Both plywood and solid wood are popular categories of wood used for various constructions. Both have different properties and features that make them suitable for different purposes.
Plywood is basically a mixture of several thin layers of solid wood fixed together to form a kind of wood panel. And on the other hand, solid woods are natural woods produced by sabs of trees and are dried and made resourceful.
They both are equally good construction materials, but it is always necessary to know their difference before you choose one. They have different fields in which one might beat the other. So, let us dig in deeper to help you make the right choice.
Plywood vs Solid wood – Difference
Plywoods are made by gluing and fixing several fine layers of solid wood or veneers. The layers are placed in a specific way where the wood grain patterns are positioned in 90-degree angles to one another. It is generally a mixture of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and chipboard. Generally, one sheet of plywood consists of an odd number of piles.
Plywood can be both softwood or hardwood. Plywoods are widely applicable for constructions like cabinets, desktops, storage containers, etc.
They have strong resistance against cracking, warping, and shrinkage that makes them very preferable and convenient. They have a low content of moisture and are comparatively easier to work with than other hardwoods.
Plywood also provides durability and workability similar to any hardwood. They have a good amount of strength and stiffness and are more reusable and flexible than traditional wood.
However, they are prone to damages in a damp environment. They may separate and tear down. They are also not very viable when it comes to ripping and crosscutting. The outer thin layers of veneer can easily tear down, so plywood can sometimes require additional effort.
Solid wood is basically logs of woods derived from trees. Thus, solid wood is generally of much higher quality. Teak wood, which is the most popular solid wood, is known for its high-quality finish and exotic patterns.
Solid wood is known for its exotic patterns and appearances, which tend to be highly appealing when polished. Thus, solid wood, unlike plywood which needs added decoration, is a decor material in itself.
Good quality solid wood is much more durable and moisture resistant requires less care and maintenance than plywood. However, solid wood is much heavier than plywood which eventually adds up to the cost of transportation.
Since solid wood is essentially logs of trees, they are harder to find with their increasing demand. This has considerably raised the prices of solid wood to a premium level, making them expensive in contrast to plywood.
Solid wood is generally used in premium décor and expensive furniture due to its elegant appearance suited to more exotic tastes.
Solid wood has long been used for construction. However, with the increase in deforestation and the rarity of trees, solid wood has become very expensive. While plywood, due to its affordability, has essentially replaced solid wood in daily constructions.