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Wood furniture or plywood furniture for Home interior design ?

Wood furniture or plywood - Confused?

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Wood furniture or plywood furniture for Home interior design ?

The goal of this post is to explain what is the Best wood type of interior work design & furniture making in your new flat/home or renovating a house. Post covers Natural wood & Plywood along with Laminates & Veneers also.

Once you read this post, please go through All about Plywood type selection. This post will ensure that you select the right type of plywood for best value for money and quality for sure.

Confused about Wood furniture or plywood? – Natural Wood or Plywood / Engineered Wood? What is the best Wood type for interior Design?

Once you read this post about best wood type for interior Design, please read the related posts given below as all these posts together will give a complete understanding of the key factors to know before starting the work. Note that we summarize other key requirements for interior work in another post. Consider reading it, if you are interested to know other components of home interior work. 

Best Wood type for interior Design (descending order by their strength)

  1. Wood –

    1. Natural wood is costlier and if you have a bigger budget, you can consider the local teak wood or imported teak wood like Ghana teak etc.
Natural wood furniture vs. plywood furniture
Natural wood furniture vs. plywood furniture
  1. Plywood –

    1. It is made by gluing the hardwood veneer strips or sheets pressed under high temperature. The chemicals & glues used in the process help it to have various properties. Eg. termite resistance, water resistance etc. These properties vary between various types of the plywood.
    2. Thicker plywood sheet will have more strength due to no. of sheets glued together. I will cover the plywood types and selection criteria in this post. If you want longevity of furniture with moderate cost, this is the best option for you. As Plywood is made of strips of hardwood, it is stronger than the Blockboard. Thus, recommended for interior work when a low-cost alternative to teak wood is needed.
    3. Note that plywood will tend to bend over a period in compared to Blockboard. Limit the length of the sheets to 6 feet or less. Otherwise provide enough support to limit the chances of bending. Hardwood refers to Gurjan wood, Eucalyptus wood, Birch wood, Poplar wood etc. Types of natural wood used in Plywood Manufacturing
    4. Gurjan wood is believed as superior (in India) with negligible performance difference to Eucalyptus based plywood. Gurjan based plywood is costlier by around 50% compared to the Eucalyptus based plywood. People well versed in the Plywood markets believes that majority of the plywood sold is Eucalyptus while told as Gurjan based. However, you can visually differentiate both types. Note that the Poplar wood made plywood is deemed as the inferior quality in terms of insects (borer and termite) protection.

Blockboard, MDF and particle boards are the less reliable alternatives to Wood & Plywood. Not recommended for long-lasting permanent interior work. So the best wood material for interior design can be either solid wood like teak wood or plywood.

  1. Blockboard –

    1. Core of Blockboard is made by edge to edge placing of softwood strips between one or two hardwood veneer sheets glued under high temperature & pressure. Softwood in the core makes it lightweight. Typically, these are light in weight and used in sag free long-life applications like long benches (typically longer than 6 to 7 feet), interior and exterior doors etc. Softwood refers to pine tree, mango tree etc.
  2. MDF or Medium Density Fibre boards –

    1. Similar to Particle Board, these boards also made of hot pressing of the wood waste fibre mixed with wax & resin in high density. Due to difference in manufacturing materials & process, it is having more strength. Although screw holding strength is much higher, it do not have good water resistance property compared to plywood. Many of the ready-made low-cost furniture is made of this material. Thus, to be avoided for home interior work, if you expect longevity of the furniture.
  3. Particle Boards –

    1. Made by firm hot pressing the mix of glue and sawdust & flake waste obtained while cutting wood. They are weaker and do not have water resistance capability. Eg. Screw holding strength will be poor and can swell when in contact with water. Many of the ready-made low-cost furniture is made of this material. Thus, to be avoided for home interior work, if you expect longevity of the furniture.

If you are trying to find out Wood furniture or plywood suit your specific requirement and also conscious about finding a cost effective and value for money solution, Plywood will fit for your need. At the same selecting any of the available plywood variety will cause trouble in long run.

Major plywood Brands are Century Ply (including Sharon Ply), GreenPly, Kitply and other tier-2 Brands. 

So if you are finalizing for Plywood, then choose the right type of Plywood. I have written an another post to let you choose the right type of Plywood. Please read the post by clicking this link.  Note that if you do not have any constraint on Budget and afford wood, then go for teak or better wood varieties available in the market.  Teak imported from Africa may be an option to consider to lower the cost.

