As a construction or renovation project manager, you are likely familiar with film-faced plywood. Furniture and other projects requiring a smooth, durable surface usually need this material for an attractive finish.
However, film-faced plywood can be expensive, and there may be times when you need an alternative. This blog post will discuss the top 9 Film Faced Plywood Alternatives available on the market that you can use for your next project.
Why Use Film Faced Plywoods?
Film faced plywood is a popular material for construction and renovation projects because of its smooth finish and durability. Such plywood has a thin layer of plastic that is heat-sealed to its face. It provides a smooth surface that we can paint or stain and protects the wood from moisture.
Film Faced Plywood Alternatives
If you are looking for a film faced plywood alternative, several options are available on the market. Here are 9 of the best film faced plywood alternatives:
1- Natural Wood Veneer
If you are looking for a natural and rustic look, then the natural wood veneer is ideal. We can use this material on furniture, walls, and floors. The properties of natural wood veneer vary depending on the type of wood used. Some types of plywood are more durable than others, so be sure to research the different options before purchasing.
The Best Benefit of using natural wood veneer over film faced plywood is a natural product. This means that it is environmentally friendly and can add a rustic touch to your project.
Moreover, the market comparison of these two materials shows that natural wood veneer is a more affordable option than film faced plywood. Thus, you can easily use it for your next project without breaking the bank.
2- Pressure Treated Plywood
Pressure Treated Plywood is a great alternative to film faced plywood when you need a material resistant to water and insects. This type of plywood contains a chemical preservative that prevents the wood from rotting, dampness, and insects. It is also fire-resistant, which makes it a good option for projects.
The downside of natural wood veneer is that it is not as durable as film faced plywood, and it can be susceptible to moisture damage. But still, you can trust this plywood, but you need to ensure that you do not expose it to too much moisture.
3- Steel-Faced Plywood
Steel Faced Plywood is a good option for durable and weather-resistant material projects. This type of plywood is made with a steel sheet bonded to the plywood core. The steel-face plywood is very affordable and is a good option for projects with a risk of exposure to elements such as fire or extreme weather conditions.
Negative aspects of this material include the fact that it can rust over time if improperly maintained. The best example of steel-faced or metal-faced plywood is the Plymax that the USA has imported from Europe. It has a galvanized steel sheet bonded to the plywood core, making it resistant to weather and wear.
4- Plastic Laminate
Plastic laminate is a good option for projects that require a smooth and consistent surface. This material is made with a thin layer of plastic bonded to a plywood or particleboard core.
The benefits of using plastic laminate are that it is very durable and easy to clean. It is also available in various colors and patterns so that you can find the perfect look for your project.
Being a plastic-laminated material, it may emit harmful chemicals in a fire. But still, it requires minimum maintenance. So, if you are looking for an alternative to film faced plywood that is durable and easy to clean, then plastic laminate is a good option for you.
5- Composite Plywood
The 5th amongst all film faced plywood alternatives that we will discuss here is composite plywood. This material is made from wood and other materials, such as plastic or fiberglass.
The fiberglass that we use in composite plywood is a very strong and durable material that can withstand weather and moisture. This type of plywood is very affordable and is an excellent alternative to film faced plywood.
6- Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Oriented strand board or OSB is a unique material from wood strands that are glued together. The wood is basically “sliced” into thin strands and then glued to a backer board.
So, for the projects such as roofing, flooring, or even walls, OSB is a great alternative to film faced plywood. The main benefit of OSB is that it is very strong and durable. It can also withstand weather and moisture.
However, the price of this material is slightly higher than the other alternatives that we have discussed so far.
Particleboard is an engineered wood that we found as an alternative to film faced plywood. It is a low-density board we can manufacture with wood chips or fibers.
Particleboard is not as strong as film faced plywood, but it is a very affordable option, and it is available in a variety of thicknesses.
8- MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard)
The next of the best film faced plywood alternatives is MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard. During MDF production, we reduce the pieces of softwood and hardwood into small fibers using a machine, and we do this after applying high-pressure heat.
The result is a more durable, finely-grained composite board that we may use for wood cutting and construction.
9- Luan Plywood
The last one in the best film faced plywood alternatives is the luan plywood. It’s a composite material that consists of numerous thin sheets of hardwood veneers glued together.
The benefit of using Luan plywood is that it is less expensive than the other hardwood plywoods. There are five types of Luan plywood that we can use as an alternative to film faced plywood.
These include steel-faced plywood, plastic laminate, composite plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), and particleboard. Each of these materials has unique benefits that may suit your particular project needs. So, make sure to do your research and select the best material for your project.
Final Thoughts – Film Faced Plywood Alternatives
Film faced plywood is considered to be the most popular type of plywood, but it’s not the only one available. There is a variety of film faced plywood alternatives that have their unique benefits. Now, you have the knowledge of the nine most popular and best film faced plywood alternatives.