1: What is plywood? Plywood is an engineered wood made by glueing together thin veneer sheets with a resin under high pressure. Thus creating a thick, strong and flexible flat sheet. It is usually mostly preferred as it is cheaper than wood and doesn’t get warped or shrink in the long run.
2: Best types of plywood for interiors
There are over 18 types of plywood distinguished based on the type of wood used, application and process. However, let us concentrate on the three basic types — MR ply, BWR/BWP ply and Marine ply.
Moisture Resistant Plywood
Also known as commercial ply by local vendors, is used in interiors extensively. From furniture to cabinets, it has good resistance to moisture in damp and humid conditions, making it a favourite material in tropical areas. However, this is not waterproof.
Boiling Water Resistant and Boiling Water Proof Ply
It is most favoured for interior and exteriors as well. The resistance to water makes it suitable for all weather conditions and is also used in the bathrooms and kitchens where exposure to water is high. It is also used for wall cladding on the exteriors, staircases and more due to its waterproof nature.
It is often associated with BWR and BWP ply by carpenters. But the similarities are minimum. The material is of superior quality and is waterproof to a great extent. Thus, its applications are found mainly in boat building and industries where exposure to water is high. So, the myth that marine ply is the best material for kitchens is pointless unless you’re planning to keep your kitchen immersed in water all the time.
3: Thickness and plywood grade
Ply means layer. The thickness of the sheet is determined by the ply. More ply creates a thicker and stronger board. The minimum number of plies are 3-ply and can go up to 5 or more. Plywood with lesser number plies are thinner and weaker even if they’re of the same thickness.
- 3-ply: These sheets are 2 to 3 mm thick and is the most common type of plywood for home interiors.
- 5-ply: This plywood is the most versatile option that is 4 mm thick. This type of plywood works great for indoor and outdoor furniture and decorative boards.
- Multi-ply: This plywood has 7 or more layers. It’s strong and durable enough for permanent structures like roofing.
Plywood often comes with grades that can determine the quality and appearance of it.
- A-grade: Ideal for furniture pieces and cabinets, A-grade plywood has a smooth and sanded surface with minor defects.
- B-grade: This grade of plywood is similar to A grade with a few knots however, the defects can go upto 1 inch across.
- C-grade: This grade is unsanded with minor knots and defects like discolouration. They are ideal for structures where appearance is not important.
- D-grade: Similar to C-grade, D-grade plywood is unsanded and has snags that have not been repaired.