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Soaring panels in elevator lobbies; perfectly matched panels in board rooms; design elements in homes or offices. Veneer panels are found in many places and take on various shapes and sizes. Large-surface panels that are viewed as a whole need special attention so the wood grain creates an overall beauty and continuity.

Your choice of materials and how those materials are used are decisions you will make during the design process. When choosing veneers, here are some key things to keep in mind:

Selection of Quality Grade
Architectural Woodwork Quality Standards Illustrated, published by AWI, provides three levels of quality: custom, premium and economy. Each quality grade has direct implications in the defects permitted in the veneer and the quality of the panel products. The Quality Standards also describes the method of gluing, splicing, sanding and backing panel products. For more information on Selecting Veneers.

Selection of Veneer Species
Veneer species and method of slicing of the face and the back of all panel products should be specified. It is best that this information be either in the specifications or on the drawings, but not in both locations. Many problems can arise when a specification is not updated after the drawings have been revised. It is not unusual to find a specification calling for rift red oak when the design drawings indicate another species, such as walnut. This leaves the woodworker unclear on what to bid and the design professional with a potential liability for additional costs. For more information on veneer species.

Selection of Core Type
Consideration should be given to special requirements such as fire resistance, water resistance, weight, flatness, rigidity and strength required, defining the core which best fits a project's needs.

Selection of Veneer Matching
There are three areas of consideration with respect to veneers, all of which have been termed "matching." It should be understood that these are very different considerations. Confusion can sometimes result because of the use of the single word, "matching," to describe these considerations. The three types of matching are:

Matching between veneer leaves: deciding between slip, book, random and reverse slip match.
Matching within the panel face: deciding between an unbalanced, balanced, center balanced and unmatched face.
Matching between panels: deciding if adjacent panels are to match, and if so to what degree.


Imagination + Selection + Design + Fabrication = Satisfaction