Balancing Panels with Paper-Backed Veneer

      Veneered panels should have veneer applied to both sides to prevent the panel from warping. Here's a discussion of the options for stabiliizing the back of a panel with paper-backed veneer on the visible face.June 30, 2014

Question (WOODWEB Member)

Click to View Member Profile Forum Posts Project Gallery

Balanced panels are the norm with flitches etc. this I know, but I'm going to do a flat wall system in paper backed maple (reconstituted ) or regular maple veneer. The panels will be 22" w x 67" tall with grain running vert. and metal strips between the panels. The sub straight will be 3/4" or 1/2" MDF, (1/2" preferred, depending on feedback) with 1 1/2" - 2" x 3/4" plywood framing or studs in a grid of 12" squares honey-combing the back of each panel.

How much can paper backed veneer move to even create a problem in this case? I'm all about over-kill to prevent future problems, but veneering the back of an entire wall seems like a long way to go. Any suggestions for any aspect appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Veneer Forum)
From Contributor K:
Even panels with paperbacked veneer sheets should be balanced. You can't stop wood from moving but there are a lot of things you can do to help minimize the movement and reduce the chances for warping. Using all the stabilizing options would be ideal but often the specifics of the project won't allow you to use some of them. Picking the best, knowing when to compromise and which could be the most effective is the key.

The environment that these panels are to be installed in should be considered. If dramatic changes in temperature and humidity are expected then more has to be done to stabilize the panels. Exposure to direct sunlight will also influence what measures need to be taken to prevent warping. Acclimation of the veneer is always helpful.

Maple is notorious for moving. Reconstituted maple will move less because it is not actual maple and there is a lot of glue that holds the recon maple face together. The paper backing on the veneer sheet will help to reduce movement. So will a thicker substrate and the finish you use on the face. The honeycomb ribbing on the back will also help to stabilize your panels.

All these things help to reduce the movement in the wood faced panel, they do not prevent it. To further help reduce the risk of warping in your panels, putting a balance sheet on the back is recommended. The best will be to use the same material on the back as on the front, although a lesser grade will suffice, with the same kind of finish. Using a less expensive species veneer sheet would be the next choice. However, this still might not be very cost effective so the next best option is to use a polyback (without a veneer face) balance sheet on the back. Polyback is a polymer resin impregnated paper. It is very inexpensive, about $.40/square foot. In combination with the other steps and considerations it will significantly help to keep the veneer face from pulling and warping the panel.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Veneer

  • KnowledgeBase: Veneer: Techniques

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2018 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article