There are three primary types of veneers, also known as “wear layers,” that are used in the construction of engineered flooring. These are:
1. Sawn veneers.
2. Peeled veneers.
3. Sliced veneers.
Each veneer type has its benefits and drawbacks that are important to consider when choosing material for your engineered floor.
Peeled veneers are made by first boiling and steaming a log. The log is then rotated against a blade that peels a layer off the log, which becomes the peeled veneer. Peeled veneers are typically the poorest quality of veneers.
Sliced veneers are considered to be superior to peeled veneers, though both process begin by boiling and steaming the log. Whereas the peeling method rotates the whole log against a blade, sliced veneers are made by slicing a quartersawn log either perpendicularly to the grain or radially by rotating the quartersawn log.
Sawn veneers are the oldest style of veneer, and are produced by cutting the log with a band saw. They are typically less dimensionally stable than sawn and sliced veneers, as they are more structurally similar to the actual log itself than the other two veneers. As a result, you can expect more swelling and contraction in an engineered floor with sawn veneers than one with sliced and sawn veneers.
Typically the thicker veneer types, usually sliced and sawn, will last longer as they can be refinished more often than thinner types. Thickness and method of construction are all important considerations for an engineered floor.