Varying the matching of adjacent wood panels offers the designer many options for wood aesthetics.  Due to the natural growth of trees, matching and coloring of wood panels is an inexact science.  This often causes conflict between designers and manufacturers.  However, if the designer is aware of the natural variation in wood, many pleasing aesthetics are possible.

Slip Matching

The panels are"slipped" over without turning or flipping.  The effect is a repeating pattern in which the grain lines are not continuous. Slip matching is especially pleasing with rift or quarter sawn lumber, where the grain tends to be straight.  Since the panels are not flipped, light reflects the same from board to board and stain is accepted equally.

Slip Match

Book Matching

The panels are slid and flipped, much like the pages of a book.  This creates a repeating pattern over 2 panels where the grain lines connect at either end.  Since the panels are flipped, light is refracted differently on adjacent panels and stains may be accepted differently.  This sometimes creates a barber-pole effect, where panels alternate from a lighter shade to a darker shade.  Certain species of wood accentuate this effect.

Book Match

Random Match

The panels are placed in a random order and orientation.  This provides a completely random and unmatched look.

Random Match

Ad - Article Continues Below
Help make archtoolbox better. If you found an error or out of date information in this article, please let us know.

Subscribe to the Archtoolbox Newsletter:
Receive a monthly email with industry news focusing on practice, leadership, technology, and career growth.