Birch veneer is a wood product made from birch trees. Birches are quite diverse, and as a result the color, texture, and grain of birch veneer can vary considerably. When people purchase birch veneer, they can opt for several different styles, and it is important for people to inspect all of the veneer in their order, and ideally to order all of the veneer they will need at the same time, to ensure consistency.
Veneers in general are made by sawing, slicing, or shaving wood into very thin sheets. The thin sheets of wood are overlaid over a thicker backing, and used for things like making furniture, counters, cabinetry, and so forth. People utilize veneer when woods are very expensive, making it difficult to afford solid wood, or when woods are attractive, but too fragile to be used as solid pieces, requiring a stronger backing to provide support for the wood.
Depending on how the wood is cut, birch veneer can vary in appearance. Some cuts deemphasize the grain of the wood, creating a more even appearance, while others work against the grain to create a more deeply flecked and interesting looking veneer. Plainer birch veneer may be preferred for simple, streamlined, modern designs, while more textured veneers can be appropriate for a rustic or more natural look.
Some cutting techniques result in a closed grain on one side of the wood, and a larger, more open grain on the other side. This is important to consider when installing veneer, as it is important to ensure that multiple pieces match each other closely. Consumers can opt for veneer products which are raw, without any treatments, or products which have adhesive backings, varnish coatings, and other finishes so that the veneer will be ready for use after it is mounted. Birch veneer can also be purchased in the form of solid pieces of wood which have already been veneered, so that people just need to assemble them.
Birch can be golden and light, pale white, ashy, or darker and more brown, depending on what kind of birch tree was used, how the veneer was harvested, and how it was handled. People should think about the type of finish they want; ashy birch, for example, can look pallid and washed out in a pale room. Another consideration is the effect that the finish will have. If people are finishing their own veneer, they should get an extra piece to use as a sample strip for testing different finishes to see how the color of the wood changes.