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High Fashion Veneers

Veneers Make High-End Kitchens

Pentco Industries is a pioneer in making high-end Euro-style cabinet doors and drawer fronts. The company has also been successful in blazing a trail right into the heart of designer specifiers by learning to speak their language and meeting them on their own turf.

Most of Pentco's Fullwrap Euro-style doors are surfaced with engineered veneers made from obeche and Italian poplar.
Most of Pentco's Fullwrap Euro-style doors are surfaced with engineered veneers made from obeche and Italian poplar. 



Based in Vancouver, Canada, Pentco built its reputation creating doors and drawer fronts on the cutting edge of kitchen fashion trends, surfaced with exotic engineered veneers, the latest HPL designs and paint. Advanced postforming techniques and custom-designed hardware complete Pentco’s trademark upscale products.

By putting together great sample kits for its reps and kitchen manufacturer customers and encouraging the use of its powerful website (, Pentco has engineered a sophisticated template for presenting to architects, designers, and developer specifiers. As evidence of its success, Pentco doors and drawers are found in high-end, high-rise residences all along the western seaboard, and increasingly in metropolitan areas further east. “We are always improving our ability to reach the cabinet companies,” says John McNulty, who heads Pentco’s sales, marketing and product development. “If we can sell them on the quality and value of our work, their enthusiasm and the sales tools we provide them with will influence designers working with the developers."

The company’s product design continues to evolve with changing consumer tastes, McNulty says. Postformed doors are still a mainstay, and exotic veneers are catching more attention from both designers and consumers. Although Pentco uses a small number of natural hardwood veneers, most of the company’s Fullwrap Euro-style doors are surfaced with engineered veneers made from obeche and Italian poplar. The logs are harvested and sliced into veneer, and the veneer leaves are then carefully dyed to different tones and glued back together. The newly created blocks are then recut in such a way that the finished veneer is a convincing representation of other higher-value species, from oak, maple and cherry to zebrawood, bamboo and Macassar ebony. All of Pentco’s veneers are created by an Italian company Alpi and sold in North America by Brookside Veneers. “Our most popular designs still revolve around the engineered woodgrains, with some solid colors sometimes mixed in to create a crisper look, says McNulty.

Designers are gravitating toward darker woods like wenge and Macassar ebony. “Wenge can be too dark for an entire kitchen, so we tend to use the darker tones on the lower cabinets and lighter elements on the upper doors. We’re beginning to see a trend toward doors and drawers with radius profiles on the tops and bottoms rather than on the sides, and with the grain running horizontally rather than vertically. This is directly influenced by what we see going on in Europe; it’s a very nice look, very lineal,” says McNulty.

Copyright© 2005 by the International Wood Products Association. Published by Bedford Falls Communications, Inc. and circulated to an audience of 20,000 architects, designers, distributors, manufacturers, and users of imported wood products in North America

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