Re: Bathroom Cabinets - Wood or veneer
Posted by Gary Swart on April 04, 2002 at 12:12:56:
In response to Re: Bathroom Cabinets - Wood or veneer
Suz, The salesmen were telling you the truth, but were not explaining the "whys". What many folks don't understand is solid wood expands and shrinks with humidity. It can be minimized but not eliminated. This movement is mostly across the grain, but some occurs along the grain too. What you are calling "veneer" is plywood covered, or veneered, with a thin slice of cherry. Plywood is made by laminating thin slices of a less expensive wood with the grain of each slice going the opposite direction. This crisscrossing cancels out the expanding and contracting of the different layers. Therefore, plywood is a very stable material. Raised panel doors can be made with solid wood. The panels are glued up narrow pieces of wood that are then run through a shaper that cuts the edges down in one of a number of shapes, but the real reason to cut it down is that it leave a tongue around the edges. The top and sides of the doors (rail and stile) are cut to make perfect corner joints but, just as important, to make a slot for the tongue of the panel to slip into. The panel does not fit tight in the slot, but rather leaves room for the natural expansion. A pliable material is placed in the slot to keep the panel from slopping around. There are several ways the process can be done that gives the consumer choices in style, but thats the principal of the doors. Of course the panel can be made from plywood, often are, because the shrinking problem is nil and it's cheaper. With cherry, the problem is that cherry is difficult to stain in the first place, and the veneer on the plywood will accept stain differently than the solid wood. This is not so big of a problem with other woods, but it still exists. I'd advise using plywood veneer panels in a bathroom especially because of the humidity. It's "real" wood. Hope this lengthy explaination has provided some insight and help.

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