Plywood is commonly used in construction and manufacturing. We see this magic material being used in home interiors and large buildings. In fact, some versions of plywood are also used in shipbuilding. How does plywood play such an important role in your home interiors? And should you choose this material over other options available in the market? Read on to know everything about plywood in your home interiors.
What is Plywood?
Plywood is an engineered wood made from thin sheets of veneer (also called plies, hence the name). The sheetsare gluedtogether in alternating right angles to form a cross-grain pattern. The criss-cross structure of the board adds strength and stability to the material. This helps in minimising shrinkage and warping of the furniture in the face of humidity or changing temperature.
Features of Plywood
Over time solid wood furniture has become untenable due to the lack of availability of wood. Ever since, plywood has been the preferred material for making fixed furniture like wardrobes and kitchen cabinets, beds and tables. There are many types of plywood and you can make your choice of material based on your specific needs.
Here are some of the features of plywood boards:
The number of plies determines the thickness of the board, which is available in odd numbers for dimensional stability. The minimum number of plies is 3, while 5 and 7 plies are also commonly available.
Grades of plywood define the quality and appearance of the board, with ‘A’ signifying the best quality and ‘D’ the lowest.
The boards are commonly available in sheets of 4’ x 8’ or 3’ x 7’, with thickness ranging from 1/8th inch to 1 ¼ inch.
Plywood is available as pre-laminated and pre-veneered boards. While this option reduces the execution time, the range of finishes available is very limited.
Plywood has high strength and durability and holds screws well without splintering.
It is cheaper than wood but more expensive than MDF and particleboard.
Plywood can be reused and recycled. It is considered to be more environmentally friendly than solid wood. However, resins and glue used can cause harmful emissions in the long run.
To prevent off-gassing, buy plywood that is manufactured using ‘green’ processes. Don’t forget to ensure that all surfaces are sealed completely.
Due to its layered construction, plywood cannot be shaped or routed like MDF.
Exposure to water can cause damage to the board. However, this is minimized in case of water-resistant and waterproof boards. They are also known as Marine boards.
The surface is raw and must be finished using laminate, veneer or paint.
Choosing the Right Plywood for Your Home
Now that you are equipped with all the information you need on the features and types of plywood, you can make the right material choices for your home! If your home is in a coastal area, think of using water-resistant or waterproof boards to withstand humidity in the air. Commercial ply can be used in areas that are not exposed to moisture, while water-resistant ply can be used in kitchens and bathrooms for greater durability.
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