Plywood is an integral part of furniture-making today and is used in making cabinets, wardrobes, beds, chairs, shelves and anything else you can think of. It’s versatile and very hardworking. But then, so is wood, isn’t it? Then why is it that people are gravitating towards furniture made of plywood against that which is made of solid wood? Well, that isn’t such a mystery really. There are numerous advantages to using this material.
Cross-Grain Construction- Plywood has a cross-grain construction which lends it a lot of stability. Solid wood tends to expand and contract along its grain and over time, this weakens the wood which can lead to cracking, splitting and broken joints. On the other hand, the cross-grain in plywood minimizes any moisture stresses which results in less contraction and expansion as well as fewer structural irregularities.
Finishing Options– Plywood can be rendered with different finishes. It can be painted, clad with a laminate or a veneer which can then be polished as required. Since plywood does not stretch, the paint also lasts on it a great deal longer and will not crack or bubble. Any paint on wood furniture will crack and peel much faster.
Water Resistant– If you buy furniture that has been made with water-resistant (marine) plywood, the material will be very dense. Particle board or solid wood will swell and eventually spilt if exposed to water. On the other hand, water-resistant plywood maintains its structural integrity. However, it has to be protected from extended exposure to water. Boiling water resistant (BWR/BWP) graded plywood should be used in kitchen cabinets or for a dining table that is going to be placed in a kitchen.
Joints- Since plywood resists swelling it holds all the screws and glued joints together. This also means that you do not have to worry about creaky or squeaky furniture and it will also not break apart at the seams like wood furniture does. Well-made plywood furniture will always be glued at the joints which hold up much better than mechanical joints, over a period of time.
Ease of Use – Plywood can be sawed and shaped with very basic tools and is incredibly easy to use. It can be reshaped & bent into desired shapes with comparative ease. Today, there are numerous machines and tools that make this easily possible. Not only does it change shape easily, it retains that shape well too and there is no threat of a warp or splitting.
Size– Plywood is also available in sheets of varying sizes ranging from 6’X3’ to 8’X4’. This makes it very convenient to save on material and you are never saddled with more than what you need.
Value for Money
It is a misconception that plywood is cheaper than wood. Sure, you can get plywood that is very inexpensive but that is not of a good quality. If you want your furniture to last, it is recommended that you use the highest quality branded, ISI graded, marine plywood. This will ensure that your furniture will last for decades without any problems. It’s value for money and in the long run, cheaper too. No matter which way you look at it- Plywood is a sure-shot winner.