Globally, the markets are flooded with plywood furniture making it cheap and easy for people to set up a home with a smaller capital outlay. However, when making the choice people often ask furniture makers if the plywood furniture will be as durable as solid wood furniture and if they decide to buy solid wood that is also more beautiful if the money paid will be worth it?
What is the difference between plywood & solid wood?
Plywood is a mixture of wood and glue so we can say that it’s engineered wood. It is manufactured by glueing layers of veneers, which are thin sheets of peeled wood, together to create plywood boards for furniture manufacture.
On the other hand, solid wood is the wood that is obtained from trees that have been felled for this purpose. The trees are taken to sawmills where they are sawn into planks which are specially dried and then used to create pieces of furniture. The varieties of wood used for furniture is vast and include pine, oak, teak, cherry, maple, mahogany and Indian rosewood.
Which of the two is stronger?
Since solid wood is a homogenous material, it is stronger than plywood. Hardwood is denser and more substantial than softwood because it comes from deciduous trees and includes teak and Indian rosewood. Pine and mango are examples of softwoods.
The sheets of veneer that have been glued together to make the plywood can often come apart if they are exposed to humidity or hot, dry conditions, but plywood that is made from hardwood veneers will last longer.
Do looks count?
There is no doubt that a beautiful piece of solid wood furniture will not, only be stronger and more durable but also more pleasing to look at, as each type of wood has some attractive characteristics and colours of its own that make it distinguishable.
On the other hand, plywood is rather plain with no decorative features in its finish. Even though it can be finished with veneers of natural woods or laminates for an interesting, it will make it more expensive.
How to care for the two different surfaces?
Plywood with laminates is easy to clean with a wet cloth because it is moisture-resistant and scratch-resistant. If the laminate is very thin, then it will get damaged easily.
Wooden furniture can also be wiped down with a damp cloth once in a while. But a good polish usually helps keep solid wood in prime condition. Teak is a waterproof wood that can be used for outdoor furniture and will need sanding and wood polish every few years.
Cost and lifespan
Good quality solid wood is expensive because of the low supply and high demand. Hardwoods are incredibly durable and can be passed on for many generations if cared for properly.
Plywood products are more affordable, and the marine-grade plywood is waterproof and lasts longer than a waterproof grade or commercial grade, which is only moisture resistant.
Other things to know about plywood vs solid wood
Solid wood is far better for bookshelves and wardrobe doors because plywood cut into long pieces tends to bend in the middle. Veneered or laminated plywood is the second-best choice for cabinets since solid wood is considered the most reliable and most attractive wood for them. Plywood, because of its tendency to bend, is also not very suitable for doors and they can either be made with solid wood or solid core flush that is finished with a decorative veneer. Plywood and solid wood work equally well for beds, chairs, settees, couches, desks, and dining tables.
Not only is natural wood better than plywood as far as strength is concerned, but it is also more beautiful. Affordability is the only negative aspect, but then again if a piece of furniture is active, it won’t need replacing often. If it’s made from solid wood, it may never need to be replaced and can be reclaimed or varnished again in the years to come to give it a new lease on life.
Traditional furniture made with naturally seasoned wood is still one of the best choices for every home and office. Durable and robust wood has its distinct features and the temporary solutions that plywood affords do not offer the same beauty or strength.