Real Wood or Veneer? What Makes The Best Piano

Real Wood or Veneer? What Makes The Best Piano

When considering any new piece of furniture for your home, hearing the word “veneer” immediately makes you think of a cheaply made or poor quality item. Real wood has a much better sound to it, so it must be better. Right?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Veneer is commonly used in the finest furniture making businesses of the 19th and 20th centuries, and was actually more expensive and labor intensive than it’s real wood counterparts. Veneer is a thin slice of wood glued over the top of a solid piece of wood, often attached in layers.

Veneer serves two purposes.Real Wood or Veneer? What Makes The Best Piano

First, veneer is cut against the grain of the log, which produces a detailed wood grain that is prevalent in find furniture. It’s almost impossible to get a fancy ribbon cut grain from a solid piece of wood. By cutting against the grain, unique looks could be created to produce truly exceptional works of art.

Second, veneer adds strength and durability to the piece.

In older pianos, the cabinets were made of solid wood like oak or maple. Then two or three layers of veneer would be glued in place over the wood, with the grain running in opposite directions. This kept the wood from shrinking and warping in different environmental conditions, and increased the strength of the case.

Almost all antique pianos are made with veneer. It’s been estimated that as much as 95 percent of the antique piano supply has veneer.

When looking at used or antique pianos as a choice today, don’t be afraid of a veneer cabinet. Veneer adds to its classic good looks, builds strength, durability, and charm. Because of the process, love and care were put into each piece at it was joined.