Every interior designer, furniture designer, and home décor expert studies the basics of furniture building, and the two materials that contribute to it the most- plywood and particle board!
There is often a comparison between plywood and particle board – which one has a stronger and durable built for a furniture design? As furniture plays a crucial role in the home interior, many homeowners choose to custom-build their furniture rather than purchasing it from the shelf. Custom-making furniture allows the buyer to customise the size, colours, and shape according to their preference.
When buying ready-made furniture from the shop, it is not just the look and feels of it that matters- the buyer should also consider the material it is made from, whether plywood or particle board.
To help you understand why these materials are important to consider, we have drawn a comparison between plywood and particle board.
What is a Plywood and a Particle Board?
Particle Board is made with a mixture of sawdust and adhesives. It can swell when mixed with water, is also called chipboard, and is used to make furniture.
Plywood, on the other hand, is made of piles of wood veneers. Plywood is strongly built and is used in all furniture, be it sofas or wardrobes. Both particle board and plywood are types of engineered wood.
Difference Between Particle Board and Plywood
Plywood is stronger and more durable than particle board, as it is made with cross-grain texture and stronger adhesives. Additionally, the particle board is flat in shape, whereas plywood can be moulded into different shapes. Plywood’s cross-grain texture also makes it rougher than a particle board. Therefore, due to its rough surface, plywood does not look as finished and shining as a particle board. This rough texture also makes materials like paint or wallpapers look patchy on plywood. The composition of the particle board makes it less strong but better looking because of its smooth surface, but plywood is stronger and more durable with a rough surface.
Plywood or Particle Board: Which is Easier to Maintain?
Plywood’s tough build and rough texture ensure no damage while screws and hammers are used on it to build furniture, whereas a particle board’s smooth texture is more likely to break and has to be handled with care. Plywood is also lighter in weight and therefore can be used to make wardrobes that are moveable, as its material can bear the weight of wheels and is easy to move, whereas a particle board is a heavier material, as well as weaker than plywood and is more likely to break down if wheels are attached to a furniture piece like a wardrobe.
For long-term use and maintenance, plywood is more moisture resistant, and as mentioned above, if a particle board comes in contact with water, it can swell. If you are looking for waterproof plywood, you can opt for marine plywood to ensure your furniture is not affected by moisture.
Therefore, plywood is easier to maintain than a particle board, and is more widely used by home interior designers.
Plywood- An Expensive Option Compared to Particle Board
As plywood is stronger, lighter, easier to maintain, and has various benefits, it is more expensive than a particle board. Therefore, home décor and home interior experts suggest investing in particle board furniture for buyers with tighter budgets. The cost of a particle board is less than half of the price of plywood. This has a huge impact on the overall costing.
From an environmental perspective, particle board is more environment friendly than plywood, because the particle board is made with the leftovers of other timber products, whereas plywood has to be made with fresh timber, which is extracted from trees. A particle board is cheaper to produce, more environment-friendly and is priced at a lower price point. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for buyers with a tight budget, and home interior experts usually use a mix of plywood and particle board to adjust the budget of clients.
What Furniture is Best Suitable for Plywood and Particle Board?
Keeping in mind plywood’s strong features, home décor and home interior experts use plywood for stronger hold furniture, like wardrobes, cabinets, flooring, headboards, footboards, wall panelling, and doors. These are essential furniture pieces of the house that should be durable, strong, where durability matters more than the looks of it. Therefore, plywood is a necessity to be used to build these above-mentioned furniture pieces.
Keeping in mind a particle board’s low price point and smoother finish, particleboard is used more for home décor furniture. Because of its low price point, particle boards are used a lot in DIY projects for homeowners who wish to paint and make their home décor furniture, whereas experts use them for parquet flooring, and for topping furniture with a smooth protective finish.
Pros and Cons of a Particle Board and Plywood
Pros of Plywood: Plywood is a strong engineered wood that can withhold the pressure of screwdrivers and hammers, making it easy to mould into furniture. It is lightweight and does not catch moisture, making it easy to maintain.
Cons of Plywood: Plywood is more than double the cost of particleboard, which makes it an expensive option, as furniture making requires a lot of engineering wood. Additionally, a plywood’s surface is rough, which does not look good with paint and has to be covered with particleboard.
Pros of a Particle Board: A particleboard has a smooth surface making it look appealing and shining with or without paint. It is very affordable and can also be used for DIY home decor and as a covering for plywood.
Cons of Particle Board: A particle board is heavy, cannot handle heavy moulding, and is not moisture-resistant or durable.
Here is a summary of the difference in one glimpse:
|Strength||High strength||Low strength|
|Furniture Type||Strong furniture like cupboards, cabinets, doors, etc.||DIY projects, home décor, covering furniture for a protective smoother finish|
|Environment||Made out of fresh timber, therefore trees need to be cut.||Made out of leftover timber, therefore more environment-friendly.|
Both plywood and particle board are equally important when building home furniture. Just ensure you use a mix of both wherever required, like using particle wood for home décor furniture and plywood for strong and durable furniture pieces. We at HomeLane use both these woods for furniture design. Visit our Experience Centers to know more about furniture/home design.