Plywood is a wood material manufactured from thin layers of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. It is an engineered wood from the family of manufactured boards which include medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board (chipboard).
Plywood is used in many interior applications that need a high-quality, high-strength sheet material. Quality in this context means resistance to cracking, breaking, shrinkage, twisting and warping (all important when building a kitchen). For a decorative surface, our plywood cabinets are faced with hardwood, including the popular birch, as well as oak, maple, ash, mahogany, teak and a large number of other hardwoods.
Plywood for kitchen use generally uses marine-grade plywood designed to withstand moisture, and use a water-resistant phenol-formaldehyde glue to prevent delamination and to retain strength in high humidity.
Cabinet-grade plywood is generally made from hardwood with the inherent properties of the source wood providing the colour and pattern. Birch or ash wood are often used and have a beautiful light colour. The options for cabinet doors are endless: from plain contemporary and cottage panels to decorative designs. Choose to keep the wood aesthetic or add a paint finish to suit your kitchen style.
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The adhesives used in plywood have become a point of concern for home owners and environmentally conscious buildings. As a result, many manufacturers are turning to low formaldehyde-emitting glue systems, denoted by an “E” rating. Plywood produced to “E0” has effectively zero formaldehyde emissions.
In addition to the glues being brought to the forefront, the wood resources themselves are becoming the focus of manufacturers, due in part to energy conservation, as well as concern for natural resources.
The sustainability of plywood is determined not only by how the wood is being sourced but also by the manufacturing process. The wood wastage of the plywood manufacturing process is significantly less when compared with traditional lumber practices and choose to work with Canadian FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified plywood to guarantee ethical manufacturing and ensure that the plywood is formaldehyde-free.
One of the many great aspects of plywood is that it is affordable, which not only makes it an ethical option but a budget-friendly one too.
There are several certifications available to manufacturers who participate in these programs. Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and Greenguard are all certification programs that ensure that production and construction practices are sustainable. Many of these programs offer tax benefits to both the manufacturer and the end user.
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