For those of you whom feel that your interior doesn't require additional refinement, I applaud you. Congratulations on having the resolve to stand tight with factory complacency. For the rest of us who are always on the search for extra luxury wherever we can find it, wood dash kits offer a glorious escape from the boring and monotonous "style-free zone" that most dash consoles come off the line with (or without , rather). Wood dash kits are more than an automotive accessory; they are a "second chance" at elegance that only few other options provide. They are also surprisingly affordable, given their far-reaching capability. So if you've ever thought that your vehicle needed an upgrade in identity, a suggestive and enduring dash kit may very well be the answer.
More Than Enough Options to Go Around
Thinly layered wood veneers coated with polyurethane make up the bulk of the industry's finest. These pieces are actually extracted wood, hence the term "real wood veneers." These real wood veneers are treated and measured to provide a logical level of flexibility. They are then designed, cut, and fit to exact specifications of a certain model's dash configuration. Other options include synthetic veneers, which are very similar in style and presentation. Some synthetic choices can be limited, depending on manufacturer and vendor. However, a reputable company should offer a wide selection of both real and synthetic, respectively.
For any given model, there are practically dozens of veneers and colors that are available. Most of these selections are referred to as burls (very similar to the type of term referring to wood products such as furniture and etc.). There are veneers that give off a subtle, tasty appeal (Honey Burl, Real Walnut Burl, and Real Rosewood), while many others offer a more striking brand of elegant zest (Real Japanese Cherry Wood, Real Platinum Burl, and Titanium Burl). Some veneers are more popular than others, but almost all of them get some play. Drivers seem to gravitate most towards Real Japanese Cherry Wood. Real Japanese Cherry Wood implemented on certain dashes adds a shockingly attractive dimension. It is a rich, deep grained red that can blend or contrast with most models, and to say that it engages a luxurious look is a severe understatement. I would strongly suggest checking it out the next chance you get.
Wood dash kits don't always have to hint at the decor of a fine English country club. They can also suggest a sporty appeal along with the added hint of sophistication. This is where real carbon fiber dash kits come in. Real carbon fiber dash kits pay homage to the contemporary climate, featuring an increased accent for those who enjoy a futuristic foreground to compete with their interior spread. Real carbon fiber dash kits are a favorite for the more edgy, high-speed type of drivers normally, but they are beginning to see action in every kind of vehicle. You can find the real carbon fiber look on a variety of dash kits, including Real Blue & Black, Real Light Blue, and Real Silver Wire, but there are many more where those came from.
Solid colors are available as well, and like most dash kit styles, come in a vast selection. You have the requisite red, blue, orange, and yellow – these solids are the preferred choice for drivers who own a racing-inspired car and wish to match a color scheme. But there is also Brushed Aluminum and Real Chrome; With both delivering a sizzling refined image once fitted to the contours of most any dash area. It is their versatility why solid color dash kits are so engaging. Along with real wood veneers (which are considered the class of the field), solids enact their own brand of custom enthusiasm for drivers of diverse automotive tastes.
Finding the Fit
Wood dash kits are not universal. They are crafted to adhere exactly to a certain car or truck's dash measurements. In turn, dash kits do not come in just one way. Flat dash kits for a long time were the main choice that most drivers got their hands on, and are still an option for a host of vehicles. Flat dash kits (2D) come in pieces that fit over sections of the dash. This is an important note, as many vehicles' dashes are arranged in right-angled sections in numerous spots. Therefore, one encompassing piece would not logically fit over an entire area. Molded (3D) wood dash kits are a modern pleasure. They still come in pieces – just not nearly as many. Molded dash kits are constructed to fit onto dashes that offer a plethora of curves, contours, and edges. This is crucial.
Because of the advent of 3D molded dash kits, more vehicles are eligible than ever before. Those sleek, curvy dashboards that were once immune to the delicate class that a prime wood dash kit could initiate now have all of the ability their less-than-esteemed brethren have enjoyed for so long. While flat dash kits are still an excellent route for a substantial amount of models, molded kits can certainly be viewed as a wave of the future.
