If you are currently confused in choosing between hardboard vs plywood, you have come to the right place! In this article, we are going to see the detailed comparisons between hardboard and plywood. Both of them are popular choices for home and office furniture due to their strength and durability. However, there are several differences that make their specific pros and cons. Make sure that you understand the differences between these two materials so that you can make the right decision for your project!
Hardboard is also known as high-density fiberboard (HDF). Yes, it is actually a type of fiberboard, and it is in the same family as medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Hardboard is an engineered wood product that is made out of exploded wood fibers that have been very highly compressed. Due to the extreme compression, hardboard is incredibly dense, hard, and strong. The production process actually does not need the addition of a bonding agent, but resin is often added as an enhancement.
Hardboard can be produced in either a wet process or a dry process. The wet process leaves only one smooth side, whereas the dry process makes both sides smooth.
The main advantage of using hardboard is the superior strength and durability. It is very dense and strong, which means that it can hold heavier objects without breaking. In addition, it will never split or crack or create splinters. The structural integrity makes it very workable and easy to cut, and the smooth surface makes it easy to paint.
However, the extreme density makes it very heavy. This is not really the best choice if you are looking for a lightweight material. Also, it can dull blades fairly quickly. It cannot be stained, unless you add a protective paint finish on the surface.
On the other hand, plywood is an engineered wood product that is made up of wood veneer sheets which are pressed and bonded together. The manufacturing process is known as cross-graining, and it can reduce expansion and shrinkage while improving strength consistency. (Read also : Bunkie Board vs Plywood)
There are different grades of plywood. The lower grades are usually used for subflooring, whereas the higher grades are often used for shelving and cabinetry. There are also more specific types of plywood for decorative purposes, marine applications (boats, docks), and aircrafts.
There are several advantages. First, plywood is available in different thickness levels, so you can choose the one that is suitable for your specific project. Second, plywood is also quite a strong material with good structural integrity; it is easy to work with. It is paintable, stainable, and less susceptible to water damage. Third, it displays natural wood grains and patterns.
There are several disadvantages of using plywood, too. If you use plywood, you may need to finish the edges to conceal the layers. In addition, plywood may splinter. While it is quite strong, do not use it to hold very heavy objects or to withstand heavy impacts.
If you need the strongest and the most durable material, you should use hardboard. However, if your strength requirement is not very high and you really like the look of natural wood grains, you can use plywood.