Wood, Glue and Water. What, When and Why?
What you should know about wood. Too often we come across misinformed consumers who are trying to reason what selection of materials they should go with for different applications when it comes to remodeling or building a home. Acronyms and terms are intermixed and misused but only with the good intentions of praying someone’s making the right choice for them with their fate in mind and not ripping them off.
General use cases of wood and wood-based products are a good example. A husband and wife will voice concerns and say “we’ve heard to stay away from OSB!” or “is that only plywood in the back of that cabinet?” Manufacturers have successfully made and sold various types of wood-based products and solutions for the building and construction trades for years. Most manufacturers’ objectives are never to bait and switch the consumers but rather to make various types of materials and products for different applications at affordable price points.
Consider the case for the selection of materials for a kitchen remodel. You may have to replace the subfloor, kitchen cabinets and wall board. The various options of wood materials can play well into bringing together an overall affordable, long-lasting solution of the infrastructure needed. Here’s a look at what the different types of options are and when or why you’d use them in a particular application.
Plywood: plywood is multiple layers of wood veneer glued together to form a thicker panel. It’s more expensive than pressed wood and more durable. It’s a good solution for cabinets and provides good quality in the back box construction. Finishing the cabinet off with solid wood, dovetailed construction drawers is a smart choice.
OSB: OSB, or oriented strand board
, is an engineered wood solution that shares many of the strength and performance characteristics of plywood. It’s made of rectangular wood chips woven in alternating directions and glued together by waterproof heat-cured adhesives. It’s versatile and widely used for roofs, subfloor and wall structures. It’s very strong and water resistant.
Pressed wood panels or particle board: This has been popular in recent years for its varieties of application and cheap rates. It’s an eco-friend material using wood wastes such as wood chips, sawdust and wood shavings mixed together with a resin and pressed to form sheets or boards. They are sometimes used as an alternative to plywood or medium density fiberboard to lower costs. They are prone to water damage and can swell and fall apart when they come in contact with water if they are not treated with special chemicals and resins to make them waterproof or termite proof. They can be a smart choice and help streamline some costs if used in the right applications such as temporary support structures with a less application of loads, or for protecting hardwood floors, as a flooring underlayment, wall paneling or false ceilings, as well as core door and furniture material.
By understanding the manufacturing process and applications of all the various materials used in construction, like wood and wood-based products, you’ll be more informed and confident.
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