Real wood veneers. Can anyone make sense of the pricing?

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26 May 2015
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Hi. I'm going to make a walnut vanity unit for the bathroom. I plan to use MR MDF for the core and apply a walnut veneer when finishing. However I'm surprised to find how expensive raw veneer is compared to shop bought veneered 8x4' sheets. For example, a 3m *20cm walnut veneer is priced at £13, so that's £21 per sq metre. You can buy a 8x4' 18mm mdf sheet veneered on *both* sides for £59 which works out £20 per sq metre. So you're paying less than half price for the veneer and you get the 18mm mdf for free.

Can anyone make sense of this? The veneers are 0.5mm in both cases, so why is rolled veneered comparatively expensive?
Robin66":3u5uqej2 said:
so that's £21 per sq metre.

LOL! Don't even think about working out the cubic metre price! :)

Robin66":3u5uqej2 said:
why is rolled veneered comparatively expensive?

The short answer is "because the market will bear it".

The slightly longer answer will probably have something to do with scale of operation, quality of veneer and lots of other stuff of which I am unaware.

I recently looked at some Quartersawn Oak veneered MDF. It was only a couple of quid more expensive than ordinary crowncut boards. But the leaves were very, VERY, narrow, 70mm or so, maybe not even that, so although they were technically QS, they still did not look very attractive.

So I've spent nearly £200 on new QS veneer to do the job myself. It is beautiful stuff, great fleck and good width. I then found the QS oak veneer that I thought I had but couldn't find...

Anyone want some world-class oak veneer?
The problem as ever is quantity, if you only want a small amount it’ll be expensive. If you want numerous bundles or an entire tree then you will get the veneer at a good price per m2. Obviously companies making veneered mdf panel products will buy enormous quantities of both veneer and mdf/plywood so will be able to sell stock veneered boards at a rate than doesn’t make much sense when compared against you buying a single mdf board and sufficient veneer to cover it. The main advantage to pressing your own veneer is ultimately control and options, you can add solid timber lippings to the edge of the mdf and then veneer over them to give you a nice solid walnut edge to a walnut veneered mdf board. Hope that helps
Thanks for the explanation. For a piece of furniture I probably would apply the veneer myself afterwards so that I'm less restricted in the types of cuts I can make. However I was also planning on making a walk in wardrobe lined with walnut. This would obviously be a lot of sq metres so it makes more sense to buy sheets of veneered 8x4