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Types of Plywood | Plywood Guide

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Do you know plywood has been the most popular choice among other building materials? In the year 2021, Plywood was the world’s 205th most traded product. It witnessed a total trade of $21 Billion. In the years between 2020 and 2021, the export rate of the material grew by 41.1%; it went from $14.9B to $21B. Today’s customers have become curious to know about the plywood materials and grades to choose which will be beneficial for their building structure.
Are you aware of different grades and types of plywood? Before choosing the right plywood material for your interior, you must know about the plywood types in detail. Merchanting is one of the top builder’s merchants of building materials online UK offers various Plywoods for meeting every customer and property needs. However, before investing, you must understand the types. This is because plywood sheets are available in different grades, thicknesses, and types. In this comprehensive guide, you will explore the different types of plywood and its uses.

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Types of Plywood


Overview of Plywood


Plywood is a type of composite wood product. It is manufactured from wood veneer from hardwood, softwood, etc. These wooden boards are usually glued, but higher quality plywood is pressed and fired using more complex processes. You should choose the best angle before joining the wooden panels together so that the wood fibres are preserved. You can consult Merchanting’s building material supplies to understand the plywood better.

Exclusive Types of Plywood


Hardwood Plywood

Hardwood Plywood is a different variant of plywood that comes with a face and back veneer, contrary to soft plywood. It has a core with stain-grade hardwood, and it is usually used for manufacturing furniture, cabinets, and other decorative applications. This wood type is sourced from wood veneers such as walnut, maple, oak, and birch woods. It is highly suitable for projects that need long-lasting and durable frames, such as musical instruments, sports equipment, wood casings, and furniture.

Softwood Plywood

Softwood Plywood has a face and back veneer of softwood. Their panels consist of a core made from softwood, faced and backed with a veneer. Hence, it is used for structural applications.As per its name, this plywood type is made of softwoods such as cedar, redwood, and pinewood. You will be surprised to know the fact that it is utilised for heavy woodwork such as roof sheathing, home subfloors, and frame sheathing. You can also use this to construct your pet houses, interior shelves, and sheds.


Marine Plywood

This plywood type is of high-quality timber product, which is composed of multiple layers of wood veneers. It is bonded with water-resistant weather and boil-proof glue. Marine plywood is considered as the most commonly used plywood with high grades. The term specifically reflects its grade, which means it’s a marine grade where waterproof adhesives can be used. It is specifically made of firwood or larch, which makes it a durable and sturdy option among others. The plywood is manufactured completely raw without the use of chemicals; therefore, it won’t be resistant to moulds, rots, and mildew. This plywood is mostly used for external surfaces such as benches, gazebos, plant boxes, and decks.

Flexible Plywood

As per its name, flexible plywood sheets is mostly used for curves and bending. So, if you want curved structures in your home, you can consider using them. It is used for constructing curved parts of frames and in furniture making. This plywood type is made out of thicker cross-grained and cross-grained central Flexible Sheets of ply on either side. If you want to get a shinier surface, you can add overlaid wood veneers at the front surface.
This plywood has an interesting fact behind it: in the UK, it is referred to as hatter ply because earlier, they were used in making stove-pipe hats in the Victorian era.

Birch Plywood

It is a type of hardwood plywood that is famously known for its panel strength. Moreover, it is known for its grain texture, great finishing, and durability. It is highly suitable for manufacturing furniture, cabinet, and millwork applications, and the rough panels are for industrial and structural needs. The birch plywood sheets are available in different face grades, such as glue lines, sizes, core constructions, and thicknesses. Also, you can give this plywood a UV finish on either of its sides. As Well as you can check Top Advantages Of Opting For Birch Plywood Sheet

Shuttering Plywood

Plywood shuttering is another type of highly dense hardwood. It is constructed using core veneers of multiple layers, which are tightly packed with the help of press machines at high temperatures. As it is constructed with thin wood layers, it finally results in a stronger version that is unlikely to split. This plywood comes with a great thickness and perfect density.
It is specifically used for external applications due to its stronger resistance to warping, moisture, rotting, and splitting. Contractors also use it for construction works like holding the cement and setting up the ceiling.

Different Grades of Plywood


The plywood categorization is followed by a grading system that shows you the material quality. With the grades, you can know the materials used in producing them. Accordingly, the price tag is given to the plywood. The plywood grade categorization is followed by A, B, C, and D systems. A is considered as the highest grade, and D is considered as the lowest plywood grade.
But this is not only the end of grading, as some of the plywood types are presented in two-letter grades. In the case of two-letter grading, the first letter represents the front board’s quality, while the other letter denotes the wood grade of the back part.


The grades will guide you on which portion of the board you should designate as the front and back parts. The back part is represented as the lower grade. The plywood grades will also showcase where it should be used the most. For example, plywood that falls under A to C grades is utilised for woodwork and exterior panels. These plywoods are known for high durability along with weather and water-resistant features. The C and D grades are suitable for interior woodwork and furnishings due to their adequate covering.
Apart from these plywood grades, if the plywood panel or board has an additional letter ‘X’ on it, it represents that the plywood has passed all the quality tests, and these are considered strong exterior plywood. Therefore, for high-end woodwork, grades like A, B, and CX are the ideal and best fit. These do not have knot holes, which results in workable surface staining and painting. At Merchanting, you can shop for types of wood building materials and plywood of different grades.

Different Sizes of Plywood


Size is considered to determine the length and thickness of the plywood. These are available in different sizes, such as 4x4ft, 4x8ft, and 4x9ft.
All of these sizes have particular functions and properties. The thinner-sized plywood is known for higher flexibility, which is suitable for curved surfaces. You can construct irregular frames with various designs and stylings with thinner plywood. While thicker plywood, on the other hand, is used for manufacturing harder surfaces. You can use them on roof sheds to help your building and protect you from harsh weather conditions. The thicker size is known for greater weight, durability, and long-lasting effects. The thickness of plywood is also based on the number of plies. The most commonly used is the 3-ply. The sturdier ones are 5-ply or multi-ply.


Builder Merchant is one of the best Suppliers of building materials where you can find different types, grades, and sizes of plywood. The description of each product is stated well to help customers get a brief idea and make an informed buying decision.

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