Plywood is one of the most useful natural resources in the world. This $8.4 billion industry is important to many different fields, and the supply is plentiful, thanks in part to environmental efforts to make the wood industry more sustainable.
Plywood production and sales are vital to the economy, but where does the world’s supply of plywood come from and where does it go?
If you look around your home, you may be surprised by how many things are made with plywood components. From flooring and doors to countertops and furniture, it’s hard to escape this useful and diverse material. It is harvested from around the world from hardwoods and softwoods like oak, maple, fir, cedar and other trees. The top five producers are China, the United States of America, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan, but it’s also produced in Canada, South America, and Europe.
One of the primary uses of plywood is as a construction material. It’s often used for flooring, to make light partition or external walls, as framework for wet concrete, and to make doors and shutters.
In places like South Florida, plywood is literally a lifesaver and is used to cover windows and protect houses during hurricanes.
Around the home, you’d be amazed at the amount of plywood used throughout your home. Let’s start in the kitchen.
Many countertops are made from plywood and are coated with a veneer or melamine layer. This gives contractors the opportunity to offer a variety of styles and designs without adding an extra expense for their business or their customers. The same can be said about kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Instead of using a heavy piece of maple, lay up panels can be used to give the same look without the extra weight. You can also see examples of plywood in the home in furniture like desks and office tables.
Another industry that relies on plywood is the world of art. Because this material is flexible and lighter than other options, plywood can be used to make intricate designs and beautiful artistic creations.
It’s growing in popularity, especially in the DIY community, because it’s easy to find, can be stained or painted, can be cut to any shape, and can be used to make whimsical figures and complicated etchings.
Plywood is everywhere! It has helped us build our civilization and allows our modern world to keep running.
This remarkable material is used in its raw form, as a component in bigger projects, and to create marvelous works of art. There’s nothing else like it on Earth, making it important to continue replanting efforts that protect this natural resource for future generations.