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Solid Wood vs Plywood

May. 08, 2021

Solid Wood vs Plywood

Plywood distributors will share this article with you.

There are several things to consider, the most important of which is, is plywood as strong as solid wood? Is it really worth the money to buy solid wood furniture?

We will talk about this, but first, let's quickly introduce the two materials in order to find a common foundation.

plywood sheets are a kind of engineered wood product. Its production method is to glue each layer together (called a veneer). These individual veneers are obtained in turn from the logs, by rotating them and peeling the thin layer from the logs.

On the other hand, solid wood does not require much introduction. It is natural wood derived from trees. First cut down the trees, then cut the logs into smaller sizes at the sawmill, and then use these blocks to make furniture. The most popular solid woods are teak, oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, and Indian mahogany.

Strength comparison between plywood and solid wood:

Solid wood is considered stronger than plywood because it is a homogeneous material. It also depends on what kind of wood we are talking about. High-quality hardwoods (obtained from deciduous trees such as teak) are denser, heavier, and stronger than softwoods (such as pine or mango).

On the other hand, plywood is made of sheets that are manually glued together. If the "glue shear strength" is low, then individual plywood will fall off. It depends on the quality of the plywood. In India, good quality plywood is usually made of hardwood veneer.

Which one is better?

At this point, solid wood also scores higher than plywood. For example, teak is so popular not only because it is strong and durable, but also because of its straight-grained wood pattern and golden yellow look beautiful.

The surface of commercial plywood that is common in local plywood shops is not decorative. Therefore, it requires extra cost and effort to increase the beauty of the plywood by gluing natural wood veneer or decorative laminate (such as Sunmica or others) on its top surface.

Which of the two is easier to take care of?

Plywood surfaces are easier to maintain because they are scratch-resistant, moisture-proof, and can be wiped clean with only a damp cloth. In order to get the best results, it is best to choose a laminate with a higher thickness. Very thin laminates can be damaged and difficult to replace.

Good-quality solid wood, such as teak, is waterproof and also suitable for outdoor furniture. It does not require much care, although it will darken over time every once in a while (several years), so it needs sanding and application of wood polish to help restore its original luster and color.

Which one will last longer?

It depends on the wood used in both cases. Good quality plywood (waterproof plywood) is better than commercial MR grade (moisture-proof grade) plywood. Marine-grade plywood is even better than these two. The better the plywood, the longer it will last.

The durability of solid wood depends on the wood used. Hardwood (such as teak) is stronger and more durable than softwood (such as mango or pine).

What about the cost?

Good quality solid wood is much more expensive than plywood.

This is mainly due to high demand and low supply. Due to ecological problems, the supply of wood in forest reserves must be controlled and restricted, and it takes a long time for wood in plantations to mature.

Green Plywood


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