Materials

The materials you choose will directly affect the look and cost of your joinery. There are a number of options available to you and we will explore each one giving you the pro’s and con’s so that you can determine what you would like to choose.

Solid wood

This is undoubtedly the most elegant but expensive option. Also consider there is a greater impact on the environment with the use of solid wood. Some elements of the joinery that we produce can only be made up in solid wood to achieve the end result due to the need to cut into the wood either at angles or curves, or due to the need for the item to be hardwearing (for example wooden stairs are predominantly made up in solid wood elements).

Solid wood can also be used for accents against a matching veneer (see VENEERS) if you would like to achieve the overall look of wood but want to do this on a budget, or it can be used with painted MDF as a contrasting accent. Both options are more environmentally friendly.

One of the reasons for the higher cost of solid wood is that it comes in planks and must be glued together to achieve boards if it is to be used for furniture. This work increases the labour cost significantly.

Solid wood is usually finished with oils, stains or lacquer and there are many options available (see FINISHES). For external applications, solid wood such as cedar is usually left untreated so that it can age and grey with time.

One application for solid wood is in the production of our windows and doors, where the wood is usually painted. For this we use Accoya as standard which is an acetylated pine more environmentally friendly then a hardwood. Accoya is very structurally stable and it’s processing makes it more expensive then hardwood, however it’s the processing that ensures it keeps its structural integrity which means no warping of windows over time and less frequent re-paining required.

The types of decorative solid wood that are frequently used in our joinery include oak, walnut and cedar, however there is a vast array of other woods with seriously beautiful natural striations that can be considered.

Click on the links below to consider all solid woods currently available on the market:

Hardwoods

Softwoods

Wood veneer

This is a very thin layer of wood which is glued in large sheets to cover both sides of an MDF board. Many different types of wood can be purchased in veneer format, and the overall effect of joinery made with this product is that it is made of solid wood (it is difficult to distinguish between solid and veneer wood). Using veneers is undoubtedly more environmentally friendly and cost effective then solid wood and as a result it is the most popular option of material used in bespoke joinery services today.  

Wood veneers are finished in the same way as solid wood; with oils, stains or lacquer and there are many options available.

The types of wood veneers that are frequently used in joinery include oak, walnut and ash, however there is a vast array of other woods with seriously beautiful natural striations that can be considered.

There are also many veneered products where the wood is pre-treated or cut differently which will produce a striking design effect.

Click on the links below to consider all natural wood and designer veneers currently available on the market:

Wood veneers

Medium-density-fibreboard (MDF)

This is a man-made (engineered) product which is made from wood fibres (usually from wood off cuts) that are bound with glue and moulded into sheets for the use in joinery. MDF is the most flexible option for joinery production where the finished product is spray painted and it is also used as the core for veneered boards due to it’s cost, strength and flexibility. MDF is also available in a moisture resistant version (green) which can be used for internal areas where there will be a lot of moisture (for example in the bathroom).

MDF is most commonly finished by spray painting it, and all colour and sheen options are available (see FINISHES).

Melamine faced chipboard (MFC) and laminated boards

This is the most cost effective option for the production of bespoke joinery, using a plastic coated chipboard or MDF sheet. The plastic is either wood effect or decorative (plain / patterned) and there are hundreds or beautiful options to consider, see board options of what is available on the market.

These boards do not need any finishing other than to adhere matching tape to the cut edges. They are frequently used for internal elements of joinery, where a veneer is used for a door front, or for elements that need to be hard wearing (such as in kitchen carcasses). With the vast array of decorative finishes, these products are being increasingly used for commercial and residential applications.