Searching for Your Defining Wood Dash Kit
If you've ever taken a stroll down the soda aisle in the supermarket, you have seen Coke®, Pepsi®, and everything else. There are even the generic brands of cola displayed on the shelves here and there. Now, if you're after a results-oriented beverage that won't rot in your fridge in two days, you'll probably lunge for that bottle of Coke® or Pepsi®. But if you just want something to quench your thirst at half the price and give yourself a stomach ache on top of it, then generic might be your game. It is the same thing with wood dash kits. Quality lasts and imitations don't. There are always customers telling stories how they ordered some fly-by-night dash kit that did not stick-on right, the edges peeled off, and bubbled up when heat from the vents got to it. This is an example of a victimized consumer being had, and also shoddy quality, which believe it or not, you can find in droves.
I would suggest sticking with Sherwood and B&I when it comes to your dash kit selections. Both companies go through a ton of trouble in producing top-quality dash kits with all of the fits and finishes under the sun. Both companies also have terrific reputations when it comes to precise fitments, eliminating the worry of ordering a kit that "kind of" fits, but not all the way. If there is one ideal that Sherwood and B&I share, it is that proper fitment is the way they work. With both Sherwood and B&I respectively, you will likely hear nothing but praise from anyone who has purchased one of their wood dash kits, which is more than I can say for several others. You can certainly trust any product with either of their names on it.
The fun part is scanning around for your dash kit's veneer or color. As we covered earlier, there are dozens and dozens of choices. If you drive a branded "luxury" sedan or SUV, a real wood veneer might be your goal if you are looking to keep up that authentic, extravagant interior image. You may look to check the grain patterns, depth, and gloss. Or if you are more sporting and aggressive, real carbon fiber might be your choice. You definitely have a world of possibilities out there. Be sure to look around and check out as many designs as you can, and then confirm their availability for your vehicle. The odds favor your model being a match for most, if not all. The more reputable dealers also offer samples of veneers and finishes for you to see and hold in person. This may aid you greatly when it is time to decide which one is going to bring all of that class out of your interior!
Virtually all wood dash kits come backed with automotive-grade 3M tape and a sheet of instructions, or schematic. The instructions display a diagram of your dashboard and surrounding areas with all of the exact specifications. Each piece is normally numbered to coincide with that number on the diagram. After that, it is a simple "peel – & – stick" operation. Even still, here are the basic installation steps you may want to follow once you receive your wood dash kit:
1) Before affixing pieces (molded or flat), clean the dash . Isopropyl alcohol is highly recommended, as all dirt, must, dust, and oils MUST be removed from the area for the pieces to adhere properly.
2) Be sure to have all dash kit pieces in order along with instructions (diagram).
3) Coat the dash area that will receive kit pieces with adhesion promoter. Do this carefully and deliberately so that it does not "run" onto surrounding areas.
4) In the event that it is cool outside (below 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit), you may use a blow-dryer to warm pieces. This will enable them to conform easier to your dash.
5) Peel back tape and stick pieces into place. For larger pieces, unpeel bottom-first when sticking. This will allow you to adjust as needed. When satisfied, simply peel away the remaining tape and adhere the rest of the piece.
6) Once content with positioning, press pieces into place firmly. "Thumb" them down for a tight, concise fitment.
Your Interior Has a Say In Its Looks, Doesn't It?
Wood dash kits play an important role as an aftermarket tool. Most models, regardless of make, year, or trim level do not come with a refined dash surface. It is mostly that plasticky, rubbery facsimile that does little to inspire greatness in your interior. What wood dash kits do is transforms a place that was empty and in the background into something that is vibrant and in the foreground. It is that simple. The luxurious and elegantly styled veneers can work magic, even if your model is considered old or "out of date." And if your car is right out of the assembly plant, a shimmering dash kit can enhance what is already fresh and exciting. There is, after all, a reason why they exist! And there is an even bigger reason why there is such a broad market for them. Wood dash kits can single-handedly initiate a graceful presence within your ride that you never thought possible. Their accessibility and affordability are what has elevated them to the top of the auto accessory food-chain, and chances are that your vehicle's interior is naked with one!