Conclusion on Wood furniture or plywood – Best wood option if you cannot afford solid wood options (Eg. Teak wood)

Wood type for interior Design considering above mentioned facts=> Best wood material for interior design to be decided between Solid wood and Plywood. In another article, I am narrating the differences between various plywood types and how the right one to be selected based on the areas within house like bed room or kitchen.

  1. The best and cost-effective solution is to consider is Plywood. 
  2. The best option is laminate in lieu of veneer considering the advantages mentioned above.
  3. By selecting the right type of the plywood, you can not only reduce the cost but also get a matching performance at a lower cost.
  4. Note that you need to choose the type of plywood material based on the location of its use within the house. This is because, different types of plywood is there suiting the external factors where you are fixing it. Eg. Plywood used in kitchen may have more chances of getting in contact with water where as the plywood cabinet in the bed room may not have that much water exposure than kitchen.
  5. Go through the related posts listed below to know more about which is the right type of plywood used for each type of situation so that you can expect a longer troublesome life for the plywood cabinets in home.

Tight budget? Selected Plywood – then do I need for costly tier-1 Brand? Options to fit the quality in your budget explained?

  1. Preferred to go for known Brands for important areas like Kitchen where the moisture content will need best manufacturing quality. Major Brands are Century Plywood (including Sharon Plywood ), GreenPly, KitPly etc. More than Brand, right type of plywood make the different. Example – Using BWP plywood should be used at Kitchen instead of BWR.
    Wood furniture or Plywood Furniture
    Tier-1 BWP Plywood Brand Description
  2. Areas with no moisture can be with tier 2 Brands. But go for right type Plywood. Example – Using Commercial Ply can cause termite issues earlier years than with BWR. Look for long term quality than going for lower initial cost.

Lower cost brand Plywood Brand description image

Please go through All about Plywood type (BWR, Commercial Ply, Marine Ply / BWP) selection. This post will ensure that you select the right type of plywood for best value for money and quality for sure. The post will tell you the Standard codes help you to choose the right one for your specific need instead of going with one of the mainstream Brand’s lower cost type plywood.

If you are choosing the Plywood, then you will need to use Laminate or Veneer for aesthetics or adding strength to plywood by not getting it exposed to moisture. 

Veneer or Laminate to use with Plywood?

Veneer provide natural look and feel as it is of natural wooden material, a slice of wood. Laminate is an artificial item and having better scratch resistance and complete water proof due to which easy to maintain. Veneer need polishing to retain its shine whereas Laminates do not need polishing. Note that Laminates are not scratch proof, it have scratch resistance only. 

Recommendation is for laminate considering the fact that nearly ZERO cost to maintain it and additional water resistance protection it offered to plywood. Following are the key points to consider when applying laminates to the interior wood work.

Following points are with the understanding that Laminate is used for the interior work.

  1. Inside the cabinets – You can use off-white low-cost 1MM thick laminate. Remember to keep some quality instead of going for cheap laminates. If you are purchasing Plywood and Laminate from wholesalers, they will have the quality rejected decorative laminates of 1MM thickness at a very low-cost level. However, it will be little more than the cheapest 0.6 to 08MM thick off-white laminate.
  2. On door and visible sides – Use decorative laminates of your choice. Recommended for 1MM thickness.
  3. Invisible sides and back side – Recommended to have 1MM thickness laminates even though it is not visible. This is because wall may absorb the water (especially in case of Flat where water leakage at some place on the wall may reach through the wall gaps). When Plywood is exposed to water for longer duration, it will shorten the plywood life.

Based on this Wood type for interior Design tips, you can choose different colors and textures in laminate. Also it offers Glossy finish and mat finish. Glossy finish may be good for cleaning perspective. Recommended to visit the laminate shop and touch & feel it before buying. Generally wholesalers won’t take back the laminates (most of the wholesalers back the full plywood sheet easily when you want to return some excess sheets) once sold. So take additional precaution to avoid creating a return situation. 

Also go through other post about what you need to specify in the scope of work to the interior contractor when you award the interior work. This post ensures that you do not miss most of the key agreements you both need to make before starting the work or making advance payment.

Disclaimer– Through this blog, I share my learning and experience. Every effort is made to avoid errors. It is not possible to rule out chances of error, however. If you try any ideas or tips given this Blog, it is solely on your risk. I won’t be liable, if you suffer any loss or damage. Meanwhile, I am happy to answer any clarifications requests posted via the comments section.

If you notice any error or have a constructive feedback, please notify me. You are also welcome to share the general comments. Your feedback will help for continuous improvement of the content. Thank you for your visit to my Blog Home Page.

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