Plywood is one of the versatile building materials that can be used in everything from furniture to house construction. It is a wooden panel made by stacking of several thin layers of wood veneers. Plywood is used in almost all the furniture like sofa, cupboards, kitchen cabinets, drawers, etc.
When you are going to buy plywood from the shop, you may hear about different grades of plywood such as BWR plywood, MR plywood, BWP plywood, etc. By knowing these plywood grades, you can determine the quality of plywood and can also decide where it can be used.
Also Read: Properties of Plywood as a Building Material
Here, In this article, we have listed the most common plywood grades that are available in the market:
Grades of Plywood
01. Moisture Resistant (MR) Grade Plywood
MR grade plywood means moisture resistant plywood. It is also known as commercial plywood. In moisture resistant plywood, urea formaldehyde resin is used for bonding the plies with each other. Remember that ‘moisture resistant’ does not mean ‘waterproof’. It means that the plywood is capable of resisting humidity and moisture, and it is not resistant to water. So, this type of plywood is not used for making furniture that are continuously in contact with water.
MR grade plywood is an interior grade of plywood therefore it is suitable for indoor use, not for exterior. It can be used in wall mounted cabinets, kitchen shelves, partition, wardrobes, TV tables, showcases, etc.
The thickness of moisture resistant plywood is 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, 12mm, 15mm, 18mm, 21mm, 25mm as per IS 303. It is less costly as compared to BWR grade of plywood. The price of such plywood approximately ranges from Rs.40 to 189 per sq.ft.
Also Read: Advantages & Disadvantages of Plywood
02. Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) Grade Plywood
BWR grade plywood means Boling Water Resistant Plywood. It is a waterproof plywood. It can resist water better than MR plywood. BWR plywood is glued using phenol formaldehyde adhesive (phenolic resin), which is a synthetic plastic resin. This synthetic plastic resin helps in making plywood waterproof. It is not 100% waterproof as compared to BWP plywood.
Boiling water resistant plywood is an exterior grade of plywood. Therefore, it can be used for furniture that likely to get wet, i.e. kitchen cabinet, lawn chairs, garden tables, etc.
As per IS 303, the thickness of BWR plywood is 4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 16mm, 19mm, 25mm. BWR grade plywood is more expensive than MR plywood. The price of this type of plywood is around Rs.50 to 267 per sq. ft. It is the best-selling plywood grade in India.
Also Read: Is Waterproof Plywood Myth or Fact?
03. Boiling Water Proof (BWP) Grade Plywood or Marine Grade Plywood
BWP grade plywood means Boiling Water Proof Plywood. It is popularly known as Marine Grade Plywood. BWP plywood is made up single select hardwood species and bonded with boiling water proof synthetic undiluted phenol formaldehyde adhesive. It is superior grade of plywood which is higher in quality and strength as compared to both MR and BWR plywood.
Marine plywood or BWP grade plywood is most commonly used in applications where the plywood has prolonged exposure to water. It is the best choice for marine applications such woodwork for building ships and boats. It cannot be used to build stylish furniture.
The thickness of boiling water proof plywood is 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 16mm, 19mm, etc. as per IS. The price of this type of plywood is approximately ranges from Rs. 52 to 300 per sq.ft.
Also Read: Blockboard: Properties You Need to Know!
Other Plywood Grades
The Other Plywood are:
I. Flexible Plywood:
Flexible plywood is commonly known as ‘flexi ply’ in India. This grade of plywood is not stiff and can be easily rolled up. Therefore, it is used for creating rounded shapes in furniture.
II. Fire Retardent Plywood or FR Plywood:
Fire retardant plywood is used at places where fire risks have to be reduced such as in shopping complexes, public theaters, restaurant kitchens, etc. The surface of fire retardant plywood is treated with fire retardant chemicals during manufacturing so that it becomes better at resisting fire. It is also known as FR grade plywood.
Nowadays, the two most commonly used plywood grades for home furniture are the MR plywood and waterproof BWR plywood. Choose the right grade of plywood according to your requirement and budget.
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