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Is plywood really the best choice for shelves? - Homeslibro

A lot of people make shelves out of plywood, for some, it works well, for some it doesn’t. And here's the reason.

There are two main factors to consider when creating a wardrobe shelf.

1. What is the length of the cupboard shelf?

2. What is the expected load to be taken by the shelf?


For shelves with a shorter length, plywood would be a viable option to consider and could serve its purpose well.

However, when the shelf size is longer (4 or more than 5 feet), plywood may not be suitable for this task or may require additional supports to increase carpentry work.

Do not misunderstand this. Plywood is a very strong material, especially if it is made of high-quality hardwoods. But it also has a different drawback. When using long pieces of plywood the centre will bend or sag, ruining the overall look of the shelf.

Also Read: All You Want To Know About Plywood To Use On Interior Work


So, what's the suitable alternative?

Well, in India, carpenters have a clear consensus on what material to choose for long shelves. Instead of plywood, they choose blockboard, which is made of wooden blocks that form the centre of the board, covered with wood veneer on both sides.


Blockboard is not only better suited for this application, but it is also comparatively cheaper than plywood.

To build a wardrobe, solid wood is really the best way, except that it is very expensive.

Due to the veneers on the face, the blockboard surface looks like plywood, although a closer examination of the edges confirms the difference between the two.

Blockboard is not only more suitable for this use, but it is also relatively inexpensive than plywood.


Blockboards are available in two varieties:

1. MR (Moisture Resistant Quality), which is suitable for making bookshelves or any other indoor use.

2. BWP (boiling waterproof quality), which is suitable for outdoor use (outdoor shelves) and wet kitchen cabinets.


For the same reasons, blockboard is also a preferred choice for making benches, backrests, wardrobe doors and any other piece of furniture that requires long pieces of wood.

To enhance the beauty of the wardrobe, it can be stained, painted or laminated. Of these, the use of decorative laminates is the most common these days, not only because of the wide variety of textures, shapes, and colours available but also because the closet is highly water-resistant.

To cover the sides, edge-banding is the most common choice, in which plain or decorative wooden strips are glued to the sides of the board.

In short, if you are considering what kind of cupboard to create as a bookcase, kitchen cupboard or cupboard to display your cups, you can definitely consider using a blockboard instead of plywood.

Also Read: Plywood Vs Solid Wood | Comparsion Between Plywood And Solidwood

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