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What do you know about marine plywood and wardrobes?

(22 Posts)
ArseyTussle Thu 25-May-17 18:37:16

I really dislike most fitted wardrobes it seems, but dammit, they're practical. I don't like wood veneered ones, mirrored ones, or glass ones.

So, I was wondering about getting a joiner to make something like this, as I do like ply.

Would it cost a fortune? And what could be a cheaper industrial/Scandi alternative?

elephantoverthehill Thu 25-May-17 18:40:29

It wouldn't have to be marine ply as your bedroom is not in the sea, I presume smile. There are lots of different grades of plywood and outer veneers available. It might be worth Googling these first.

averythinline Thu 25-May-17 18:45:28

Ply would be good and dh is very keen on marine for everything smile but yes there is other ply that would di teh jb...

the expensive bit of built in is the joiners skill.....if you can find a joiner/cabinet maker then they will be able to price up teh different materials

tiba Thu 25-May-17 18:46:35

The type of ply you are looking for is Birch Ply.

There are a few different grades of it but can be quite pricy.

Its very fashionable at the moment in the architecture/furniture design industries.

Cheapest way of doing it is having the carcasses made from 18mm MFC and then just having the visible areas in 18mm Birch Ply (doors, plinth, pelmet, scribes etc)

The birch ply will need a lacquer finish applied to it.

cloughie100 Thu 25-May-17 18:52:39

Check out customfronts who make plywood doors for ikea units as a possible option we are thinking of getting plywood doors for ikea kitchen units from them.

ArseyTussle Thu 25-May-17 19:23:49

Ooh, thanks for the good tips!

I assumed it was marine ply because that was the name of some wood that I saw online once. blush

Custom front do indeed do doors for Pax! Will investigate further. Their kitchen doors are lovely.

PigletJohn Fri 26-May-17 03:10:10

Marine Ply is one of several grades of WBP ply

WBP means it is made using a glue that does not fall apart when it gets wet, even with hot water (ply before this invention used to delaminate and curl up in thin sheets)

Marine Ply is a higher grade, it has hardwood veneers which are more durable and expensive than softwood, and is not supposed to contain certain defects such as voids and knots.

If you are not building a boat, you can get a cheaper grade of WBP ply. IMO the hardwood faced (somewhat like mahogany) looks more attractive than birch, which is whitish with little grain, and tends to develop surface cracks. It can be dyed, and stained or varnished if you wish.

Cheaper grades of ply have more surface defects such as knots and joins. If you are able to find a competent joiner to build this for you he will understand the grades available and will know local sources and the quality and value they offer.

The edges of ply are the weakest part, and can allow water to enter, damaging the board, or can splinter off. They need at least to be sealed with paint or varnish, or can be edged with durable hardwood strip.

Some vendors will tell you they are selling marine ply when it is in fact a lower (cheaper) grade, and less knowledgeable people may use the term loosely and incorrectly.

Here is the UK spec

The term, and the specification, are different in America, where I understand softwood veneers can be used.

There are modern international standards and grades which I am not familiar with.

Catinthecorner Fri 26-May-17 03:16:21

Don't use marine ply. DH uses it to build garden things. It's about £60 a sheet.

For fitted wardrobes you'd be looking at hundreds in ply alone

ArseyTussle Fri 26-May-17 08:54:41

Thanks. I'd be using a joiner who has done work for two friends and comes recommended, so hopefully he would know his onions.

It would work out really expensive using Custom Front, unfortunately.

Are there any other ideas I should consider apart from ply? I used to live in a house where we turned a large alcove into a wardrobe by a pair of narrow normal house doors on the front. I wonder whether that would work, to do a stud wall say and make a walk in thing.

averythinline Fri 26-May-17 09:43:45

Again I would talk to the Joiner - often they have great ideas as well
but even using ply/mdc it is not likely to be cheaper than pax +doors because you are using a skilled craftsman

ArseyTussle Fri 26-May-17 10:04:41

Is mdc the same as mdf?

ZeldaWasMyGransName Fri 26-May-17 11:36:39

We used MDF, painted it with white eggshell. Looks great, very Scandi.

ZeldaWasMyGransName Fri 26-May-17 11:38:23

MDF is cheapest I would think, although happy to be corrected. Ask joiner you have in mind for quote with MDF if you're happy with that?

PigletJohn Fri 26-May-17 12:03:16

MDF will have to be painted. Do you want a painted slab finish?

You can have laminated sheet as used in some kitchen doors if you want.

chickpeaburger Fri 26-May-17 13:02:58

Those look beautiful OP. I love nice plywood.

ArseyTussle Fri 26-May-17 13:07:01

I'd be happy with painted, but would prefer not. How do you get a good finish using MDF, is that possible?

PigletJohn Fri 26-May-17 13:10:02

It's naturally dark brown, slightly mottled. I suppose you could varnish or wallpaper it.

ArseyTussle Fri 26-May-17 13:17:53

Zelda, did a joiner make your wardrobes? We have an mdf door on our under stairs cupboard and it looks like it was sawn by me with a hand saw. Do yours look well finished?

dynevoran Fri 26-May-17 13:28:44

Baltic Birch ply is what you need. Another alternative material is valchromat which is a coloured mdf. The carpenter who made my kitchen fronts uses it quite a bit and looks really nice in the colours although the plain non coloured mdf I think isn't half as nice as ply.
Have attached a pic of what my carpenter recently made from Black valchromat and birch plywood to show how nice it can look.

You can also get laminated plywood if you want a colour (like formica) but as you seem to want the bare wood look id say Baltic Birch with clear osmo oil is what you should be going for.

ZeldaWasMyGransName Fri 26-May-17 13:47:02

They are perfect. Honestly after various bits of work I'd had done / I'd done in my house that were a bit variable, I was so pleased with the finish.

But, if you don't like a painted finish some of the other materials suggestions are probably better.

Also I think he is a very good carpenter, he just does built ins and the like so lots of experience of cutting the right angles etc.

ArseyTussle Fri 26-May-17 16:41:14

They sound great. Did you just put MDF doors on an existing carcass, or did he build the whole lot? And did you paint the inside?

I'm coming round to the paint idea, if I could get non-sheen in a nice colour.

Ooh, dyne, that is beautiful!

ZeldaWasMyGransName Fri 26-May-17 16:48:53

He built the whole carcass exactly with the insides we wanted, some drawers, some hanging etc, put doors on. Painted inside and out. We used water based eggshell and it's pretty matte.

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