Plywood is a commonly used material with an array of industrial and domestic uses. It is made from thin layers of wood that are joined together by bonding.
Being a manufactured material, plywood has both its advantages and disadvantages. Often used in cabinet making, plywood is easy to use due to its lightness, however, it’s surprisingly strong. It’s also affordable, especially when compared to other materials.
The main drawback is it’s aesthetic. Plywood is not the most attractive of wood materials, therefore its use can be limited to panelling and certain types of furniture.
But, plywood can be useful for many applications in the home.
Plywood can be used to make a wide variety of furniture in the home and it can be particularly useful when customising items. Examples include dressing tables, wardrobes, bookcases, shelf stacks and desks , but there are multiple options to create furniture.
Hardwood flooring can be costly, but plywood offers an affordable and reliable alternative. However, it’s best to avoid using plywood flooring in kitchens and bathrooms due to the higher risk of water, which, over time, can cause the material to swell.
As plywood is ideal for wood panelling, interior walls can be framed with the material. Choosing a finished plywood can increase the appearance of the panelling and create a natural overall look.
Whilst not strictly in the home, plywood can be successfully used in outdoor applications such as decking, benches, sheds and planters. It’s recommended to choose higher-grade plywood for exterior use due to exposure to the elements.
Structural plywood is commonly used in roofing due to the high strength of the material and resistance to water and moisture. Its role is to support the roof system so it’s advisable to use a structural form rather than general plywood.
General home projects
Whilst this list suggests some of the most common projects, there are many other applications and uses of plywood. Some other projects include kitchen cabinets, bin sheds, toy boxes, doll houses, hobby display cabinets, shoe racks, chopping boards and customised seating.
If you’re a woodwork hobbyist, you can find multiple projects and ideas online for beginners or professionals.
Factors to consider when using plywood
Whenever you’re carrying out woodworking tasks in the home, it’s important to take the right safety measures. This includes using the correct tools, wearing protective clothing and limiting your exposure to dust .
If you’re inexperienced with carpentry or woodwork but are considering a plywood project in your home, it’s a good idea to choose a professional tradesperson , rather than attempting to carry out the work yourself.
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