Plywood certainly has been the topmost product used for the last decade while making fixed furniture. Plywoods are lighter, cheaper, more durable, and more weather-resistant than others. Plywood has become popular throughout this decade because it’s relatively low moisture content which makes various tasks easy to perform with this. Mostly for outdoor uses plywood has become very important to use. Here we can go through different types of plywood and their uses.

What is plywood?

The basics you need to know about Plywood is that it’s a sheet material which is brought to life by combining layers of wood veneer, which are glued together. Each adjoining layer is rotated up to 90 degrees in a process we call cross-graining. Plywood as a building material is very widely used due to its many useful properties. It is an economical, factory-produced sheet of wood with precise dimensions that does not warp or crack with changes in atmospheric moisture. Originally, the term “plywood” referred only to wood panels made of multi-layered veneer, laid with their grain perpendicular to adjacent layers, and bonded together with glue.

How is plywood made?

Plywood consists of the face, core, and back. The face is the surface that is visible after installation, while the core lies between the face and back. Thin layers of wood veneers are glued together with a strong adhesive. This is mainly a phenol or urea-formaldehyde resin. Each layer is oriented with its grain perpendicular to the adjacent layer. Plywood as a building material is generally formed into large sheets. It may also be curved for use in ceilings, aircraft, or shipbuilding. 

What are the advantages of Plywood?

Unlike any other building material, plywood is one affordable option that is not only versatile but also holds the beauty of the wood. But what are the advantages of plywood? let‘s have a look.

  • Made from multiple layers of wood veneer, plywood is a very strong material to work with.
  • It won’t soak up water and liquids as quickly or easily as MDF does so it’s less susceptible to water damage.
  • Because it carries a grain, plywood is stainable. Which makes it perfect for kitchen cabinets, tabletops, and other projects where you want a large stained wood surface.
  • It holds screws very tightly since the varying grains of wood on each layer give the screws something to hold onto.

What are the types of plywood? 

Plywood comes under different categories and we can differentiate it according to grades, materials, and wood. When it comes to grades the types of plywoods are

A-grade plywood: This is the highest-quality plywood and therefore typically the most expensive since the veneers will be flawless. A-grade plywood is smooth and can be easily painted.

B-grade plywood: B-grade plywood is slightly less smooth than A-grade plywood and has a solid foundation. It usually has minor flaws and can be subject to repairs.

C-grade plywood: This type of plywood has a few knots in its sheets that are up to 1.5 inches in diameter.

D-grade plywood: The cheapest type of plywood veneers, these sheets typically haven’t been repaired. The flaws can be slightly larger and the knots in this type of plywood can be up to 2.5 inches in diameter.

When it comes to the type of wood we use, they could be divided into

Hardwood: This type of Plywood is made typically from wood obtained from Teakwood, Gurjan, or Birchwood. They are often also marked at 100% hardwood and are expensive. So if you are looking for something that is 100% original and have no budget constraints, this is the kind of plywood that you would want to get for your interiors.

Hardwood ply is typically characterized by naturally reddish tinged wood. Also, the play’s fantastic strength, stiffness, and high impact resistance make it the number one choice for heavy-duty floor and wall structures.

Softwood: If you want a ply that is cheaper than the cost of Hardwood, go for Softwood ply. Typically, this kind of plywood comes from Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) or mango wood. Softwood ply is a cheaper option when compared to Hardwood ply. But you must remember that it isn’t as strong as hardwood ply. You can identify a softwood ply by its slightly yellowish looking appearance.

Poplar Ply: If you are looking for a ply ranging between that of hardwood and softwood, Poplar ply will be the best option for you. Also referred to as ‘Soft Hardwood’, this type of ply is moisture-resistant and has great bending strength and durability. It is called soft hardwood as its ‘hardness’ is the least among hardwood plywood. Poplar ply is the best fit for humid areas owing to its immense moisture resistance. Furthermore, the ply is light in weight and thus is the perfect choice for building high structural interiors.

Alternate Core: You might be wondering at the peculiar name of this plywood but there’s a reason for it. The Alternate Core plywood is actually a mixture of yellow and red-tinged woods. Owing to this, the plywood has alternate cores of yellow and redwood in cross-section. Hence this ply is named as ‘Alternate Core’. Usually, the manufacturers opt for this ply to get well-balanced plywood which is more durable than softwood plywoods and costs less than the pure hardwood ones. Thus, if you want the durability of a hardwood ply but aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on plywood, this is an option you can consider. These types of plywood will be the perfect fit for most household furniture. 

When we categorize them under uses they could be differentiated as

Structural plywood: Used in permanent structures where high strength is needed. This includes flooring, beams, formwork, and bracing panels. It can be made from softwood or hardwood. 

External plywood: Used on exterior surfaces where a decorative or aesthetic finish is important. It is not used to bear loads or stress, such as on exterior door surfaces, and wall cladding. 

Internal plywood: This has a beautiful finish, for non-structural applications like wall paneling, ceilings, and furniture. 

Marine plywood: It is specially treated using preservatives, paint, or varnish, to resist water damage. It is used in shipbuilding, resists fungal attacks, and does not delaminate. 

Final Thoughts

Plywood is a popular choice in construction because of its strength and low cost. It is usually used in areas that are hidden from view in a post-construction capacity. The most common uses for plywood include support for floors, walls, roofs, and garages in residential construction. Plywood makes up most of the walls and floors in attics and is sometimes found in laundry rooms, closets, and other unfinished areas in the home. It can also be made into fencing materials, packaging materials, scaffolding, shelving, sheds, shipping containers, cabinets, and furniture. The only thing you must consider while choosing a plywood manufacturer should be its quality. 

We at cut and edge give prominence to customer satisfaction and we consider it as our strength. A combination of experience, modern machinery, the highest precision, and speed of work along with vast production capabilities is what makes our plywood cut to size cutting services exceptional. Wish to know more? Get in touch as we are happy to help you.