What is Blockboard?
A blockboard is a type of engineered wood that is manufactured by joining softwood strips to form a board, which is then sandwiched between the layers of wood veneer or ply. Depending on the type of wood used for strips and layers, blockboards can be of different types and grades.
Blockboards combine the strength of softwood and hardwood to form a strong and durable engineered wood product that might even be better than some solid woods. Blockboards are often used in place or along with plywood for a variety of applications, including furniture, doors, cabinets, wall panels, and bookshelves. Blockboards can be made to be resistant to water.
As a top manufacturer, supplier & exporter of wood timber in the UK we have explained everything you need to know about blockboards, including their properties, uses, types and the manufacturing process of blockboards.
Types of Block Board
Block boards come in many types, depending on the raw material, construction quality, uses, and properties. Here they are:
Block Board based on Wood Type
1. Softwood Blockboard
As the name suggests, this type of block board is made by using softwood as the core material. The strips of softwood are glued and placed together between hardwood veneers.
2. Hardwood Blockboard
This type of blockboard contains hardwood as both the internal material and the outside veneer which produces a stronger board, which is also heavier and dense.
Block Board Types based on Properties
1. Waterproof (exterior grade) Blockboard
This type of blockboard is made to be resistant to water and can be used in outdoor areas, floors and applications where the object is in direct & constant contact with water.
2. Moisture-resistant (interior grade) Blockboard
This blockboard is moderately resistant to moisture and can be used for interior applications such as wall panelling, furniture and ceiling. It can also be used for interior flooring with limited contact with moisture.
Blockboard Vs Plywood
- Blockboard is commonly lighter than plywood because its core is generally made of softwood.
- Plywood consists of solid wood layers (veneers), while block boards are made of softwood strips sandwiched between solid wood veneers.
- Blockboard is easy to handle, transport & work with compared to plywood.
- Blockboard is less strong than plywood because of its softwood core.
- Blockboards are also less durable than plywood.
- Blockboard may have small gaps between strips inside the core, but plywoods are solid with no gaps at all.
- Blockboard is not resistant to water but can be made waterproof using Boiling Waterproof resin inside the core. Plywoods without treatment are susceptible to water damage.
- Blockboards are stiffer than plywood and do not bend easily. Long panels of plywood may start bending.
- Both Block board and plywood are resistant to warping and cracking.
- Blockboard is easy to cut and does not split, plywood is likely to split on edges when cut.
- Blockboard is available in larger dimensions than plywood,
- Blockboards are cheaper than plywood.
General Properties of Blockboard
Blockboard is stiff and has good stability across its length, which is why long panels of blockboard are available and used for making doors and other things. Also, this type of plyboard is easy to handle, use and cut. It is strong and durable. Blockboards can hold screws and nails easily.
Blockboards can be made to be water resistant by the use of Boiling Waterproof resin to fix strips inside the core.
Uses of Blockboard
Blockboards are easily available and are less expensive than plywood yet almost equally strong and durable. They are suitable for a wide variety of applications, including furniture, book shelves, cabinets, doors, windows, lightweight items, wall panels, and more Waterproof blockboards are also suitable for outdoor uses, including flooring and decking.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Blockboard
- Blockboards are easily available at a low price
- Blockboards come in many sizes and in large panels also
- They are stable and will not expand or shrink easily
- Blockboards are easy to use, nail, varnish and paint
- Blockboards are lightweight and easy to transport and handle
- Blockboards are not as strong as plywood
- Screws can sometimes end up in the gaps between strips
- Cracks can occur when screwing or nailing
- Not naturally resistant to water
Blockboard Manufacturing Process
It is crucial to be familiar with the manufacturing process of block boards in order to better understand how these wood panels get their various properties and how to use them for the best results.
A typical blockboard manufacturing process involves the following steps:
1. Slicing: The wood logs are cut into panels, which are then cut to produce small pieces of wood, called strips. The strips used to make a blockboard are about 25mm wide.
2. Producing veneer: Veneer for both sides of the blockboard is built by rotary cutting a wood log to produce thin sheets of solid wood.
3. Gluing wooden strips: The wood strips produced in the first step are joined edge-to-edge using a strong adhesive or waterproof/plastic resin and pressed under high-pressure conditions to form a wooden board.
4. Drying: The boards are left in the sun to let all moisture and water dry up until the humidity is left to only 10-12%. The resulting product is stronger and less prone to damage.
5. Sandwching: The wooden strip board is then sandwiched between solid wood veneers (produced in the 2nd step) on either side and glued using a strong adhesive to form a solid engineered board.
6. Finishing & Paint: The final product is laminated or painted according to the desired finish and also to give extra strength and durability. An oil finish can also be done to add an extra layer of safety.
Talk to an Expert Wood Consultant…
Want to know more about block boards, plywood or other types of engineered woods or solid woods? Contact us today to talk to a professional wood consultant in the UK. You can also get in touch to enquire about our wood products, availability and price.
White Knight Consulting Ltd. deals in 40+ species of hardwood and softwood timber and have expert woodworkers manufacturing, processing and selling premium quality wood products to our customers in 20+ countries across Europe. Send us your wood enquiries via mail or call us at +44 20 7193 5609.