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Engineered vs solid vs Plywood: Which is the best?

Selecting wooden furniture for a home can be a quite tough task. Not only different styles and colours, but you also need to consider the type of wood you’re intending to purchase. With different label tags referring to different types of wood such as plywood, solid wood or engineered wood, it becomes difficult to choose which is the best. You cannot really rely on external appearance as it’s often deceptive. Everyone looks for furniture whose material is the best, and at the same time does not compromise with looks.

Types of wood:

Before comparing one type of wood with the other, let us first take a look at what these woods are and what are they made of.

  1. Engineered Wood: Engineered wood is manufactured to resemble solid wood and is not natural at all. Basically, it’s an imitative product created from fixing or binding the particles, strands, etc. coupled with binders or using other ways of fixation for creating composite materials. Materials like sawdust, wood fibres, chemicals and glues are used for the production of engineered wood.
  2. Plywood: Plywood is considered as a type of engineered wood manufactured by numerous layers of glueing veneer in various directions. The veneer is derived from piles or layers of logs which are skinned into fine sheets.
  3. Solid Wood: As the name suggests, solid wood is natural wood derived from trees. It’s also popularly known as “Non-engineered wood.” Unlike other woods that have been created from composite woods, solid wood directly comes from the trees.

Which is the best and why?

  • The very first reason which makes solid wood the “best” is that, it’s an environment-friendly. Also, it utilizes much less power during the process of production, whereas engineered wood requires a lot of energy with toxic materials during the manufacturing process.
  • Furniture made out from engineered wood is more prone to damage and all the scratches and stains can’t be repaired. Since it doesn’t contract and expand, there’s a risk of warping and cracking. It may absorb water and even begin to disintegrate. Engineered wood does not last as long as solid wood does, which calls for frequent replacement of the furniture.
  • So, it’s wise to opt for solid woods for avoiding these problems. The furniture carved out of this type of wood adheres to the original appearance and any damage can be repaired without any trouble.
  • When compared to plywood, solid wood is stronger. Plywood is created by glueing together sheets of a thin layer of the log which makes it vulnerable whereas solid wood is a homogeneous material.

Neither the engineered wood nor the plywood can outweigh the feel and look delivered by the solid wood. Not only for its durability and strength, butthe solid wood is also widely known for its external appearance. Though it’s expensive than engineered wood, the money is worth it. No matter how delicately carved, engineered wood or plywood can never match the elegance and durability offered by solid wood.

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