A complete guide to understanding the utilisation of engineered wood for making educated decisions for your home’s overall sustainability and functionality
Wood is like wine; it just ages so gracefully and never seems to lose its magnificence. Even with the growing popularity of a different number of contemporary materials, we favour wood for our modern interiors. But why are all professional interior designers loyal to using wood in their décor projects? What’s in there that makes them so passionate about it? What is engineered wood and why is it gaining so much popularity? And why is everybody searching for the difference between engineered wood and plywood? Let’s find out.
Engineered Wood meaning is indeed very simple to understand. Also known as “man-made wood” or compressed wood, engineered wood is a versatile alternative to hardwood. It is made from multiple layers of wood called ply that has been reformed using heat, adhesive and pressure, each layer runs in distinct directions, which makes it very durable and offers better features than hardwood.
Termed the “Authentic” sort of engineered wood material, Plywood is certainly the most prevalent form of alternative wood that is used in many houses in India! Engineered plywood is used for everything straight from engineered wood kitchen cabinets and bed sets to engineering wood table and storage units (particularly for commercial spaces) Engineered plywood is mostly made of veneer sheets that are cross-laminated and are connected together by applying heat and pressure using high-grade glues that are water resistant.
One of the foremost benefits of using Plywood is that it is exceptionally versatile and can be utilised for any sort of exterior applications, structural furniture such as engineered wood bed for your bedroom design, or even engineered wood flooring mostly since it is very economical and has tremendous commercial value.
Regardless, it is not advisable to use manufactured wood Plywood as the primary material to hold anything too heavy, also they cannot be used in moist environments.
Plywood engineered wood price: Cost depends on the grade of Plywood that you are purchasing though, in most of the markets in India, the cost of Plywood can range between Rs. 100 per square foot to Rs. 250 per square foot.
Are you someone who wants to make an effort in sustainable living or cares a lot about the result of human activities on the planet? A particle board is a perfect choice for your home or office furniture. It is the most eco-friendly type of engineering wood material entirely made of pressing together wood shavings, sawdust, and other particles that were earlier running to waste but now are recycled to make elements of a particle board!
Its biggest advantage over other types of engineered wood materials is that it is much cheaper, a much more uniform type of wood that one can use as an alternative to solid or Plywood.
However, because of some inferior quality of the main components, particle board engineering wood material often expands and is prone to problems that occur due to moist conditions. Applying a thick coat of paint over the engineered hardwood is usually sufficient to ensure that the furniture is long-lasting.
Particleboard price: Particle board engineered wood price depends on the particle board manufacturers you opt for. Being one of the most eco-friendly types of engineered wood, one can obtain particle board at a nominal price of Rs. 20 to Rs. 50 per square foot.
Engineered wood vs particle board: Although there is no difference between particle board and engineered wood, there is a difference in the making of plywood and particle board. The manufacturing process makes the particle boards much more economical.
A Blockboard is quite different from all types of engineering board wood such as plywood etc. They are made from solid blocks of wood and then sandwiched within the layers of wood veneer by using various types of adhesives.
Since a blockboard is usually made from the softwood of pine and other trees it is very lightweight. If you consider the difference between engineered wood and plywood to make long shelves in your house then it is best to choose a backboard. This is because plywood often bends and gets damaged but this type of board is very stiff and does not get damaged easily. Blockboards are much cheaper than any other wood type.
Commonly known as MDF board, this sort of compressed wood board is often the most favoured and used for making gorgeous engineered wood bed, engineered wood kitchen cabinet designs or office interior furniture. Nowadays, most luxurious house apartments, villas, and bungalows have engineered wood flooring which is made entirely from MDF. Some of its prominent qualities are its dense structure, and capability to soak water. Such features make it a superb choice for outdoor furniture items such as an engineering wood table, and small engineered wood cabinets. The process of making a Medium-density fibreboard is a lengthy process that begins by breaking hard and softwood into smaller pieces and then employing resin and wax to secure the smaller particles together to make big structures.
A major benefit of using this as your primary wood material out of other types of engineered wood is that it has a very smooth look (thanks to the resin being used) and is also excellent for outdoor furniture.
Laminated Veneer is a unique class of engineered hardwood that is commonly used for creating the rim boards, beams and other materials used to cascade the edges of the bed. In this form of engineered pressed wood, multiple thin layers of wood sheets are bonded together with glue. The structure is given uniformity through the thin sheets and it’s remarkably lightweight in character.
Laminated Veneer engineered wood price: The cost of laminated Veneer Sheets in the Indian markets starts at Rs.150/square foot.
Cross Laminated Timber or CLT is a plank of engineered pressed wood where the sheets of the wood are glued at 90 degrees providing the whole structure with a criss-cross layout. CLT is popular for its stability and its engineered wood durability and has appeared as an excellent alternative to conventional wood.
OSB, or oriented strand board, is a stiff panel made by grinding logs into thin strands that look fairly like wood chips. The strands are positioned in crosshatch orientation and mixed with materials to secure them together, then completed in a hot press. The finished OSB board has a uniform density throughout the panel and can be made into sheets as long as 16 feet or higher. OSB’s essential advantage comes from its cheaper manufacturing cost. For most uses such as subfloor and wall sheathing, it is rated equivalent to plywood. However, its performance in humid conditions can be arguable, as it is inclined to retain moisture that can result in the swelling of the board’s edges.
