Chipboard vs plywood which is better?

chipboard vs plywood

People looking to either upgrade their floor and want to have some furniture built at a cheap price but also that lasts longer.

The two options that come first are plywood or chipboard. Both are cheaper than solid woods like maple, walnut, oak, yet proved to be good alternatives to them. 


Plywoods are strong, durable, and come in a range of beautiful colors and design patterns. Some of their uses are used in making furniture including shelves, wardrobe, kitchen cabinets, they are popular for floor installation as well. As a whole, they are used as an alternative to solid woods. 


Chipboards are perfect for making some small pieces of furniture, such as a table or desk, that don’t require too much durability, also some types of chipboards are useful for floor installation like MDF and HDF which are dense.

But for heavy tasks and projects, chipboards are not useful, including the areas with more moisture, they don’t last for longer. As whole chipboards are useful with that in mind, you’re on a tight budget and want to get just a fine quality furniture build.

Chipboard vs Plywood- Obvious difference.

LookPlywoods do not give an appealing look.Chipboards, when compared to plywood, look smoother.
ManufacturingPlywoods are made by a process of wood-grain, in which multiple wood veneer layers are bound together.Chipboards are made of mixing, sawdust, wood chips, and other raw wood material pressed under heat and glued together.
StrengthIt depends on the quality of wood used in each. However, plywood can be considered the winner here.Chipboards have grade levels, the top quality chipboard type HDF is strong.
DurabilityPlywoods are durable, further, the durability factor depends on the number of layers and adhesive used in them.Chipboards are also more durable than many cheap-quality plywoods. But they are more prone to water damage.
WeightPlywoods are heavier than chipboards, because of their high density.Chipboards are supposed to be a lightweight material that is also easy to work with.
MoisturePlywood is good in resistant moisture up to some extent, the ability can be compared to that of solid woods.As chipboards depend on the density, simply put, they have tiny pores that make them bad-resistant to water.
Screw-workYou can drill holes, screws in plywood easily without damaging a lot of the surface.Drilling holes in chipboards is a complete headache, most likely the surface breaks off.
Price Because plywood is manufactured from wood grains, it is expensive, which leads to a very limited supply.The chipboards are cheaper than plywoods for the reason they are made of wasted-wood materials, unlike plywood.

Which is better?

The cross-grain pattern in plywood contributes a significant amount of its strength, making it more durable and stronger than particleboard. Strong adhesives are used in the manufacture of plywood, which makes it stronger and more durable.

What is plywood?

Wood veneer sheets are used to make plywood, an engineered wood product. By pressing and bonding the veneer boards together, the wood becomes one solid board. 

A cross-grain manufacturing method reduces panel contraction and elongation and ensures panel strength fidelity. Each grade of plywood is used for a specific purpose. 

Many variables affect Plywood grades, including the type of wood ply, thickness, adhesive, and manufacturing/compaction process. 

  • Underflooring in homes and buildings is perfect for lower grades. 
  • Cabinets and shelves can be made of high-grade materials. 

Plywood comes in a variety of types. For furniture or fixtures, always pick the appropriate plywood type.

What is chipboard?

Chipboard or particleboard is one of the popular types of engineered wood that you might see in every house these days. One of the cheap materials plays a crucial structural role in constructing homes and commercial buildings. 

Producing this wood from raw wood is a cheap process since mostly wasted material is used.

In a nutshell, chipboards are waste-wood products such as sawdust, woodchips, etc, that are made by heating up and pressed together to shape large boards. Quality depends on the density of fibers (raw wood), more dense chipboards are expensive such as HDF.

Wax, dyes, wetting agents, and other release agents are used to make the end product water-resistant, fireproof, and insect-proof. Moreover, they hold stains well and give a shiny finish over the topcoat.

To ensure the finished board is not heavy, the chips are evenly distributed. Combining successive squeezes between the resin and wood bits on Chipboard sheets results in the tightest possible bond. 

Which works best?

It’s hard to say which is better than the other, both have a number of different varieties so the quality varies from low to high. Still, some obvious differences highlight the fact the plywood wins the battle.

If you’re looking for a better option to install in a humid area, then consider the fact plywood is well resistant to water. You should be safe by choosing this one. On the other hand, Chipboards are more prone to get damaged from water, mainly because they expand and the top surface feels like tearing up.

And if you’re looking for a cheaper option, are on a tight budget, then chipboards are something you should choose. You can find them at very affordable rates and get the job done reasonably. Nonetheless, they might not be as durable as plywood.

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