The Right Plywood for the Job

Plywood is made from several layers of varnish, thin sheets of tree wood. The layers are glued together and if waterproof glue is used it is plywood for outdoor use. Pine, spruce, mahogany, Douglas fir, birch, oak, and maple are types of wood used for exterior plywood. The external plywood used the traditional grading system but uses the letter "X" to indicate that it was made with external glue.

We will help you find the right plywood for you.

Know Plywood Grades

There are some plywood grading systems, but most of them follow an A-D grading, with A being the best. Plywood is also classified as the exterior, exhibit 1, exhibit 2, and interior. The type of plywood you choose will depend on the economy, the amount of exposure to the elements the wood will have, and whether appearance is important to you.

  • Fully waterproof bonding (glue) between layers and designed for applications subject to permanent exposure to the elements and humidity.
  • Exposure 1. Fully waterproof alloy, but not for permanent exposure to weather or moisture.
  • Exposure 2. Type of interior with the intermediate connection. It is designed for sheltered building applications where slight exposure to moisture can be expected.
    Internal applications only.


If you don't have a lot of money to buy plywood and you don't care if the plywood is baby smooth on the surface, choose a lower grade. It is as strong as the most beautiful notes.

  • Smooth and paintable surface. Veneer repairs, such as replacing knots with patches, can be done, but no more than 18. This is the best plywood for cabinets.
  • Solid surface. Minor divisions are allowed.
  • Us and tight knots allowed. It may also show discoloration and sanding defects on the surface, as long as it does not affect the strength.
  • We and larger nodes are allowed.

You will often see plywood with two grades, as in "A-C". This means that the face side is Grade A and the backside is Grade C. In addition to the above two classifications, plywood is also classified as Sheathing, Stud I-Floor, and Side Sheathing. It just specifies for what specific purpose a piece of plywood was designed. Most of the plywood you buy from a home project hardware store, such as a workbench, will be classified as siding.

Know what kind of plywood you need

The different grades of plywood indicate what it should be used for. External grade plywood is for roofing or where direct contact with water is possible. You will want to be treated with pressure. For bathrooms, it is good to place a Luan plywood on top of the terrace plywood to protect it. Marine plywood is good for things that need to be water-resistant, like boats. The best plywood for cabinets is decorative plywood and it can also be used to make furniture. Create circular saw cutting guides for plywood.

Roofing plywood

Roofing plywood should generally be 3/8 ”, but using thicker plywood can mean more durability. Check local building codes for requirements.

Plan your project

If you need roof, wall, or sub-flood plywood, choose construction plywood or OSB. Oak or birch wood is good for cabinets, storage, and furniture.

It's what's inside that counts for plywood

Plywood comes in many forms, but it is also constructed in many ways, so finding the right plywood can be difficult. Plywood cores vary widely and include veneer core, chipboard core, medium density fibreboard core, and combination core. The veneer is the most common type of core and is made from different trees depending on the region. It's a lightweight option too, weighing in at around 70 pounds for a 4x8 panel. Particleboard (PBC) is generally the cheapest, the weakest, and the heaviest. It can weigh 45 pounds for a 4x8 panel and can swell in humidity. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is good for shelves and storage cabinets and the surface is harder than most woods. However, its inner layers are soft. But it will give in time.

Look for unstained plywood

Sometimes stained plywood can hide blemishes under the stain, so it's best to find unstained plywood.

More layers do not mean high quality

In general, it is believed that the more layers there are in the plywood, the higher the quality. More layers can mean fewer voids in each sheet, but the quality of the core of the sheet is certainly more important. Even plywood with many layers can warp.

Don't forget the edges

The plywood face may be great for projects, but the edges are missing. You can remedy this by using ironing strips to cover the veneer layers.

Plywood cutting

Start with the correct blade, you can use a blade to cut plywood or a blade that you know will cut. Set the correct depth and use some extruded foam as a backing plate. This will avoid any type of breakage of the piece. Always cut with the good side down and along the side of the scrap so it won't puncture or break.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about Different Types of Plywood and their uses

Source: Kody Horvey (Up To Kode)

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