What is Birch Plywood?
Birch plywood is a popular fine-grained wood, commonly used in European countries for making cabinets, desks and shelves to name a few amongst a whole load of other furniture items too. It is also popularly used in making toys for children.
Unlike MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), which is made from small materials, Birch plywood uses plies of birch veneer sandwiched together using resin, usually at right angles to the layer above or below (also known a cross bonded); resulting in a product with a void-free core and greater strength.
Thanks to its smooth, pale finish, products made from Birch plywood have a beautiful sheen on them and the surface looks just as good left untreated as it does varnished.
Why We Use it?
Native to northeastern Europe, Birch trees are a fast-growing species. Their abundance and speed of growth means that it causes minimal impact or destruction of biodiversity when they are cut down, making Birch plywood a great choice for sustainably sourced wood that has little impact on the environment specially when sourced from 100% FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sources.
Another advantage of using sustainable Birch plywood, apart from the thicker and appealing face veneer is that you can leave the edges exposed. Because the core is free of voids, when cut the exposed edges lend a unique characteristic to the birch plywood furniture we design, leaving no need to apply edge tape or solid edge banding that you would normally see in MDF for kids furniture or other products for that matter.
Why we recommend Birch Plywood over MDF or Regular Plywood?
MDF is heavier
Compared to regular plywood, Birch Plywood is very dense because the plies used are thinner and all the plies are birch hardwood. While MDF, though denser than birch plywood is still particle-board (essentially compressed saw dust) but heavier in weight, making it difficult to handle.
MDF is not as strong as Birch Plywood
MDF is also a softer material than birch plywood and tends to sag or split under pressure. Not great for our weight bearing kids furniture range that covers a wooden kids table, wooden kids chair, storage bins and a lot more.
MDF doesn’t handle exposure to water and temperature & humidity changes very well.
Compared to MDF, birch plywood won’t expand, contract, or warp, even under temperature extremes and variations in humidity and does not soak up water like MDF, making it less susceptible to damage.
MDF creates a whole lot of dust
Keeping our workers and crew safe is always top priority and due to its construction, MDF creates far more saw dust when cut than plywood does. This makes it a less than ideal material to expose our team to on a regular basis even when working in well ventilated areas with protective masks.
MDF doesn’t work well with Screws
Compared to MDF or Regular Plywood, Birch plywood holds screws tightly since its made up of denser layers and each layer gives the screw more holding.
At MAPAYAH we take great pride in designing and building our Birch Plywood Kids Furniture Range and hope that this little blog clears up some of those questions and doubts that may have been running through your mind.