Batten board

Batten board consists of 3 or 5 layers where the middle layer is thick layer made from conifer batten. Surrounding the batten layer there are one or two thin veneer layers made of deciduous wood. If there are two layers of veneer the direction of fibers might be aligned or perpendicular. Batten sheets are not very common these days as the manufacturing of chipboard has taken over.

The most common type of batten sheet on the market is 3 layered. In foreign batten sheets the veneer might be made of beech, alder or cottonwood. In Finland the veneer sheets are usually made of birch. Due to manufacturing difficulties, the thinnest batten sheet you can get is 15mm thick.

Batten sheets are glued together with urea resin and thus it should only be used indoors.

Qualities and usage

  • Batten sheet is good for furniture manufacturing. It is used in places where you need to tough material to hold up weight, such as shelves.
  • The batten should be aligned with the supports
  • The advantage of using batten sheet is the lightness of the material. A similar shelf made of batten sheet is way lighter than a similar shelf made of chip board.
  • Due to structure of the batten sheet you get a lot of waste pieces.
  • The main problem with the batten sheet is that the sheet will distort thanks to the batten core distorting when it dries.
  • If the batten used in the core is distorted, there might be holes inside the sheet. These holes don’t have a big impact on the stength of the sheet but they can make attaching screws and such more difficult.
  • The veneer surface might crack in time and make cracks in the polish or paint. This is why the batten sheet often has a separate thin hardwood veneer or a laminate on top of it.
  • The distortion of batten sheet doesn’t cause major bends on the surface. The distortions are usually limited to the thickness of the sheet.
  • Batten sheet is easy to work with. It is however much more expensive than chip board.
  • There are also batten boards where the surface veneer is replaced with MDF-fiberboard¬†