Big Box Store

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Blog entry by Phil53 posted 02-20-2013 05:39 PM 1887 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In the past I have been told basically that shopping at Lowes, Home Depot etc. etc. that that would be the last place to buy wood because of the price and quality of the wood.

Well I was looking for some birch plywood and just happened to see some small pieces (2’ x 4’/ 4’x4’) at the big store. So after checking these out I did a little more investigating. The big store was a lot cheaper. I picked up a 4’ x 8’ sheet for about $10 more than the cheapest price I could find and that was only a 4’ x 4’ sheet.

I also found some cherry and other woods as well, so if you’re like me and money is hard to come by you might want to check out the big stores too when wood shopping.

4 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30371 posts in 2754 days

#1 posted 02-20-2013 06:18 PM

Box stores are like any place, they have good products and they have cheap products. Sometimes the two are the same. Cheap is usually easy to find in those stores. Good or better quality items have to be searched for a little more. Reason is that more people will buy the cheap stuff. Also the cheap stuff in many cases is the highest profit margin. Higher quality items usually don’t allow as big of markup. It’s the Walmart philosophy all over again. I have got just as good of lumber from Menards as any of the traditional lumber yards.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Wiltjason's profile


56 posts in 2378 days

#2 posted 02-20-2013 06:45 PM

I’ve used a lot of home depots plywood, its right across the street from me and I also worked there, as for hardwoods my home depot only Carries oak and poplar ( also pine but I don’t use much of that) and the prices are astronomical compared to my local sawmill. I don’t know how their prices are compared to someplace like woodcraft. I also know that the veneer on HD plywood is paper thin compared to some of the more expensive stuff and you can sand threw it very easy if not careful

View Luke's profile


290 posts in 3103 days

#3 posted 02-20-2013 09:21 PM

I will agree with Wiltjason, I guess it depends on your local hardwood/lumber supplier. I can say that I built an entire wall panel and entertainment center out of HD/Lowes Poplar and Plywood and I was sickened when I found out that it was 4 times cheaper at my lumber yard. At my HD, Poplar is somewhere in the range of 4.50-4.75 linear foot, and at the Lumberyard it was 1.90 BF.

I also recently did wainscoting, and the HD and Lowes stuff that comes pre primed was 1/8” Thick, I have ALWAYS used it for the back of my bookshelf’s and such, I believe it is $19/panel 4×8’. My lumberyard sells 1/4” High grade stuff for $19/panel. Thicker material doesn’t chip or break as easy.

BUT THATS ME… I live 30 min from a commercial cabinetry supplier and they have every sheet good and hardwood one could think of. It just made me so sad when I calculated that I could have built my entertainment center out of Figured Walnut rather than poplar had I known.

I find it weird that HD prices Poplar, near or more than Maple also… Some growers consider poplar to be a weed.

But if you are only able to go to a Rockler or Woodcraft then it may be a bargain, as well as the time factor. I was once told: Big Box stores sell convenience not always quality.

View Phil53's profile


90 posts in 4038 days

#4 posted 02-20-2013 10:14 PM

Lowes was where I seen the cherry and it was some very good quality wood. I did not price the cherry because I wasn’t looking for that. But they also had some walnut too.

Living here in Dallas we have a few different stores to shop at for wood. I have tried Woodcraft and Rockler both and every time I have priced any wood there it was always on the pricey side.

My point mainly is not to count them out when it comes to wood. In the past I did, but they will be on my list for a price check from now on.

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