What is plywood?

[] Because of its widespread acceptance, plywood is increasingly being used as a replacement for real wood furniture by homeowners. But, what is it?

Over the last few decades, plywood has been the default material choice for permanent furniture pieces. Because of its widespread acceptance, plywood is increasingly being used as a replacement for real wood furniture by homeowners. 

You are reading: What is plywood?

It’s rare to find a construction material that’s both inexpensive and as beautiful as designer plywood. This material, which comes in softwood and hardwood varieties and a variety of textures, may be used for a variety of purposes, including flooring, roofing, plywood furniture, wall cladding, and even certain do-it-yourself projects. 

How is plywood created? 

In order to create plywood, thin veneer sheets are glued together with resin under great pressure. This makes a flat sheet that is both sturdy and pliable. In general, it is preferable over wood since it is less expensive, does not warp, and does not shrink over the long term.

how is plywood created

(Source: Pinterest)

Uses of Plywood

plywood1 1

Read also : Mica door design: 12 flush door designs with mica

Source: Pinterest

Plywood is a special board belonging to the manufactured boards family, including particle boards and oriental strand boards. It is created using thin sheets of veneer peeled from debarked wood. After this, thin layers are glued together at alternating right angles. This helps improve the strength of the plywood.

This makes plywood cheap and improves its strength as well. Plywood panels can be used for roofing as well. However, in such situations, they are coated with other materials to improve their strength. 

In floorings, they help create a sub-floor to provide a sturdy ground for wood and tiling as well. They are widely used in the making of shelves and cupboards, adding to the versatility of this wood. 

Types of Plywood

plywood2 1

Read also : Mica door design: 12 flush door designs with mica

Source: Pinterest

There are various plywood types, as discussed below, from which you can choose the one that fits your setting perfectly. 

plywood3 1

Read also : Mica door design: 12 flush door designs with mica

Source: Pinterest

  • Sanded plywood: It is named so because it is sanded in the manufacturing process on both- the face and back of the plywood. Used in cabinets, shelves and panelling.
  • Hardwood plywood: It is made of birch, oak and maple wood. They are all glued at right angles to each other, making this plywood very heavy and extremely durable for furniture.
  • Structural plywood: It is strong and inexpensive, designed for permanent structures. It is unfinished and will need to be covered by other materials.
  • Project plywood panels: They are pre-cut and ready-to-use plywood panels that are a perfect fit for a beginner or a DIY project, given that you know the exact dimensions of the same. 
  • Markerboard: As the name suggests, the board is coated with a writing surface. Hence, it can be used as a surface to write on.

Types of plywood based on wood used, application and technique

Depending on the wood used, the application, and the technique, there are more than a dozen different types of plywood. The three main types of plywood in India are MR, marine and BWP plywood, therefore let’s focus on those three for the time being.

Moisture-resistant (MR) plywood


(Source: Pinterest)

MR plywood, which is also called industrial plywood by local sellers, is widely utilised in the construction of interiors. It is used in anything from furnishings to plywood cupboards because of its excellent moisture resistance in wet and humid circumstances, making it a popular choice in tropical locations. This, on the other hand, is not waterproof.

Boiling water resistant (BWR) and boiling waterproof ply (BWP)

Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) and Boiling Waterproof Ply (BWP)

(Source: Pinterest)

For interior and exterior applications, this kind of plywood design is the most popular of the several varieties of plywood available. Because of its waterproofing, it may be used in any weather situation. Kitchens and bathrooms, where there is a lot of water exposure, are the most usual places to find this material. Because of its impermeable nature, it is also utilised for external wall cladding, stairs, and is the best plywood for furniture.

Marine ply

marine ply

 (Source: Pinterest)

Read also : A perfect staircase design for any home

Carpenters often relate it with Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) and Boiling Waterproof Ply (BWP) plywood. In contrast to this, there are just a few parallels. In addition to being of high quality, the material is also very water-resistant. So it is mostly used in boat manufacturing and other businesses that have a lot of contact with water, such as the fishing industry. Marine plywood is not the finest material for kitchens unless you want to have your kitchen submerged in water all the time. 

