Understand construction

Different types of plywoods

Jun 24 2020

Varshnee Raj

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Structural strength is a very important aspect to watch out for during construction. The life of your project is going to be long only when you begin to watch out for small details especially when it comes to grade of raw materials used. One such important material used is the plywood. A wide variety and brands are available in the market, But the confusion still pertains as of which to choose for the various uses at home which is of more concern than just gst on plywood.

A few grades and types of plywood along with the uses are listed below and can be used as a reference before choosing it for your construction.


Your local supplier would usually have plywood of 4 grades termed A,B,C and D with A being blemish less and the grade going lower from there on. The letters typically come is pairs stating the grade of the best and the back side grade. For example a A-C types will have the best finished face and a relatively unfinished back. For construction C-D or CDX type is commonly used.

Interior and Exterior Plywood :

Based on the application area the plywood are classified as interior or exterior use. Interior applications usually use MR or Moisture resistant plywood for furniture. For external uses BWP Boiling Water Proof or BWR Boiling water Resistant are used. This is adequately waterproof compared to MR.

Commercial ply refers to MR ply whereas waterproof ply refers to BWR /BWP. BWR is also commonly referred to as Marine plywood and is used for high grade applications. For waterproof applications marine plywood is chosen as the best material and comes in A-A top grade although is limited to hardwood choices only. This has slightly more expensive plywood sheet price.

Hardwood and Softwood Plywood

Used as a classification in interior plywood’s hardwood species include birch, oak and cherry which are commonly used for indoor applications such as furniture making. If the complete veneers which is used in making the plywood is from a hardwood tree then this is termed as hardwood plywood and costs slightly higher.

Softwood plywood is made from Spruce-Pine-Fir(SPF), Mango wood or commonly Cedar wood. There are other plywood’s based on the particular wood that has been used such as redwood plywood, teak plywood and Gurjan Plywood.

Sanded Plywood :

For applications where only one side of the plywood will be visible to the customer sanded plywood is the best choice. Most application s use A-C grade where the visible side is free of blemishes where as the other side will have slightly less perfect finish. Sometimes you can also find SPF as one-sided sanded for application such as cabinets etc,.

Structural plywood :

Structural plywood depends on having extreme stability over external appearance. The resins which are used to adhere the plies in this case are chosen to give extra strength and protect from layers getting separated. . This type of strength is seldom found in grades higher than C-D and is commonly used in Concrete forms on the construction sites.

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