Many homeowners undertaking home renovation get worried about the safety and longevity of decorative veneers arriving on site. In an instance, we received a call from a friend who had got flustered when the natural decorative veneer sheets he had ordered had arrived at his apartment where renovation work was still going on. He was worried that the veneer sheets might get damaged. We totally understand. It’s natural to fret over how much damage the transportation might cause, and whether another order would have to be placed because of others’ negligence and mistakes. No one likes their money to go down the drain. Besides, it's hard to get the same veneer design so the unfortunate person might have to look for an alternative.
Here is a home renovation guide to the protection of new veneer sheets.
There is no need to worry if you receive the material in advance. If you are in good hands, the workers and carpenters on the site will keep them safe and secure. If the veneer sheets are on site, carpenters usually spray a chemical called Sealer using a spraying gun on the sheets to protect them from dust accumulation and conserve the wood grain design and look so that the authenticity and vivacity of the decorative wood veneer are maintained. Wiping the dust off the veneer with a dry cloth does the trick, but sometimes it becomes tricky to get the dust totally off the sheets. The sealer acts as a thinner which is similar to polish. The chances of severe dust accumulation become less by 80%.
In case you were worried that the sealer layer would be visible and would mar the look of the veneer sheets, the sealer polish can easily be rubbed off of the surface.
Our home renovation guide suggests one more way of protecting the veneer sheets from dust accumulation if you are not into chemical spraying on the sheets. The dealer or the carpenter would the faces of two veneer sheets facing each other, that is, the top grain surfaces would be visible while only the rear sides of the veneer sheets would be exposed. The back of the sheets can be easily cleaned.
This is the best and safest way to go if there is to be no chemical spraying.
Nowadays veneer sheets that arrive on the site are usually taped on the ends to avoid veneer damage and split ends that transportation might cause. The tapes are applied carefully following the placing of the grains to avoid tearing and splitting of veneer. Manufacturers usually recommend that the tapes be left on the veneer until it needs to be used.
At a dealer’s you would find various patterns and designs of veneer. The patterns vary with the way the veneer was cut and manufactured. We once met a merchant who very kindly shared with us the different veneer patterns and their precise pilings.
Straight Grain or Flat Cut - On arrival on site, flat cut or straight grain veneer sheets are placed between two MDF (medium density fibreboard) or plywood which is then positioned as inclined against the wall. To avoid any damage to the bottom, a wood block is placed underneath.
Non-Flat veneer - These are veneers with patterns and designs on their surface. The carpenter may spray a veneer softener that prevents dust accumulation and relaxes the wood cells.
Burl and Crotch veneer sheets - These veneers have an irregular cell structure that expands and contracts with changes in humidity. Thus they are kept wrapped up tightly in plastic or trash bags. This prevents the expansion and contraction of the veneer with changes in humidity and moisture content of the surroundings.
Rolled veneer - Long veneers are usually packed and shipped in rolls. When carpenters arrive on site, they unroll the veneer carefully and lay it flat. Then MDF or plywood is placed on top of it to flatten it and prevent moisture changes and colour fading due to sunlight exposure.
Veneers in Damp Conditions - If veneers are stored in a moist environment it can form patches of fungus or mould. This is avoided by using a dehumidifier in the storage place. This is done at the dealer’s warehouse itself. In case a fungus or mould patch grows, the veneer sheets are immediately sprayed or rubbed with a smooth oxalic acid coat. Oxalic acid, which is wood bleach, is easily available at local hardware shops. It needs to be carefully applied with precision and caution by professionals and experts only because even a slightly excessive use of oxalic acid can lighten darker veneers.
Our home renovation guide to beautiful homes stresses that the homeowner does not worry that much because finished veneers arriving on the site are usually stronger, the dealer makes sure of that. As long as it’s stored and used with care, veneers can be long lasting.
So you can sit back and relax and be assured that trusted and reliable dealers and carpenters will help you get the best products available.