Remodelling Your Space with Plywood: Everything You Need To Know

Remodelling Your Space with Plywood: Everything You Need To Know

Merino Laminates, November 2, 2023

Plywood is considered one of the most important materials that has been commonly preferred for manufacturing and construction works. It is more like a magic material that is being used for bringing out the best appeal associated with large buildings or home interiors. 

To better understand the characteristics of plywood sheets, you must know that it is a sheet material that’s brought to use by combining various wood veneers with the use of a special glue. Every adjoining layer is rotated up to around 90 degrees, which is referred to as the cross-graining process. 

The reason behind implementing the cross-graining process is it adds immense strength to the plywood. The sheets will eventually resist splitting effects when they get nailed at application edges, and the shrinkage or expansion effects will also be controlled. 

Keeping aside the definition, people mostly wonder how plywood laminate sheets play such a crucial role in designing the best version of home interiors. People look for answers to this to finally decide on whether or not they should purchase it. 

So, let’s take this article forward and help you understand the efficacies of super-strong and waterproof plywood and its applications in the home interior world. 

How is Plywood Made?

Before stepping into the detailed understanding of plywood being used for home interior applications, let’s learn how these sheets are actually made:

How is Plywood Made - Merino Laminates

  • Select the Log

The first step is about selecting the right log from a select tree wood, as per the requirements, demands, or specifications. The logs collected for making the plywood sheets should be straight and must be cut in an adequate diameter. This will ensure the log produces as many layers as possible. 

  • Debarking

The next process is debarking, which is done by the use of specific equipment in big facilities. In this process, the wood log will be rotated in a consistent motion while on the long axis. The machine will then remove the bark with the use of high-pressure grinding wheels of water jets with the use of sharp teeth. 

  • Log Cutting

Once the wooden log is debarked, it will then be cut into specific sizes. When you tend to cut the logs for your plywood-making process, it will need skilled workers, appropriate equipment, and precise attention to detail. It will ensure consistency and quality of the finished product. 

  • Log Peeling

Now, the wood log will be peeled by placing the blade in parallel to that of the log. A veneer sheet is formed upon the blade-cutting action being implemented over the log. This veneer can then undergo the machining process instantly and will then be kept within the long trays or coiled as rolls. 

  • Grading & Sizing

In the next step, the wood will be sized to attain optimal thickness for the plywood. However, once the sheets are glued or pressed together, the thickness of the finished product will eventually be stated. 

  • Application of Glue

Now, glue will be implemented in between the layers or pieces to combine them together for the plywood run. This step can be processed by either a machine or a human being. 

  • Plywood Pressing

The presence of high moisture content in the veneer layers impacts the overall pressing degree of the plywood by increasing it. A lot of moisture is absorbed by the plywood at the time when the veneers are thinner, which ends up increasing the plywood density. 

Pressing is done in two different ways: cold and hot. Cold pressing is done to prepare the veneers for hot press after the glue has been applied to it. During hot press, the boards will be compressed, and a specific heated pressure will be applied for a specific time. 

  • Sanding, Finishing, or Trimming

Once the board is cooled down and ready for further processing, it will first undergo the sanding process. Square edges will be formed upon sanding, and all other faults, such as dents, will be rectified at this stage. 

Types of Plywood

As the furniture industry is constantly booming, the need for its diverse designs is increasing rapidly. However, the use of the right type of plywood is highly crucial to make the end product strong and durable to last longer. So, let’s have a closer look at some of the different types of plywood that are used in the home interior applications.

Types of Plywood - Merino Laminates

  • 1. Hardwood Plywood

Hardwood plywood is made with the process of gluing different piles together at a perpendicular angle to one another. With this process, the plywood becomes immensely sturdy and strong. As hardwood such as maple, oak, and birch are recommended for the making of this product, you can count on such hardwood laminate sheets to be heavier than that of the other plywood. 

Among all the plywood sheet types, this one will have a hardwood veneer on the front and back. You will be able to use them for almost any furniture item around your house, which demands a stronger frame for handling weight. 

  • 2. Softwood Plywood

Softwood plywood is manufactured with the piling effect on the vertical angle, with the help of a very strong adhesive. With this process, the plywood tends to stay in the exact place and remains intact for the long term. As the name suggests, these plywood sheets aren’t heavy enough, mostly because they are made up of wood like spruce, cedar, pine, or others. 

Therefore, it is advised that you use the softwood plywood mostly for the structural applications. Flooring, framing, or roof sheathing are some of the evident applications of softwood plywood for you to count on. This is what makes it one of the best types of plywood available for your home interior applications. 

  • 3. Sanded Plywood

Sanded plywoods are better recommended in areas that are mostly visible to the residents of the house. For instance, sanded plywood sheets can be used for making bookshelves, panels, or shelves. Basically, this type of plywood works towards enhancing the overall appeal of the space in your house when used strategically. 

Being different from the other types of ply sheets, the top or bottom part of these sanded plywood piles undergo the fine sanding process, and the surface of these sheets will then be sanded throughout the manufacturing process. Typically, these sheets are made up of three panels, or sometimes more, that are cross-laminated using wood veneers as the substrate. 

  • 4. Structural Plywood

The structural plywood is manufactured for being used in permanent structures on priority. These sheets are very strong in nature and come with an unfinished or raw surface. Therefore, you cannot consider them suitable for being used around your house in places that are visible to the residents or guests. It would add an unpleasant look to the eyes and the overall house. 

The structural plywood is mostly used in flooring, beams, panels, and framing applications around the house. These plywoods are also inexpensive as they don’t undergo aesthetic polishing or smoothening process. The places where these sheets will be used around the house will mostly be covered with some different types of materials to maintain the aesthetic appeal. 

