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grille ceiling

Veneer Matching

Veneer Matching

Images are Compliments of Saunders Wood Specialties, Inc.

ASI Architectural specializes in wood veneer products of the following veneer cut types*:

Plain Slicing
plain slicing

Plain Sliced – Figure 200-11

Most popular method used for slicing high-quality veneers in architectural woodworking. Slicing is done parallel to a line through the center of the log. A combination of cathedral and straight grain patterns results, with a natural progression from leaf to leaf.

Quarter Slicing (or Quarter Cut)
quarter slicing

Quarter Sliced – Figure 200-12

Quarter slicing simulates the quarter sawing process of solid lumber, roughly parallel to a radius line through the log segment. In many species, the individual leaves are narrow as a result. A series of stripes is produced, varying in density and thickness from species to species.

Rift Slicing (or Rift Cut)
rift slicing

Rift Sliced – Figure 200-13

Rift veneers and rift sawn solid lumber are produced differently, so a “match” between rift veneers and rift sawn solid lumbers is highly unlikely. In both cases, however, the cutting is done slightly off the radius lines, minimizing the “fleck” (or flake) associated with quarter slicing.

To achieve visual effects, ASI Architectural provides the following matching techniques between adjacent veneer leaves*:

Book Matching
book matching

Book Matching – Figure 200-15

Most common match used in the industry, where every other veneer piece is turned over so that adjacent pieces resemble the open pages of a book. Book Matching creates a symmetrical pattern.

Slip Matching
slip matching

Slip Matching – Figure 200-16

Typically used with quarter and rift sliced veneers. Leaves are placed in a sequence without getting turned, exposing the same face side throughout the piece. Slip Matching creates a pattern that does not show visual grain match.

Panel End Matching
end matching

Panel End Match – Figure 200-18a

Leaves are book or slip matched on panels and sequenced. Panel End Matching yields a pleasing grain continuity, however, some grain misalignment will occur and it is not considered a defect.

ASI Architectural focuses on the following matching method within individual panel faces*:

running match
Running Match

The individual leaves of veneer in a sliced flitch can increase or decrease in width during slicing. For that reason, the number of veneer leaves per panel face will change as the flitch is utilized. The manner which veneer leaves are laid up within the panel require specification. Our standard process is Running Match.

In Running Match, each panel face is assembled from as many veneer leaves as necessary. This results in a non-symmetrical appearance, with some veneer leaves of unequal width. Running Matches are seldom “sequenced and numbered” for use as adjacent panels. Horizontal grain match or sequence cannot be expected.

The most economical method comes at the expense of aesthetics; this is standard for Custom Grade and must be specified for other Grades.

Finally, ASI Architectural products may comply with fire requirements as required. We follow AWI/AWMAC’s standards regarding fire-retardancy and flame spread classification. It is the responsibility of the specifier/designer to determine the elements of woodwork which will require fire treatment.

The flame spread factors that may be controlled in our fabrication processes are*:


The fire rating of the core material determines the rating of the assembled panel. Fire-retardant veneered panels must have a fire-retarded core. Particle Board (PB) Core is available with a Class I (Class A) rating and can be used successfully with veneer or rated high pressure decorative laminate faces. Fire-rated MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is also available. Solid wood requires application of Class A varnishes to achieve fire retardancy.


Some existing building codes provide that facing materials 1/28″ or thinner are not considered in determining the flame spread rating of the panel. Traditionally, face veneers are not required to be fire-retardant treated, and such treatment will adversely affect the finishing process. Note that laminate sheets exceed 1/28″ in thickness and cannot be further finished to obtain fire rating.

For additional information, please visit Architectural Woodwork Institute and Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada.

All of the images above are Compliments of Saunders Wood Specialties, Inc.

*Source: AWI Quality Standards, 2005 © AWI/AWMAC.