particle board vs Plywood

plywood and particle board?Difference?

particle board vs Plywood lqmzj5

Particle Board:

  • is an engineered wood product made from waste products like wood chips, sawdust, and wood shavings.
  • used in light weight furniture such as shoe racks, accent pieces, portable furniture, etc.
  • susceptible to damage in presence of water.
  • cannot support heavy loads.
  • is the weakest form of engineered wood.
  • it generally lasts for 5 years, but if surfaces are laminated they can last even for 10 to 15 years.


  • is a wooden panel; made by stacking several thin layers of wood veneers over each other, i.e. better raw materials.
  • commonly used for making custom-built furniture for home and offices.
  • less susceptible to water damage
  • high resistance to warping and cracking
  • has high load-carrying capacity.
  • Due to its cross-laminated structure, plywood is very strong and is more durable.
  • Plywood has a life span of 30 years and can last more, if it is laminated or veneered.


More about Plywood

Plywood comes not only in different thicknesses but also in different grades, so you can choose the right one for your project.  Lower grades are used in the construction of houses for subfloors and such.  Obviously, these types of plywood don’t need to look pretty since they’ll be covered up.

The higher grades of plywood (stain grade, cabinet grade, etc.) are much prettier and smoother.  They have consistent wood grain showing, and generally lack knot holes or other major imperfections.  And cabinet grade plywood is always sanded very smoothly on the surface.

You can also find plywoods in various wood species, like oak, or maple, or pretty much anything else, so that you can get exact look you want for your project.

Advantages of plywood

  • Because it consists of layers of wood veneer with the grain on each layer running a different direction, it’s a very strong building material.
  • It’s less susceptible to water damage than MDF, and won’t soak up water and swell as quickly or easily as MDF does.
  • It’s stainable, which makes it perfect for kitchen cabinets, table tops, and other projects where you want a large stained wood surface.
  • It holds screws very tightly since the varying grains of wood on each layer give the screws something to hold onto.
  • While most plywood does contain urea-formaldehyde and other VOCs, it is now possible to purchase plywood without formaldehyde.  Look for the Purebond brand at Home Depot.

Disadvantages of plywood

  • It’s more expensive than MDF.  And obviously, the higher the grade, and the more special the species of wood, the more expensive it gets.
  • Because of the layers that show on the edge, you have to finish off the edges somehow.  This can be done with iron-on edge banding or with pieces of lumber or decorative moulding.
  • Plywood will often splinter on the edges when cut, so it’s harder to get a smooth cut with plywood than it is with MDF.
  • It’s more difficult to cut detailed designs into plywood (scrolled, scalloped, etc.) because the edges will splinter, and then you’re left with edges that show layers and might possibly have voids in some places.
  • Like MDF, most plywoods contain urea-formaldehyde and other VOCs which can off-gas into your home.  Take precautions while cutting.


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