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What is Difference Between Plywood and Plyboard

By November 04 , 2019

Plywood and plyboard are engineered wood products. Both plywood and plyboard are mainly used for making furniture and interior decor elements. The confusion about whether to use plywood or plyboard for a particular purpose often arises in the minds of property owners. Hence, it is beneficial to know about the Difference between Plywood and Plyboard.

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What is plywood?

Plywood is a sheet made by stacking wood veneer sheets over one another and gluing them using a resin under high pressure. The wood grain of adjacent layers are rotated up to 90 degrees from one another.

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What is plyboard?

Plyboard consists of softwood strips glued together which make up its core. The softwood strips are placed edge to edge and covered by hardwood or software veneer sheets on both the sides. The veneer sheets are bonded to the softwood strips under high temperature and pressure to form a plyboard. The softwood strips are usually 28mm in width.

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Comparison between plywood and plyboard

The various points regarding Plywood vs Plyboard have been listed here.

  • Plywood is resistant to moisture and does not carry much risk of water damage. Plyboard, on the other hand, retains moisture and is more likely to suffer water damage.
  • Plywood can sag and bend from the center. Plyboard, on the other hand, is less susceptible to bending because it is more stiff than plywood.
  • Plywood is resistant against warping and cracking. Plyboard is even more resistant against warping and cracking.
  • Plyboard is lighter in weight as compared to plywood. This is because the core of a plyboard is made of softwood strips which are light in weight as compared to hardwood veneers making up the core of a plywood.
  • The board edge of a plywood shows layers of wooden sheets glued with one another. The board edge of a plyboard, on the other hand, has a solid wooden appearance.

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  • Plywood is difficult to cut because it can splinter while cutting. Plyboard, on the other hand, can be cut easily with conventional wood work tools without the risk of splintering.
  • Plywood is uniform throughout its length and breadth. Plyboard, on the other hand, has small gaps between the blocks which are not visible to the naked eye.
  • Plywood exhibits high strength and durability because the wood grains of alternate layers are rotated up to 90 degrees from one another. Plyboard, on the other hand, has less strength than plywood because softwood strips are used to make the core. However, the strength can be increased if hardwood strips are used instead of softwood strips.
  • Plywood surface displays the grain characteristics of the wood. The surface can also be painted, veneered, laminated or lacquered. Plyboard, on the other hand, does not display grain pattern on the surface. Thus, it is available in various surface finishes such as wood veneer, plastic laminates, melamine paper, etc.
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  • Plywood sheets come in various thicknesses which range between 3mm and 25mm. Plyboards, on the other hand, are available in thicknesses ranging between 16mm and 25mm. Both are however available in standard size of 8ft X 4ft. Customized sizes are also offered by manufacturers.
  • Plywood is used to make furniture for homes and offices. It is also used for making floors, walls, roofs, concrete shuttering panels, kitchen cabinets, fences, external sheathing, boats and ships. However, plywood is not suitable for making long furniture because it is prone to bending from the center. Plyboard, on the other hand, is used to make wooden products which require long pieces of wood because it is not susceptible to bending unlike plywood. The various products include bookshelves, benches, tables, wardrobes, wall panels, sliding, doors, etc.
  • Plywood has a very long life. Veneering or laminating the plywood sheet enhances its life span to up to 50 years or more. Plywood’s life span is also increased in a dry environment. Plyboard, on the other hand, has a lesser life span as compared to plywood. However, it has a longer life span as compared to other types of engineered wood products.
  • Plywood is costlier as compared to plyboard because softwood strips are used in the latter which are cheap.

When strength is a major consideration as in kitchen cabinets or flooring, plywood is a good choice. Plyboard can be used for tables, shelves, benches and other long span wooden products.