Plywood is made from layers of solid timber veneer that are usually about 3 millimetres thick. Because it is made in layers it is incredibly strong but also light in weight.
Plywood is generally used as a more affordable option to solid timber or as an alternate to other manufactured boards. Plywood is used for products such as desks, furniture, wood panelling and some flooring applications. some of the known advantages of plywood include:
- Very strong
- Resists cracking, bending, warping, and shrinkage
- Can be made from most timbers to increase aesthetics
- Good for wood panelling
- Shapes can be cut and started on any section of plywood
- Plywood can change and retain shape very easily
The most popular plywood types include:
- Birch ply. This makes up about 80% of all the ply. It is a light coloured ply with little or no knots. Comes in various quality grades. Commonly used in furniture and when you need better quality than Far Eastern Ply.
- Standard Far Eastern Hardwood ply. The most common type seen in DIY retail stores. Quality not great but OK for general applications.
- Wisa Spruce Ply – A quality softwood ply. Has a knotty surface, not great for damp environment but OK for general use.
- Marine Ply. Looks similar to Far Eastern Ply but has little or no voids in the laminates and uses better wood and glue grades. The most expensive standard plywood.
- Laminated Plys. Birch ply with various plastic surface laminates can be also cut comes in different colours.