PLYWOOD V/S NATURAL WOOD – A COMPARISON

Jul 08, 2021

Natural wood is a widely used construction material, we have witnessed incredible wooden structures despite the complex properties of wood. There were no alternatives for wood until the 17th Century. Though Plywood is not an obvious alternative, it is the most affordable pitch that shows evident traits of natural wood.

Have you ever wondered why?

LET’S TAKE A LOOK ON WHAT THEY ARE!

PLYWOOD: Plywood is a kind of engineering wood consisting of thin sheets of wood (also known as wood veneer) and adhesive. The layered sheets and adhesive are compressed to sufficiently bond and create the final product.

NATURAL WOOD: Solid wood is the natural wood and is obtained from trees. The trees are felled and cut in sawmills as per the required size and fabricated as per requirements. Teak wood, Oak wood, Cherry, Maple, Mahogany, Sal, Cedar, Padauk and Indian rosewood, etc are considered amongst the most popular solid woods.

Read along! Let me take you on a pool of comparison of properties between the Natural wood and the Plywood.

WHICH IS STRONGER?

Solid wood definitely is considered to be stronger as compared to plywood as it is a dense & homogeneous material whereas plywood is made up of sheets that are glued together. If by any chance, the Glue’s shear strength is low, the veneer sheets will soon come apart.

Solid wood is 20 times stronger along the grains. They are much stiffer than plywood. Wood do not bend of loads whereas cross veneer layers are responsible for the strength and stiffness both long and across grains. Plywood bends on loads when placed vertically.

Natural Wooden beams under the Roof.

WHICH ONE LOOKS BETTER?

As per surveys, designers usually prefer the beauty of wood over any other material because the natural grains give it a classy and elegant look that can never match any other material. On the other hand, plywood is not considered to be a decorative material. For providing a wooden look to it, they have to be garnished with attractive veneers. A point that must be noted while comparing is that Plywood needs finishing material. And to our favor laminates & Veneer come in a natural texture that gives a wood-like look & feel.

Natural wood Chest of Draws
Plywood with finishing material

WHICH ONE IS GONNA LONG LASTER?

The durability usually depends on the type of wood. Plywood and solid wood, both are very durable products.

A BWR Plywood is better than the commercial Moisture Resistance grade plywood. But Marine grade plywood (which is waterproof, generally used in kitchen) is even better than the two of them. Well, better the plywood is, the longer its life will be.

For solid wood, Hardwood like teak wood or sheesham wood is stronger and durable than softwoods like Mango wood or Pine wood.

WHAT ABOUT THE COST?

Since the usage of wood is getting restricted due to the act against deforestation and environmental issues, good quality natural wood is very costly in comparison to plywood. The scarcity of wood and high costs side-lined natural wood as a non-affordable option. On the other hand, plywood is economical and got plenty of varieties to manage your budget and requirements and is easily available.

WHICH IS EASIER TO TAKE CARE OF?

Both Plywood and solid wood can easily be maintained with daily dusting. Well laminated plywood surface is easier to maintain since they are resistant to scratch, moisture and can be cleaned with a damp cloth for any removal of stains. Veneered Plywood needs more care and attention, much like wood finish, veneer ply needs to be polished to maintain its look.

Veeneer finishes for plywood surface.

For good quality Solid wood like Teak wood, which is water resistant needs no much of care too. But it is suggested for home owners to get it sanded and re-polished every 2-3 years of time to regain its original shine and color.

WORKABILITY & FLEXIBILITY

Plywood can bend easily whereas it is very difficult to bend solid wood. It is very strong and the slender cuts are not difficult to work with. Plywood never splits on edges while nailing and possess good screw holding capacity whereas timber used to split on edges on nailing. Plywood can be easily cut into any shapes and sizes and is easy to paint or polish. The plywood surface is smooth and any kind of veneer or laminate can be pasted with the help of adhesives. This flexibility makes plywood one of the most versatile materials. Natural wood has excellent screw holding capacity.

Soli wood, on the other hand, can be planed whereas plywood cannot be planed. The edges of the plywood look rough and has to be covered or coated to look good.

Excellence in Wood Architecture & Design

APPLICATION

Plywood is ideal for applications that require sheet material that isn't vulnerable to breaking, contracting, or twisting. Examples incorporate cupboards, work areas, and storage compartments. Plywood likewise functions admirably for making curved surfaces, for example, skateboard slopes.

Solid wood has been utilized as a structural material for millennia and it truly sparkles in applications where strength and durability matter. It the material of choice when aesthetics and beauty really count.

Solid wood is often used in combination with plywood. For example, a desktop or shelf made from plywood will often have solid wood edging on it to conceal the unsightly plywood edges. Another example is solid wood support strips used to stiffen a plywood shelf.

Kitchen counter top

COMPARISON BASED ON THE TYPE OF FURNITURE

  • For furniture, for example, shelves, and closet entryways, Plywood isn't the most reasonable material since it tends to twist in the centre when extremely long pieces are utilized. More qualified for such cases is blockboard (which is practical) or solid wood.
  • For cupboards, solid wood is viewed as accessible decision, the following best can be veneered plywood or laminated plywood. For instance, a strong teak wood bureau would be superior to teak veneered plywood, however it will likewise cost more. (A brightening veneered plywood is one, where the base material is plywood on top of which a superior looking normal wood veneer has been stuck).
  • For single and two fold beds, diwans and settees, the material utilized frequently is plywood.
  • For work areas, seats and eating tables, either solid wood or plywood can function admirably.
Plywood House by SMS Architects

NOW THAT WE HAVE SCRUTINIZED CHARACTERISTICS, LET’S CONCLUDE!

Well to sum up, lets notice that Wood is the best material as far as strength and durability is concerned. Yet, significant expenses, less plan choices, high work charges and so forth is the principle burden while plywood is promptly accessible, can coordinate with any client prerequisite, modest, and reasonable and is better as far as adaptability, usefulness and expenses.

Did you like the comparison? What is the type of wood that you would prefer? Also, stay tuned for upcoming comparisons on Plywood, MDF & HDF.

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Sriya Singh

Sriya brings the verities to the world by stitching her soul into the fabric of words. Making it to the ground, she is always on toes to plunge into new deals to discover the intricate folds of life.