Different Grades of Plywood

Plywood is a wooden product that is made from thin slices of wood. It is used in making home furniture and also in the flooring system. It is has a high strength, more flexible and moisture resistant.

Plywood Grades
Courtesy - 123rf

Plywood is made by gluing together several layers of veneers (thin slices of wood) under heat and pressure. It is made from uniform quality veneer which is made from hard wood species. The veneer sheets are bonded with phenol formaldehyde BWP grade resin under high temperature, using pre- pressed technology.

Also Read: What is a Plywood?

Different types of plywood are available based on usage of wood, its indoor and outdoor uses, its grade, etc.

Here, we give different grades of plywood which are as under:

01. Moisture Resistant (MR) