures or directions which do not coincide with the veneer.

Way-5: Consider The Cost 

The price of its components does not depend on the price of the furniture. However, the price of laminate furniture is relatively low. So, if the price of your apparel seems low,  it depends on the wood.  

This type of furniture is made of laminate. Although the price of veneered furniture is high, it dents quality wood and has different prices. 

Also, the cost of maintaining the veneer furniture is much higher. If you want to purchase veneer furniture, you need to pay more.

Way-6: Consider Its Application

Laminate furniture lacks realism. But nowadays its designs are becoming more creative. As a result, many laminate furnishings look like real wood. Manufacturers use advanced imaging techniques to make furniture look hyper-realistic. 

However, the more advanced technology you use, the different the laminate will look. Laminate is being used more and more in places like water and heat-resistant laundry units and kitchens. It is also often used in tablets and wardrobes as it is scratch-resistant. 

On the other hand, the veneer is more used for statement space and focal point furniture. Although they look natural, they are not resistant to heat, water, and scratches. 

Way-7: Consider Maintenance

Depending on the maintenance process, you can also determine what the furniture is made of. For example, laminate furniture is much easier to clean and maintain. However, maintenance is relatively difficult and expensive. 

Laminate furniture is scratch and stain-resistant, making it easy to maintain. You can safely clean the laminate furniture. Veneer furniture has a high risk of scratches, so it should be cleaned carefully. 

And if it gets scratched, the furniture surface needs to be re-polished to remove it. A soft, damp cloth is used to clean the surface of such furniture. If you can easily clean the furniture with cotton, it is made of laminate. 

Way-8: Ensure Origin

An easy way to find out what furniture is made of is to find out from which country it was imported. India, Italy, and Germany are said to be the laminate manufacturing capitals. 

So, it is certain that most of the furniture imported from there is made of laminate. Another important factor is how old your furniture is. Laminate has gained popularity in recent times.

Old design furniture cannot be made with laminate. When the furniture design is 18th or 19th century-old, it is safe to assume that it is made of a veneer. 

Way-9: Ask A Professional

Ask a retailer or company if you do not understand the difference between a beacon and a laminate when buying furniture. You have the whole right to see all the info about the furniture you buy. So, there is no reason to be ashamed or afraid of asking about it. 

Salespeople have no problem sharing such information. But if you can’t provide accurate information about that furniture, you may not have found a reliable company. In that case, you should choose furniture from another company. 

Because the company was trusted, they wouldn’t be afraid of helping you with the right information. The reason for not sharing their information may be the low quality of their furniture. 

A Short Overview Of Laminate And Veneer Furniture:

To determine if your furniture is made of veneer or laminate, you need to know about the two components. Here I will give you a short overview of laminate and veneer.

  • Laminate Furniture:

Laminate is not made of wood. However, the furniture made with it looks like wood. Although laminate furniture looks artificial, many people do not recognize this. Laminates are usually made from plastic, but a thin layer of synthetics is placed on top to bring texture to the wood. 

The printing process gives the laminate the appearance of wood grains attached to medium-density fibers. Laminates are shiny and heat and water-resistant in appearance. It is also used in most furniture making because laminate is cheaper than wood or veneer.

  • Veneer Furniture:

Similarly, veneer furniture also looks like wood. Veneer furniture is made the same way as laminators but with no synthetic layers. This furniture has a layer of plywood that covers the hardwood layer. It is softer and less durable than laminate, making it easier to dent. 

Maintenance of veneer furniture is difficult and easy to sketch. Since it is not heat and waterproof, it should not be used in making furniture for bathrooms and kitchens. It is only used to make furniture used in a particular place. Veneer furniture is heavy, and the price is relatively high. 

Difference Between Laminate And Veneer Furniture With Comparison Table:

Here, I will discuss some major differences between laminate and veneer furniture. By observing this table, you can easily identify the differences between them.

ParameterLaminate FurnitureVeneer Furniture
AestheticsLooks artificialLooks natural and rich
InstallationRequires skilled labor and toolsNo need for special skills and tools
Cleaning & MaintenanceEasier to clean and maintainMaintenance is relatively difficult
Sanding, Staining, and PaintingCannot be sanded, stained, and paintedCan be sanded, stained, and painted
ReplacementEasy as similar-looking sheetsQuite difficult
DurabilityLonger than veneerNot as laminates
CostBudget-friendlyHigher priced
Environmental ImpactMay release toxic gassesNon-toxic
ApplicationKitchen cabinets, laundry room, bathroom unitsConference rooms, luxurious home interiors 

Frequently Asked Question: 

Which Is More Durable Between Laminate And Veneer?

Although the veneer furniture has been removed in terms of quality, laminate is ahead in durability. Laminate furniture is hard and sturdy. These can be used for a long time. As laminate is heat and water-resist that can be placed anywhere. 

But choose veneer when you want to buy quality furniture. It is made of real wood, so it does not look artificial. Although it will not last as long as laminate, it will look attractive.

How Can You Easily Tell If The Furniture Is Veneer Or Laminate?

It is easy to identify what it is made of by looking at the finishing of the furniture. Laminate furniture looks artificial, and the veneer made of real wood looks natural. You can also identify it by observing the underside of the furniture.

If there is a single grain at the bottom, very different from the top, then it is veneer. When you see no difference between the top and the bottom, assume that it is laminate. You can also identify the furniture by differentiating it from the country from which it is imported. 

Which Is Costly Veneer Or Laminate Furniture?

Veneer furniture is relatively expensive because it is made of real wood. However, contingent on the type of wood, the price may be lower. Laminate furniture, on the other hand, is pocket-friendly and relatively affordable. The worth of laminate can often be higher depending on the superiority and the brand. 

Advanced technology is currently being used to make laminates look like veneers. Some laminates may even exceed the price of veneer for their quality. You can also buy veneer furniture on a low budget, but the quality will not be great. Since veneer is made from wood, it will improve the wood’s quality. 

Which Is Better Quality, Laminate Or Veneer?

Which is better, laminate or veneer will depend on your budget and usage. Although the veneer is better than laminate, it costs more. However, in terms of quality, a veneer is the best. On the other hand, Laminate is water and heat resistant, making it suitable for bathrooms and kitchens. It is better not to use upholstered furniture in these places.  

Also, the quality of the laminate is lower than that of the veneer. It is easy to take care of as it is scratch resistant. So, if you want to buy furniture for a particular place, the quality of the veneer is the best. However, laminate furniture is the best choice for other areas.


I’ve been discussing how to tell if the furniture is laminate or veneer. Hopefully, by following the tips given here, you can tell the right furniture. Since the quality of the two ingredients is different, it’s important to reveal them in the right way. 

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Do you know how to tell if the furniture is laminate or veneer? Here are a few simple ways to help you identify laminate and veneer if you don’t know.


Hey guys, This is Md Muktar Hossain, I have been working on home / office furniture for a long time. I thought I would share things with everyone through a website. If you like my articles, please share them with everyone. Stay well Stay healthy.

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