Like all natural materials, variations in color, texture and grain occur in wood ceilings. Understanding the differences between species, between grades, between solid and veneer can influence a wood ceiling budget and design. The complexity of understanding the cost impact of each design decision, including LEED credits, can be intimidating.
Several resources are available for further study and resource. We recommend:
- Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 1; www.awinet.org. This is the bible for the architectural-millwork trades, whose standards can be usefully applied to wood ceilings.
- Hardwood Plywood Handbook, HPVA (Hardwood Plywood & Veneer Association); www.hpva.org. This industry association is a great resource for understanding architectural veneers, species, slicing, veneer matching, cores, etc.
Standard Wood Species
Below is a table of our most common wood species. If you would like to specifiy a species not listed, please get in touch. We are typically able to source nearly any species not CITES-listed (see this link).
Rotary sliced veneer is created by mounting a log centrally in a lathe and turning against a blade, like unwinding a roll of paper. Because this slice follows the log's annular growth rings, a bold variegated grain marking is produced. Rotary-sliced veneer can be exceptionally wide.
Plain (flat) Sliced
Plain (or flat) sliced veneer is created by mounting a half log with the heart side floating against the guide plate of a slicer. The slicing is done parallel to a line through the center of the log, producing a variegated figure.
Quarter sliced veneer is created by mounting a quarter log on a guide plate so that the growth rings of the log strike the blade at approximately right angles, producing a series of stripes that are straight in some woods and varied in others. In Oak, this slicing can produce unlimited amounts of medullary ray.
Rift sliced veneer is unique to various species of Oak. The rift or comb grain effect is obtained by slicing perpendicular to the Oak's medullary rays on either a lathe or a slicer. Medullary ray cells are distinct characteristics of Oak that radiate from the center of the log like the curved spokes of a wheel. Rift slicing limits the appearance of the medullary ray flake and produces a rather straight grain. Comb grain is a further hybrid selected from the rift slice.
|*Veneer descriptions above taken from Architectural Woodwork Standards, Edition 1. Illustrations from AWI Quality Standards, 8th Edition and used with permission.|