Particle board vs plywood: All you need to know

[] Mentioned in this article is the difference between particle board and plywood

While deciding about making or buying furniture, there are many aspects that one takes into account like the design, colour, theme of the décor and durability. The last aspect of the strength of the furniture is the most important one, as we spend a good amount of money and look for durable options. That is why it is important to know about the various materials, so that you can use them appropriately for the right furniture. Particle board and plywood are quite similar – they are both available in similar looking sheets and in various thickness. Nevertheless, plywood wood cannot be used as an alternative for particle board furniture and vice-versa, as each have their own strengths and benefits. Highlighted are the comparisons between particle board and plywood that will help you make an informed choice.

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What is particle board?

Made using sawdust and glue, particle boards are available as sheets for making particle board furniture. Particle board is a type of engineered wood and is made from leftovers of wooden products and so it is an example of best out of waste and is eco-friendly in nature.

What is plywood?

Made using veneers of wood, plywood is very strong in nature and is used for making furniture where durability is sought for – for example, beds, sofas, etc. Plywood is also a type of engineered wood.

Particle board vs plywood: The differences 

Particle board Plywood
Made of scraps of wood like wood chips, wood shavings, etc. and adhesive Made of laminated wood veneer
Weak Strong
Owing to the composition, they cannot hold nails and screws well. Owing to the composition, nails and screws hold on well
Has a smooth finish Has a rough finish
Costs between Rs 40 and Rs 50 per sq ft Costs between Rs 50 and Rs 80 per sq ft.


Let us look at the differences in detail between particle board and plywood that will help us decide on what kind of particle board furniture and plywood furniture we can use them for.


Cost of particle board vs plywood

Particle board cost: Particle board is priced between Rs 40 and Rs 50 per sq ft. So, particle board furniture is more cost effective than plywood furniture. People who are doing the home décor with a tight budget can opt for particle board readymade furniture like a shoe shelf, or a small children’s book shelf instead of going for one made of wood or plywood.

Plywood cost: Plywood is priced between Rs 50 and Rs 80 per sq ft. So, plywood furniture is more expensive than particle board furniture.


Composition of particle board vs plywood

Particle board composition: As the sawdust on the surface is thin, the surface of the particle board is compact as compared to its middle layer, making overall particle board composition not very strong. As compared to plywood, particle board is weak in nature. However, particle boards are flat and give a very shiny finish.

Read also : 8 popular cupboard designs for bedrooms in Indian homes

Plywood composition: Plywood is made of cross-grain texture and glue and can be moulded into a variety of shapes. The cross grain texture also makes plywood stronger in nature as compared to particle board. However, the disadvantage is that the cross-grain texture gives a rough look to the plywood and so wallpapers or even paint on it may have a very patchy, unclean look.

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Maintenance of particle board vs plywood

Particle board maintenance: The smooth and finished texture cannot bear the impact of the hammer and screws on the particle board. Particle board being made of sawdust, swells up once it comes in contact with water and gets damaged soon.

Plywood maintenance: As they are rough and tough, they handle all the pressure of hammer and screws and can be used to make beautiful, durable furniture. Marine plywood is water resistant and so you can be rest assured that your furniture will be safe. Also, as they are made of veneered wood, they are lighter in nature and fixing wheels below even the biggest of furniture will not result in breakage.


Particle board and plywood: Which furniture is best?

Particle board furniture: As they are available at a cheaper price point with a smooth finish, particle boards are used for fittings and fixtures, on parquet flooring, for home décor items and as final layer on furniture owing to their smooth finish.

Particle board vs plywood: All you need to know

Source: Pinterest


Also, a lot of DIY projects can be made using particle board, as they can be designed easily.

Read also : 5 advantages of elevated house design

Particle board vs plywood: All you need to know

Source: Pinterest

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Plywood furniture: Plywood can be used for wardrobes, furniture, walls, doors, floors, etc. They can also be used as headboards in beds, wall panelling décor, etc.


Particle board vs plywood: All you need to know

Source: Pinterest

Particle board vs plywood: All you need to know

Source: Pinterest


Particle board vs plywood: Different grades available

Particle board grade: Depending on their grades, particle board can be used for various purposes. The most popular grades of particle board are industrial grade (M2 and M3) are used to make particle board furniture. The commercial grade (MS) is used for making panels and shelves. The countertop grade (M2) is used for making countertops. Finally, the shop grade is available which is the cheapest grade.

Plywood grade: Plywood is also available across grades. From the highest to lowest, they are S grade, BB grade, WG grade and C Grade. While S grades are largely free from defects, C grades may have minor defects.

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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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