Wood is exactly what it sounds like. It is a solid wood or solid pieces of wood glued together such as the planks on a typical table top. A solid piece of wood is porous. Due to relative humidity and seasonal changes, solid hardwood furniture will expand and contract. Don't believe me? Review your wood table top that is a minimum of 48" long. Measure the length across the planks every couple of months. You will be surprised just how much the top moves. For your exact reason, the development of wood panels with no restriction has to be considered when constructing solid hardwood furniture, otherwise warping will occur.
Wood veneer is constructed by layering thin slices of wood at right angles towards the adjacent layer. It makes sense a strong, thick board that's warp resistant unlike a good wood. Wood veneer is also used as a decorative touch to enhance the look of furniture. That's how those intricate inlaid patterns are made. Wood veneer has been used in building furniture as far back as the traditional Egypt (5,000 years ago). Ever take a look at antique furniture which costs $10,000 - $50,000 or even more an item? How can you think those inlaid patterns or certain curved surfaces are created? They're created by using wood veneer. That's right. Even your 18th Century antique furniture has wood veneer in it.
The common misconception is that veneer means inexpensive furniture. That is simply not the case. Again, take a look at probably the most expensive furniture available, antique furniture. Ever look at the desk in the boardroom on Donald Trump's show Celebrity Apprentice? You heard right that design over it is constructed using veneer. Now consider if Mr . trump would use inferior products, especially a product that'll be featured on NBC every Sunday night. Sometimes it's tough to make large panels, curved shapes, and complicated designs with wood only. Sometimes solid wood having a mixture of wood veneer needs to be used. Solid hardwood is an exceptional option for furniture frames but veneer could be a better choice for those inlaid patterns and certain kinds of curved surfaces. A bit of furniture that uses both, wood and wood veneer can be and it is of great quality. So the next time someone tells you that a piece of furniture is made with solid hardwood with veneers; you'll have a better knowledge of what that exactly means.