Comparison Decorative Veneer vs Sunmica Finishes
Raw Material
Decorative Veneer

Decorative Veneer is a thin covering of slices of wood that are typically pasted on top of another wooden member. The beauty of the wooden furniture or wood-work comes from the rich grains of wood. This makes the wood with rich grain expensive. The technology of Veneers prepares thin slices of wood so that the grains of the wood are obtained. These slices are then pasted on top of less expensive wood blocks which are available in abundance hence achieving the desired finish at low cost.. To make Veneer,  wooden logs of specified species of valuable timbers or rich grain timber in length varying from 2100- 2400 mm are peeled in to thin veneers either by rotary cutters or veneer slicing machines.  

Sunmica Finishes

Sunmica is another name for decorative laminates and it is primarily used as a surface finish pasted on top of another wooden or board members. .

Implementation Raw Material
Decorative Veneer

To implement a veneer based design in your home, you work with the designer to get the drawing of the furniture item and purchase the required block boards or MDF/HDF or similar wooden members. The veneer is then pasted on top of the wood member. After the veneer based furniture is completed, it is polished to give a desired shine. 

Sunmica Finishes

To implement a sunmica or decorative laminate based design in your home, you work with the designer to get the drawing of the furniture item and purchase the required block boards or MDF/HDF or similar wooden members. The sunmica or decorative laminates are then pasted on top of the wood member. You do not need to polish the sunmica based furniture. 

Decorative Veneer

Maintenance of Veneer based furniture is essentially dependent on the type of polish done on the furniture.  
  • For day-to-day maintenance, you can wipe the surface clean using a dry cloth. 
  • It may require periodical polishing after a few years depending upon the usage and the type of polishing performed on it.

Sunmica Finishes

Sunmica based furniture requires less maintenance compared to veneer based furniture. 
  • General day to day maintenance can be done by just using dry or wet cloth to wipe the sunmica surface
  • These laminates do not take polish so there is no need to do periodic polish on these.

Color; Design
Decorative Veneer

  • Decorative veneers come from wood so all designs and colors in Veneer are related to the wood grains of the underlying wood. This makes the veneer designs limited when compared to Sunmica as Sunmica can have many artificial designs as well which do not come in natural veneers. . 
  • The decorative veneers generally available in grain characteristics and give aesthetic look with polishing.
  • Have dull finishing and the finishing can be made glossy by using the appropriate glossy finish polish. 

Sunmica Finishes

  • Sun mica / Laminate sheets come in a wide variety of colors, styles and designs. 
  • These also come in artificial wooden grain styles or colors too so the laminate based designs have options for both natural designs and man-made designs 
  • Laminates comes in  matt and glossy finish.

Decorative Veneer

  • Wood veneer has several advantages. It covers the solid lumber that can’t be finished smoothly. It can also cover the inexpensive wooden boards and make the furniture look expensive. 
  • Veneer can create a beautiful surface to any wood. 
  • Since veneer is glued with a waterproof adhesive to a stable substrate it produces surfaces not prone to warp or splitting or seasonal movement.
  • Veneer give and creates new design potentials to the wooden surface as multiple veneer shades and styles can be mixed and matched to create a furniture item

Sunmica Finishes

  • Lower cost
  • Impact and scratch resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Don't need wax or polish
  • Easy to install 
  • Durable when compared to veneer
  • It needs very little maintenance when compared to veneer.

Decorative Veneer

  • Water have bad effects on decorative veneers.

Sunmica Finishes

  • Some design conscious people say that the Laminate based furniture is not rich looking furniture. 
  • As laminates cover the base wood, it is hard to adjudge the quality of wood members used under the laminate/sunmica

IS Designation
Decorative Veneer

Veneered decorative ply wood should be according IS; 1328-1996.

Sunmica Finishes

Sun mica finishes/ decorative laminates should be according IS 2046-1995

Decorative Veneer

  • Decorative veneers are pasted on one or both faces of the wood members when used in paneling work. These are also used in making cup boards, cabinets, furniture and for general interior decoration work on walls in wall-cladding. 
  • It is also used in door shutter paneling.                                                                                                                               

Sunmica Finishes

  • Sun mica finishes/ decorative laminates are used as surface materials on counters, desk tops, cabinets, wardrobes etc. 
  • It is also used to provide a neat aesthetic surface on wall paneling too.

Size Availability
Decorative Veneer

The general sizes available are 3’x 6’and 4’x 8’. The maximum size available is 4’x 8’.

Sunmica Finishes

Sun mica finishes/ decorative laminates are available in size of 2.44mx 1.22 meter.

Installation/ fixing
Decorative Veneer

Decorative veneer is fixed in the manufacturing unit. Decorative veneers that require to be joined to form a ply shall be edge jointed before assembly.

Sunmica Finishes

The Sun mica / laminates are fixed on the supporting base of ply wood, block board, particle board etc by adhesives. The supporting base should be sanded and free from dust, wax, grease etc. After applying proper adhesive the sheet of laminate is spread and hand rolled from centre to edge and remove all air bubbles.  To ensure adequate bond, sufficient pressure should be applied over the entire area of assembly. 

Decorative Veneer

The thickness of Decorative veneers are less than 3mm.

Sunmica Finishes

  • Thin single face Sun mica finishes/ decorative laminates have thickness of less than 2mm.
  • High pressure sun mica finishes/ decorative laminates are available in thickness of 0.8, 1.0 and 1.5 mm.

Decorative Veneer

Decorative veneers are finished by doing polishing on the surface. Click on the link to understand Comparison between PU polish and melamine polish for wood or wood veneer

Sunmica Finishes

Decorative laminates come pre-finished and do not require any additional  finishing.

Decorative Veneer

Veneers strength is related to the strength of ply wood with which it is glued.

Sunmica Finishes

The laminates are  durable and are used as surface materials and improve their resistance to wear, scratching and domestic stain etc.