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Sunday, March 6, 2022

Advantages and Disadvantages of Plywood To Make Home Furniture

When buying wood furniture for our homes these days there are so many options, it is very difficult to make a quick choice. Should we choose time-tested solid wood furniture (made of teak wood? Made of oak wood? Which one?) Or should it be better to hire a carpenter and build custom plywood furniture to suit our needs? Want to go into some furniture showroom and get all the ready-made pieces made from particle board or MDF? Which of these products is the best and what is the comparative price?

 

This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of plywood for furniture making and compares it with other options such as particle boards, blockboards and solid wood.

 

But before we do that, let’s take a quick look at what plywood really is so that we can more clearly understand its pros and cons.

 

ADVANTAGES OF PLYWOOD

1. Good uniform strength

Plywood is a strong material, especially if it is made of strong wood (hardwood) instead of weak wood (softwood). The image above helps to illustrate where this strength comes from. The dark lines (or tear lines) you see on the face of the plywood are called wood grain patterns. It is very easy to tear the individual veneer with the grain, and it is equally difficult to tear it across the grain. That is why, when making plywood, the layers are arranged in such a way that the grain pattern in each layer is variable, and this makes the plywood sheets a much stronger material.

 

2. Can be used for making interior home furniture as well as exterior furniture.

Plywood is available in various grades such as MR grade (moisture resistance) for indoor use and BWR quality (boiling water resistance) for outdoor use. So damp furniture in the kitchen or garden can be made from BWR water-proof grade plywood, while cheap MR grade plywood can be used in other areas such as the living room or bedroom. This is a unique advantage over cheaper materials such as particleboard, which is for indoor use only.

 

3. Available in large sizes compared to solid wood

It is easy to get a uniform 18mm plywood sheet of 8'x4 '(8ft x 4ft) in size from the market, but it is quite impossible to get solid flat wood of such size (any wood can be cut and trimmed How?). For me, this is the most important advantage that plywood offers compared to solid wood, and it has been very popular since its invention. These large-sized engineered plywood sheets allow for a variety of applications that are difficult to achieve using solid wood.

 

4. Economical use of wood by mixing various woods together

Some woods are valued for their beauty (teak, oak, etc.), but they are expensive. The veneers of such woods can be used to create the surface layer of plywood, while the inner layers are made of other strong but cheap wood. Such a combination and fit is possible during plywood construction, and the resulting financial benefits will be passed on to the end consumer.

 

5. Available in varieties such as flexible plywood.

There are many interesting types of plywood now. One of them is flexible plywood (also known as bendy ply). It can be rolled or bent to create curved surfaces and allows greater applications in furniture and home decor.

 

6. Lesser wastage of wood

Compared to the process of obtaining solid wood blocks, the process of making plywood wastes less material (wood blocks) because both the rotary cut and slice cut that makes the veneers do not produce much waste. So we can use more of the tree logs in this way.

 

7. Versatile material that has many applications.

Plywood sheets not only find their way into our homes, by becoming a part of our furniture, they also have many industrial and structural applications. E.g. Concrete shutter plywood, Marine plywood for boat making.

 

8. Durable material

Plywood furniture made of good quality hardwood is very durable and will last for many years. Not up to solid wood pieces, but much better compared to cheap particle board furniture, which will eventually need to be replaced.

 

9. Less costly compared to solid wood

Solid wood is best because it is a natural product, but it is also very expensive. Cheaper compared to plywood. So it is a fair trade for most people to choose decent quality plywood to meet their furniture needs.

 

DISADVANTAGES OF PLYWOOD:

1. Water can damage MR grade plywood

The layers of plywood will separate when exposed to water for a long time. This drawback can be overcome by choosing BWR waterproof quality for plywood furniture that can be wet.

 

2. Can bend or sag when longer pieces are used.

Plywood is not considered suitable for applications that require long pieces of wood in our front doors, benches, closet doors or anywhere else where long panels are required. This is because in such cases the plywood has a tendency to sag or bend from the centre. The best way to overcome this drawback is to choose a blockboard, which is technically more suitable and cheaper than plywood.

 

3. Difficult to judge the quality of a plywood sheet.

As a customer, it is difficult to determine which wood was used to make the plywood. The exterior surface can be found with veneers, but what about the interior? There are many types of plywood on the market, ranging from locally made products to reputed brands. It is important to choose wisely and buy from a reliable source regardless of whether we are shopping offline or online.

 

4. Plywood usually needs additional enhancements.

Solid wood is beautiful. Most commercial grade plywood, on the other hand, must be covered with laminates to enhance its beauty and durability. These laminates improve their resistance to damage from water when pasted on plywood.

 

5. The edges also need to be covered with suitable pieces of wood.

In addition to laminating the surface of the plywood, the edges of the wood should generally show the furniture well by sticking wood strips.

 

6. Costlier compared to blockboards or particle boards.

Plywood is more expensive compared to particle boards or blockboards. In addition to the material cost, carpentry costs are also included. Therefore, for people looking for short-term furniture solutions, ready-made furniture made of particle boards or strong MDF are worth considering.

 

7. Manual and Time-consuming process.

MDF or particleboard furniture made manually using plywood pieces. That means making most plywood furniture is not a one day job. You need to hire a carpenter, buy all the right items, specify your exact needs, and then wait until the carpenter does his job. This is a time-consuming process. So as a customer, if you are in a hurry, or do not like all this hassle, you can choose ready-made furniture.

 

8. The adhesives used may be ecologically damaging.

An important feature of plywood is that it is important to check which chemical glue was used for glueing the veneers together. Urea-formaldehyde adhesives, used before phenolic resins, are not considered very safe to use and can also pollute the environment. One reason may be that solid wood smells better than freshly made plywood. However, plywood made in compliance with all safety rules and regulations may be considered safe to use.

 

9. Not considered as strong as solid wood.

Plywood is not as strong as heavy and dense solid wood (which is advantageous compared to other options such as particleboards or blackboards). The plus point though is that the price of plywood is low.


Also Read: Plywood Vs Blockboard - Which To Choose For Your Furniture And Budget?

Also Read: Types Of Wood Used For Making Plywood | Lceted

Also Read: What Is Ideal Moisture Content In Plywood? - Lceted

Also Read: What Is Laminate Sheet? | Sizes | Thickness | Types | Manufacturing Process


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