  • 5. Marine Plywood

It is the type of plywood that is meant to be used in moist environments. Whether it is a humid or wet environment, you can make use of marine plywood to resist the wetness for a long period of time. 

The core gap is next to none for the marine plywood, which ensures no water gets fixed within them. Moreover, these plywoods are also fungal resistant! It is considered one of the strong types of plywood sheets used for robust applications. 

Applications of Plywood

To better understand the efficacies of plywood sheets for your home interior, here are some of the popular applications of it:

Applications of Plywood - Merino Laminates

Wall Sheathing (Exterior)

Plywood is considered one of the most common types of materials being used for exterior wall sheathing purposes. It is quite durable and strong, which will provide you with a good base for defining the finishes, such as brick or siding. 

Plywood is quite easy to install and will be available concerning the thickness variety to suit diverse applications. 

Interior Wall Paneling

There are various perks of using plywood sheets for constructing the interior walls. They are strong and will be able to support ample weight. Thus, you will be able to hang your art or other decorative items over it without any hassle. 

Plywood is also resistant to moisture, which makes it usable around areas that experience some form of humidity or dryness, such as in the kitchen or bathroom. Moreover, plywood also tends to fit into almost any space. 

Flooring or Roofing

Plywood is often recommended for being used in flooring or roofing applications, especially for its strength-to-weight ratio, water resistance, and durability. Plywood, being easy to install, becomes one of the most popular choices for people who want to do some of their home improvement work themselves. 

Hiring home contractors for this purpose will ensure that your plywood works around the house are done perfectly to add more value and aesthetics to your property. 

Furniture

Plywood is undoubtedly considered one of the best materials to be used as furniture. Depending on the style preference you have, you can use furniture for both indoor as well as outdoor furniture. If you intend to attain a rustic look for some of your furniture options around the house, then there are no better options than plywood. 

Moreover, plywood sheets are considered inexpensive to help you save a lot on your house renovation projects. Even though you are in search of a design that’s modern and updated with the latest trends, plywood is versatile enough to adapt to your requirements with ease. These sheets are also light in weight and are easily movable! These properties make plywood an efficient choice for use in furniture pieces. 

For instance, you can use plywood for the table, plywood for the wardrobe, plywood for the door, and others. 

Cabinets

Plywood for kitchen cabinets can change the way you look at your house. The aesthetic finishes of the plywood sheets that can complement the overall decor of your house will make your cabinets look astounding. The best thing about plywood is it’s inexpensive and can be cut into various shapes or sizes for being assembled onto the cabinets. 

Painting or staining the plywood sheets will be easy, especially for bringing out the best appeal of your cabinets. For instance, quality plywood sheets can be considered ideal for being used on the sides or backs of most cabinets. It is one of the best materials used for the purpose, even better than the MDFs or traditional chipboards. The longevity of plywood is commendable, and there are no splitting issues with these sheets.

DIY Projects

If you have some DIY projects associated with home interior work, plywood is one of the easiest materials to work with. It is not just strong but is also light in weight, enabling you to cut, drill, or shape the plywood sheets to meet your project needs. 

The only thing you must take note of while using plywood for DIY projects is to use proper gear for safety, such as gloves or dust mask, to protect yourself from wood splinters or dust. As it is a versatile material, you can use it for all small odd jobs around the house, such as making dog houses or rabbit hutches. 

Advantages & Disadvantages of Plywood

Before you make your decision on using plywood sheets for your home interior works, here are a few advantages and disadvantages for you to count on:

Advantages:

  • The cross-graining process of the plywood helps you avoid the splitting possibility at the edges when they are nailed. 
  • Plywood comes with immensely reduced bending possibility as only an odd number of layers get attached to make a plywood sheet for maintaining optimal balance. 
  • Furniture pieces that are made up of plywood are light in weight, which makes it easy for you to transfer them. 
  • There will be no wood shrinkage or expansion of the wood, which is also one of the perks of cross-graining. 
  • It increases the spatial ability of the plywood. 

Disadvantages:

  • The chemicals such as phenol-formaldehyde or urea, used for gluing, will cause cancer. 
  • Plywood is, in many aspects, weaker than that of wood. 
  • Sculpting isn’t easy on plywood. 
  • A special resistance method is required to protect plywood from insects. 
  • A proper paint job is required for the plywood sheets to ensure they don’t peel off. 

FAQs

Q. What is special about plywood?

Plywood is one of the best materials for you to renovate your home, as it can replicate high strength and withstand moisture. It is an affordable material for you to seek upgrades to your home interior. 

Q. What is the basic knowledge of plywood?

Plywoods are better recognized as wood-based panels that are engineered for multi-purpose. It binds the wood fiber or resin sheets for forming composite materials that are sold within panels.

Q. Does plywood have gaps?

No, the high-quality plywood sheets do not have gaps in them. You must ensure the same while choosing yours. These gaps might cause some form of hindrances during the installation process. 

Q. What is the strongest type of plywood?

A boiling waterproof grade 25mm plywood is considered the strongest version available in the market. 

Q. What is the maximum thickness of plywood?

The thickness of the plywood ranges between 0.4mm to 100mm. But, the range for commonly preferred plywood is between 3.2mm and 21mm. 

Q. Which plywood is most waterproof?

Marine plywood is considered the most waterproof version among all others! 

Conclusion

So, this is a clear guide on what plywoods are and how they are categorized based on their types, quality, applications, and others. If you have the urge to revamp your house with the best appeal but are on a specific budget, consider Merino Plywood to avail the best quality sheets at affordable pricing. 

There are different designs and patterns, namely Tuff, Superply, Mandasa, and other such plywood options for you to count on. All our plywoods are resistant to boiling water and have undergone dual hot-press treatments. When buying from Merino, you don’t have to put up second thoughts on the quality of plywood.

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