If you’ve ever gone furniture shopping, then you’ve probably heard of ‘engineered wood’. The term simply refers to a man-made product engineered to look like wood. It is often referred to as mass timber or composite wood, and manufactured by binding strands of wood, with adhesives, to form a composite material. Although it cannot match up to the rustic aesthetic of solid wood, this product definitely has its merits.
Different combinations of raw materials produce variations of engineered wood. In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of the top five common types used in interiors and discussed the pros and cons.
Engineered wood #1: Plywood
Plywood is the original and most popular type of engineered wood. It is made by gluing thin sheets of cross-laminated veneer with durable, moisture-resistant adhesives. Commercial grade plywood is highly versatile.
Hardwood or exterior plywood can be used in outdoor structures such as patio furniture while indoor plywood is more suited for tabletops, desks, wardrobes and dressers. Entertainment units and bookshelves are also typically made using plywood.
Engineered wood #2: Particle board
Particle boards are the way to go if you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative. They are created by heat pressing sawdust and resin together with chemicals such as dyes, wetting agents, and release agents. These boards are lighter than plywood – perfect for shelving and false ceilings. Flat-pack furniture such as IKEA products and other ready-made furniture often use Oriented Strand Board (OSB), which is a type of particle board.
Keep in mind that particle boards are not suitable for outdoor furniture as they are prone to water damage. As a precaution, use a water-resistant sealer to make the furniture much more durable.
Engineered wood #3: MDF Board
Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is the latest trend in modern furniture. These boards are sturdy and highly durable. Add MDF-based kitchen cabinets beneath the stone countertops in your kitchen and enjoy them for decades to come. This type of wood is also immune to warping and cracking.
Despite being denser than regular plywood, MDF can soak up water quickly. So, make sure it is sufficiently waterproof before you install it in your kitchen or bathroom. Get in touch with the best Home Interior Designers in Chennai to make custom MDF cabinets for your space.
Engineered wood #4: Birch Ply
The Birch Plywood is another good option for those who want an eco-friendly product. This calibrated ply is native to northern Europe and Russia. Formed by three or more layers of birch, the wood is strong and durable.
Its nice, rich sheen and elegant finish make this material a popular choice for most home renovation projects. The birch ply is perfect for making cabinets, desks, and shelves.
Engineered wood #5: BWP Plywood
Manufactured with durable face and core veneers, the Boiled Waterproof Plywood, a.k.a BWP, performs splendidly in both humid and wet conditions. It is specially treated to resist rotting in a high moisture environment.
Opt for BWP plywood for kitchen or bathroom flooring as the wood here is most likely to be exposed to moisture for long periods of time.
The best part about these man-made products is that they are more versatile than solid wood. There are also other options such as sun mica, veneer boards, laminated timber, etc.
While natural wood is aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting, engineered wood pieces are easier to work with using simple tools, and can be easily designed to meet specific requirements.
So, the next time you are trying to make a tough choice between a more affordable composite product and a heavy piece of wooden furniture, consider the ease of installation, and make the right choice! You can always reach out to Interior Decorators in Chennai for any furniture-related inquires.