Decorative Plywood

Decorative Plywood

Plywood in general is fairly versatile in terms of use, but some plywood is valued more for its decorative potential than it is for its basic functionality. This is called decorative plywood and, as one might presume, it is generally used for ornamental purposes.

Manufacture
There are a few different types of lumber that can be used to create decorative plywood. In general, these include only types of wood which are considered aesthetically pleasing due to their color, their grain pattern, or both. For instance, the same lauan trees that can be used to create tropical plywood are used in decorative plywood. These trees are also referred to as Philippine mahogany, despite the fact that they are not technically in the same class as actual mahogany trees. Actual mahogany is, however, sometimes used in the creation of decorative plywood.

Many other types of hardwood are also used in the production of decorative plywood. Oak and ash are fairly common, as are maple and birch. In addition, sometimes teakwood or rosewood is used. A number of these trees are rich in color, often with a very dark brown or reddish hue. Some species, such as oak and birch, actually come in a few different colors.

Decorative plywood is often bonded with other substances besides the basic wooden veneers that are primarily used in its creation. For instance, various cloth or metal surfaces may be added. In such cases, it is not necessarily the wood that gives the plywood its primary decorative value but rather the substance with which it is bonded. In some cases, Formica laminate may be applied to the plywood on top of Kraft paper. This paper is usually impregnated with a resin made of phenol, one of the same substances contained in the adhesives often used to bond plywood together. Such treatment can cause decorative plywood to exhibit a similar appearance to that of most tiling.

Uses of Decorative Plywood
Due to the number of substances with which decorative plywood can be bonded, there is no shortage of decorative applications enabled by the use of such wood. For instance, decorative plywood bonded with impregnated paper or certain types of metal might be useful in floors, walls, stages, or even ceilings. Plywood that has been overlaid with various types of cloth or fabric might be particularly useful for walls in large auditoriums, or other structures that desire something of a classy or subtle look.

Speaking of theatres, decorative plywood may have a few acoustic properties that can be useful. Take birch plywood as just one example. Birch is sometimes referred to as a “tonewood” due to its applications in the creation of speakers and other devices in which acoustical quality is valued. This is because the wood itself has qualities of resonance that make it particularly suited for such applications. This means that decorative plywood created using birch veneers can be used in the construction of rooms or buildings in which architectural acoustics have to be taken into account. Even if the wood is not overlaid with any type of fabric, it can still maintain its ornamental value due to its grain pattern, which is fairly tight and gives it a satin-like appearance.

Birch also shares a particular quality with many other woods used in the manufacture of decorative plywood, which is its ability to be easily treated for appearance. Manufacturers of decorative plywood value lumber that can be stained or polished easily. This means that even when the plywood is not overlaid with another material, it can still be made to appear highly decorative through the addition of stains, paints and polishes.


Conclusion on Decorative Plywood

Not only is decorative plywood often aesthetically pleasing on its own or after it is stained and/or polished, but it is also easy to overlay other materials that enhance its ornamental value. It also lends itself to the creation of spaces that are acoustically pleasing, which enhances its versatility of use by allowing it to be used in the construction of some larger spaces. While there are a few types of lumber that are typically used in the creation of decorative plywood, any wood that possesses the above qualities may theoretically be used.