We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Faux Wood?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Faux wood, also called engineered or manufactured wood, is a combination of products, adhesives and veneers meant to resemble wood. Often less expensive than real wood, many fake wood varieties can contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. As technology improves, this product is becoming a better-looking substitute for real wood, and the processes for creating it are starting to become more environmentally friendly and advanced.

Particleboard is a type of engineered wood frequently used in furnishings. Constructed of wood particles, particleboard is mostly sawdust and wood chips, bound together with resin. The compacted substance is then coated with veneers that make it look like real wood, yet even with waterproof coatings does not stand up well to moisture. It is not advisable to use particleboard furnishings outdoors if you live in a damp or rainy climate. If breaking apart particleboard for some reason, it is advisable to wear a mask. Some people exhibit a sensitivity to the chemicals and dust that arises from the product, and may experience respiratory problems.

Another type of faux wood is hardboard, frequently found in construction and flooring. Somewhat similar to particleboard, hardboard is considered stronger and more durable. Wood-look laminates can easily be painted or glued on to hardboard, and it also serves well as a floor base for tile or vinyl floor coverings.

Laminated veneer lumber is stronger and straighter than regular hard wood. The product is created by heavily compressing many layers of thin wood strips. The wood is bound together with strong, resin-based adhesives and then coated to resemble real wood. Laminated veneer lumber is useful in construction as it is less responsive to weather or atmosphere changes and will not bend or warp as quickly as traditional lumber.

Large warehouse stores, such as Ikea, sell many faux wood furnishings. These pieces, while being less expensive than real wood pieces, also give the buyer added flexibility. Many chairs, tables and other furnishings are sold as bare wood, allowing you to coat or stain the faux wood to a color you desire. This can be a great help if you are trying to match the wood color of a furniture set you already own.

Using faux wood can be a great opportunity to save money on furnishings and construction. It allows flexibility in color choices, and allows you to make a matching set out of different furniture. As manufacturing processes continue to advance, the creation of faux woods may become not only more cost-effective, but also more environmentally friendly. For now, those with serious formaldehyde sensitivities or concern about the chemicals used in the manufacturing process may want to avoid faux wood products.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for About Mechanics. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.
Discussion Comments
By vogueknit17 — On Jan 19, 2011

I prefer to use faux wood for some situations where regular wood might be easily damaged, like things which are permanently outside. For playground material, for example, faux wood finishes can last a longer time than regular wood, which is often pressure-treated by arsenic and other harmful products, just like faux wood sometimes is, when used in that context. Generally, though, I like regular wood better and thinks it looks nicer.

By Catapult — On Jan 17, 2011

Faux wood has its uses, but I don't think even the best kind really looks like wood. It also is not as durable in some settings as actual wood.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.