Thickness and grade of plywood


Ply refers to the number of layers. The ply is what determines the sheet’s thickness. A thicker and more durable board is created by using more ply. For the most part, the number of plies ranges from 3 to 5 or more. Even though they have almost the same thickness, plywood with lesser plies is weaker. 

  • 3Ply: Sheets of 2 to 3 mm in thickness, are the most popular kind of plywood used in the construction of interiors of domestic buildings 
  • 5Ply: In terms of thickness, this 4mm plywood is by far the most flexible. Furniture and ornamental boards may be made from this sort of plywood.
  • Multiply: There are at least seven layers in this plywood. For long-term buildings like roofs, it is sturdy and durable.


Plywood is often available in a variety of grades, each of which might influence its quality and look. 

  • A-grade: A-grade plywood is ideal for furniture and cabinetry because of its smooth and sanded surface. 
  • B-grade: A few knots distinguish this grade from the A-grade type of plywood; nonetheless, the faults may be as large as one inch in diameter on this variation. 
  • C-grade: With minor flaws and imperfections like discolouration, this grade is left unfinished. In constructions where aesthetics is not crucial, they are an excellent choice. 
  • D-grade: Undone snags and unsanded surfaces are common features of D-grade plywood

Plywood ratings

plywood4 1

Read also : Mica door design: 12 flush door designs with mica

Source: Pinterest

Plywood ratings help to understand where and how we are supposed to use a particular kind of plywood. The various ratings of plywood are- 

  • Exterior: This means that the plywood has been waterproofed and can withstand the extremes of weather. It is meant for permanent structures and can withstand exposure to water for long periods of time.
  • Exposure 1: This rating signifies that even though the plywood has been waterproofed, it can withstand exposure to extremes only during the construction period and not afterwards. That is, it cannot be used for permanent structures.
  • Exposure 2: These boards contain glueing that can withstand occasional moisture but not regular exposure. They are meant for interior settings and not exteriors.
  • Interior- This means that the panels are not waterproof and cannot withstand moisture or water. They are meant strictly for interiors.
  • Structural 1: It is made with seismic-resistant technology. Thus, it can withstand earthquakes. 

Frequently used plywood sheet sizes 

The process of purchasing these veneer sheets is rather simple. Due to their consistent dimensions, plywood boards may be purchased with confidence, no matter how many you order. In addition, plywood comes pre-cut to avoid waste. 4 x 8 ft. is the most common and usual size. The 5 x 5 ft. variant is very popular. With regards to thickness, it comes with 1/8-inch thickness. Thicknesses vary from 1/8 inch all the way up to 3/4 inch. 

Plywood cost 

Various factors influence the price, including the kind of wood plywood used, the thickness, and the quality. Keep all of this in mind prior to placing your order. 

  • MR ply costs start at a rate of 28 per square foot. 
  • BWP/BWR ply prices begin at around 48 per square foot.
  • Marine ply is more expensive, beginning at around 75 per square foot, due to its superior strength and waterproofing capabilities over interior ply.

Plywood Alternatives

plywood5 1

Read also : Mica door design: 12 flush door designs with mica

Source: Pinterest

These boards, which are mentioned below, may sound like plywood but are manufactured by a completely different process. Despite being named so, they are not plywoods but can be used as an alternative as and when the need arises.

  • Stainable plywood: It has an already sanded surface that takes up the stain well, giving it a very natural finish.
  • Paintable plywood: It accepts the paint well and can be used for customisation purposes.
  • Pressure-treated plywood: It readily withstands exposure to water, insects, weather and decay.

Tongue and groove-edged plywood: They are designed to snap together easily while creating a strong joint between the panels.

Copyright belongs to:

Category: Rent

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button