Q:

What are the disadvantages of plywood?

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Quick Answer

Plywood is more expensive than other alternatives, such as particle board, its prone to water damage, heavy, can have voids or weak spots and it is available in limited sizes. Most plywood manufacturers only produce plywood in 4-foot by 8-foot sheets.

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Full Answer

Plywood is a manmade material that consists of thin veneer sheets that are glued together at right-angles. This makes the plywood very strong and helps make use of normally unusable pieces of wood. Despite this, there are drawbacks to plywood.

When wood veneer is glued together to create plywood, it can end up with voids in the layers. These voids are spaces where the plywood didn't adhere. These voids reduce the ability of the nail to hold properly in the plywood.

The process used to make plywood is more costly, especially compared to standard particle board. Plywood does contain more material and it is heavier, which makes up part of the increased cost.

Since plywood is made from veneer and glue, it is more easily prone to water damage. This material is porous, which allows water in. Once water has penetrated through the veneer to the glue, it can tamper with the adhesion of the layers.

Up to 90 percent of plywood manufacturers produce the material in 4-foot by 8-foot sheets. Finding sheets in other sizes may be difficult for contractors.

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