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Types of Plywood

by Nathan Zachary
Types of Plywood

Plywood may seem to be an essential material; however, there are many different types of this apparently plain wood board. Because of this, it is important to conduct some research before purchasing to ensure that you are buying the appropriate kind. It is crucial to understand the variations in size, ply, and other aspects when comparing the various varieties of plywood since certain types of plywood are better suited for specific applications than others. Utilize this advice to pick the sort of plywood that will work best for your project to save yourself time and money and avoid having your work ruined by selecting the incorrect type.

Types of Plywood



Pine-based plywood with a soft veneer layer. The thickness of a plywood board is directly proportional to the number of layers that it contains. Depending on the required strength, some projects call for panels of a greater thickness. In contrast, others may get away with using thinner pieces instead. Each layer, known as a wood veneer, is adhered to the next layer using glue to achieve the required number of plies. Since surfaces may come in a variety of thicknesses on their own, you need to make sure that you analyze each potential type of board very thoroughly. Even though one board has the same amount of plies as another, the thickness of the finished board may differ depending on where you purchase it.


Soft plywood may be crafted from various softwoods such as pine, redwood, or cedar. They are appropriate for use as roof and external frame sheathing, in addition to subflooring. Sheds, temporary flooring, and shelves are some of the other potential use for softwood. Using this kind of wood in exterior applications is generally not encouraged. Although it is a durable material, it does not possess the properties of resistance to the elements required for work that takes place outside.



Hardwood plywood may include three to seven layers of hardwood, including birch, maple, oak, walnut, and others. They can be used for furniture, packing boxes, athletic equipment, musical instruments, and other objects that need sturdy frames since they are bonded together at correct angles to provide a robust finish.


The plywood used in aircraft construction is the most resilient variety available. Hardwoods are used in manufacturing to produce boards that are durable and resistant to heat and moisture. Plywood used in aircraft construction comprises very thin veneers, which allow the material to retain its light weight and flexibility while delivering substantial strength. As a result, it is suitable for use in the construction of aircraft, boats, and furniture designed to support significant weights.

Aircraft Plywood


 Exterior plywood is constructed using an adhesive resistant to water and weather, making it capable of withstanding the elements for a significant amount of time, including wind, rain, and other forms of precipitation. Plywood used on exterior surfaces is often constructed with many plies for increased strength. Because oak is one of the hardest timbers, it is often used in construction in regions with more severe conditions.

Lumber Core

Lumber core plywood consists of two thin hardwood veneers that sandwich a thick core of a solid slab created from glued-together strips of wood. This core is what gives the plywood its name. The fact that this core can readily grip screws makes it a suitable option for projects that need these fasteners; nonetheless, the core may sometimes have voids that cause it to be weaker than it otherwise would be.

Lumber Core Plywood


Marine plywood is lacquered with water-resistant external adhesive, which helps the plywood shed water when exposed to the elements. Even though it is not entirely waterproof, this plywood can withstand a certain amount of dampness. One of the varieties of plywood available, western larch plywood is regarded as among the highest possible standards of quality. The absence of knotholes requires the material to be classified as marine plywood. The use of marine plywood for outdoor furniture and ornamental features, such as planters or seats, is highly recommended.


Consider using overlay boards instead of regular plywood if you want a more decorative finish. Overlaid boards are a form of plywood finished with a thin veneer of decorative wood on top. Other varieties of plywood have identical plies as overlaid boards. This veneer not only makes the surface seem more attractive but also more robust, making it resistant to water, scratches, and other forms of damage.


dimensional of the structural structure type For framing and other construction structures that will be covered later, structural plywood, sometimes referred to as sheathing plywood, may be used to reinforce the structures. It is created with a powerful adhesive and may be used either inside or outdoors, even though its resistance to the elements is not as good as that of other varieties.

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