You often see plywood used for furniture, and its reputation is that it’s cheap and low quality - great for your first couch or bed frame, but not much else. We’re here to dispel that myth and explain why plywood can be the best choice of material for some furniture.
What is plywood?
Let’s start off with the basics. Plywood is made from thin layers (or ‘plies’) of wood veneer that are glued together at opposing grain directions. This is called cross-graining and has several benefits: it reduces the likelihood of the wood to split when nailed at the edges; it reduces expansion and shrinkage, improving stability; and it means the strength of the wood is consistent in all directions.
What makes plywood good for furniture construction?
When it comes to furniture construction, plywood is a versatile and reliable material that has many benefits. Here are some of the benefits of using plywood in furniture.
Its strength and durability
One of the main benefits of using plywood in furniture construction is its strength and durability. Because plywood is made up of multiple layers of wood that are glued together, it’s stronger than solid wood of the same thickness. Plywood is also less likely to warp or crack, which makes it an ideal choice for furniture that will be used daily.
Its lightweight qualities
Plywood is also a lightweight material, making it easy to transport and install. This is especially beneficial for furniture that needs to be moved around frequently, such as office furniture or modular furniture.
The Everyday Sofa's frame is a combination of sturdy hardwood and plywood.
Plywood is a versatile material that can be used for a wide range of furniture styles and designs. It can be easily cut into different shapes and sizes, and it can be painted, stained, or finished to match any décor. It is also available in different grades, including high-quality plywood which is what we use for our furniture in instances where we incorporate plywood, such as for the frame of our Everyday Sofa in tandem with hardwood.
Plywood is an eco-friendly material because it’s made from renewable resources. Unlike other building materials, plywood is made from trees that are grown specifically for this purpose. Plywood can also be recycled and used for other purposes once it’s no longer needed.
Its cost efficiency
Of course, it doesn’t hurt when your furniture is less expensive. Plywood is a cost-effective material, and is far less expensive than solid wood. So using plywood in the right places and leaving the solid timber to things like the dining table is cost-efficient and just plain smart.
Plywood is a strong, durable and versatile material that is ideal for furniture construction. With this knowledge, it’s less of a surprise why many furniture makers choose plywood as their go-to material for creating beautiful and functional pieces of furniture.