High-density fiberboard or HDF as it is commonly known in the market is another form of compressed wood board that is made especially from pulped wood waste and chips. HDF is known for its engineered wood durability. It is a much denser material and thus proves to be an excellent engineered wood quality. If you want to install long-lasting engineered hardwood flooring in your house or office, high-density engineered board can be your go-to choice. Because the material is good at absorbing water, it is not advisable to use HDF on the exterior floor but the material is sturdy and good for interior engineered hardwood flooring that gives a polished finish.
HDF engineered wood price per square foot: The average price of HDF wood in the Indian market ranges from Rs. 40 per square foot to Rs. 190 square feet.
Now that you know what is engineered wood, it is time to understand how it can be used in homes. There are a lot of ways to use engineered wood in your house, including flooring, walls, ceilings, furniture, and cabinetry. For walls and ceilings, engineered wood panels are easy to install and provide a beautiful look that will last for years. Furniture made from engineered wood is strong and long-lasting while still being lightweight enough to move around easily. You can fulfil your desire for wooden cabinets to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom without breaking the bank, or for beautiful (and sturdy!) quality furniture on the patio. It is also fantastic for bookshelves and even storage spaces or cabinetry. With so many uses for engineered wood around the home, it's no wonder why it has become such a popular choice among homeowners.
Here is a table of the features and uses of the different types of engineered wood to make your home designing quicker and easier!
Type of Engineered
|Description||Use in home|
Strong and stable due to multiple layers of thin veneers with grains oriented perpendicular to each other.
|Flooring, walls, roofs, cabinets, furniture, doors|
Affordable and easy to work with, but not as strong or durable as other types of engineered wood.
|Shelves, cabinets, furniture|
Strong and stable due to a core of softwood strips sandwiched between two thin sheets of hardwood veneer.
|Furniture, shelves, partitions, doors|
Medium-density Fibreboard (MDF)
|Dense, smooth, and uniform texture that is ideal for painting and machining.||Furniture, cabinets, mouldings, doors, flooring|
Durable and scratch-resistant surface created by adhering a thin layer of laminate to a substrate material, such as particleboard or MDF.
|countertops, cabinets, and furniture|
|Cross Laminated Timber(CFT)||
Strong and stable construction due to layers of lumber stacked in alternating directions and glued together under high pressure.
|Floors, walls, roofs in construction projects|
|Oriented Strand Board (OSB)||
Rough texture, more affordable than plywood, and strong due to compressing wood strands together with resin and wax.
|Walls, roofs in construction projects|
|High-density Fibreboard (HDF)||
Higher density and smaller wood fibres compared to MDF, creating a strong, smooth, and uniform texture.
|Flooring, doors, furniture|
An affordable alternative to traditional wooden designs.
Wood engineering renders high moisture resistance
Increased electrical and thermal resistance.
Provides the same finish and aesthetics as traditional wood
Comfortable to work with and customisation opportunities are endless.
More prone to Dents and Scratches
Wood engineering leads to a weaker core compared to traditional wood
Manufactured wood requires timely maintenance
Engineered wood material sometimes consists of toxic chemicals
Tend to wear and tear and fade over time.
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The best engineered wood meaning is its quality and durability. Engineered wood is made up of layers of solid wood and plywood. It’s additionally moisture-resistant than solid wood and demands little to very less maintenance. It needs more maintenance than laminate but is also more durable and long-lasting. Prices are similar, but usually slightly less than solid hardwood.
The durability of engineered wood is offered by the kind of timber used and the type of finish applied to that timber on the top surface.
Engineering board wood and engineered wood floors are not high-maintenance, but it’s no secret they aren’t likely to last as long as their solid wood counterparts. That’s because solid wood can be sanded and refinished quite a number of times to keep it looking fresh, but the thin, top layer of solid wood in engineered boards is only able to be refinished once or twice over the span of its lifetime.
Solid wood can last 30 to 100 years, while engineered wood is expected to last 20 to 40 years. Both can be cleaned carefully with wide and occasional dry mopping, however, ensure the cleaner you choose to mop with is appropriate for your type of engineered compressed wood.
Depending on your budget, décor project at hand, and functionality preferences, engineered wood could be a suitable option. It’s more inexpensive than solid hardwood and moderately long-lasting. If you’re creating furniture, consider working with a skilled person or opting for hardwood, as engineered wood can be hard on your tools (although the resultant furniture will be durable and moisture-resistant). As far as flooring is considered, engineered wood offers a high-quality look for less, but it might need more care and maintenance than laminate.
Engineered wood is suitable for kitchen floors but first, you should make your decision based on the budget and place of use. One thing to stress is that engineered wood is a very adaptable and durable option. You get a realistic floor covering at an appropriate cost, being stronger and having more design options to pick from than solid wood flooring.
It is still a natural product which offers various additional installation methods such as glued down, stapled, floating with glued joints and floating click-together. Another reason is that engineered can be easily installed over a variety of sub-floors like concrete both below and above the grade.