What is Melamine plywood and is it for me?

Melamine proves to be one of the most popular plywood boards out there, but why?

Which type of building material is the prettiest? And even if it looks nice, does it have the necessary properties for the build? These are only a couple of questions that have been puzzling interior designers for ages. Since you’re here, I’m guessing you’re asking yourself the same things as well. There are currently a lot of options out there for someone looking to furnish their home, most of them are solid choices. However, this might just make the questions listed above a whole lot harder to answer. Luckily for you, I have just the thing.

Introducing melamine plywood, a type of manufactured wood that has just the right combination between looks, durability and price. It looks nice enough to rival hardwood, hardy enough to withstand force and cheaper than solid wood. If you are looking to incorporate wood into your projects, melamine is a perfect candidate. 

As with all plywood, melamine plywood goes through the same manufacturing process, with layers of either hard or softwood veneers stacked on top of each other then fixed together using glue, heat and pressure. What separates melamine plywood from the others is the special layer of melamine resin glued to the surface of the finished piece of plywood. While thin, this melamine layer adds a hard, durable, and smooth finish to the board, creating a surface that is resistant to scratches, moisture, and heat. This allows melamine plywood to be allowed in areas such as the kitchen or bathrooms, where other lower grade plywood won’t cut it. The melamine layer comes in a variety of different colors and patterns, ideal for furniture and interior design purposes. Being plywood, melamine plywood retains the workability and ease of cutting that this type of engineered board is known for; allowing builders and designers to shape and size melamine plywood to fit whatever project they want. This also means it can be manufactured with special water proof glue to bring its water resistance to nearly 100%. Just be ready to pay extra for this feature, though.

As plywood, it also retains any flaws that a piece of plywood can have. The infamous core veneer defects seen on other plywood can sometimes make their way into melamine plywood as well; this can severely affect the integrity and the overall quality of the board. And like other plywood, it can’t compete against solid wood in terms of strength; although for the purposes you’ll be using melamine plywood for (as a decorative wood), this shouldn’t really be a problem. Another downside lies in one of its main advantages, the special adhesive that allows melamine plywood to be waterproof lets out a certain level of emission. While not really dangerous, it’s still not exactly healthy to be around. To avoid this, many producers (such as AMC) specifically manufacture their plywood with a safe level of emission, and usually follow the CARB P2 certification granted by the United States; so do keep an eye out to see if your plywood is CARB certified. Lastly, melamine plywood can be rather pricey compared to other plywood. The pricing of these boards usually depend on the quality of the core layers, while low quality soft or mixed cores with melamine layered on top can be reasonably affordable; while melamine plywood with high end hardwood core manufactured with waterproof phenolic glue can be pricier than even pure Birch plywood.

I hope this post gives you enough information to decide once and for all on your dream wood material. Though not perfect and a bit pricey, I believe melamine plywood is one of the best quality plywood out there that you can get your hands on. As always, you should do thorough research before making a decision. If melamine is too expensive for your wallet to handle, give Birch plywood a chance, which we also have an article about, check it out here: https://amcvietnam.com.vn/what-is-birch-plywood/

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