The COVID-19 pandemic shook up the global supply chain and created major supply issues for companies like Diplomat Closet Design. Certain raw materials are much more difficult to obtain now, especially wood.
For every builder, carpenter, and cabinetry vendor, pricing has gone up to reflect this unavoidable cost of doing business. Lead times are also extending many months into the future. Now what?
It’s time to take a fresh look at wood alternatives that are less expensive and much more widely available. Here are seven wood alternatives that are also beautiful and durable.
At Diplomat Closet Design, melamine is our #1 choice as a wood alternative. It’s perfect for cabinets and other storage features, with reasonable pricing and quick turnaround times.
Melamine is a wood-derived organic compound that’s pressed into flat planks, then covered with a plasticine coating. It’s exceptionally strong and can be cut into virtually any shape you’d find in wood.
2- Engineered Wood
Wood floors and shelves are perennially popular, but have you considered using engineered wood instead? Engineered wood is constructed with numerous fused layers that make it exceptionally strong and resistant to wear.
And here’s something many people don’t realize about traditional hardwood; It’s vulnerable to temperature and moisture fluctuations. Engineered wood, on the other hand, is designed to resist heat, cold, and water so it stays looking brand new as long as possible.
3- Modern Plywood, OSB, and MDF
There are also several other types of engineered and pressed wood that are more modern than you might think. Don’t write these off until you’ve considered their benefits and surprising beauty!
Plywood, for example, is no longer just the rough-and-tumble stuff you’ve seen at the lumber yard. A new generation of on-trend plywood is thicker and more versatile than regular builder-grade plywood and has a slightly fuzzy texture that feels warm and organic.
Plywood also has a cousin named oriented strand board (OSB) that’s basically thin layers of plywood stacked with adhesive. There’s also medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which is made of pressed wood fibers. Both are far less expensive than wood but are just as flexible.
What about bamboo? Although many people think it’s a type of wood, it’s actually the world’s toughest grass and has dense, strong fibers.
Bamboo appeals to people who are environmentally conscious because it’s a fast-growing, renewable resource that doesn’t deplete the earth. Like wood, bamboo can be stained, sanded, and refinished to stay beautiful throughout its long lifetime.
Cork is another eco-friendly choice because cork trees are harvested without being cut down. The outermost layer of cork bark is sliced from the trees, which then go on to live decades longer.
Many people find that cork is softer, warmer, and more soundproof than most traditional woods. It’s also less likely to cause irritation for people with allergies.
However, cork does have a couple of notable drawbacks. It’s not completely waterproof, making it a less-than-ideal choice for bathrooms. It’s also a surface that shows scratches, so avoid cork floors in a household with lots of puppy paws.
6- Textured/Colored Concrete
If you’re willing to consider something completely different from wood, how about textured, colored, and polished concrete? This is an excellent choice for countertops and floors that get heavy use from busy families.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to look industrial. Today’s concrete can be treated with all kinds of stains and effects to make it look sophisticated. Plus, once it’s installed, it will last forever!
7- Wood-Effect Tiles
Finally, consider stylish oversize tiles that come in beautiful wood patterns. When they’re laid out on a backsplash, for example, they provide the look and feel of wood.
Wood-effect tiles are simple to clean, never require buffing or sanding, and are widely available. Plus, they come in almost every wood grain and color so you can easily match your home’s decor.
Fast Lead Times and Lower Prices
No matter which material you choose, Diplomat Closet Design can help you make smart choices that maximize your budget. In these times of wood shortages, we offer low prices on a variety of wood alternatives. Plus, we can help you get your project done faster by offering quick turnaround times.
Make an appointment now and we’ll help you explore your options!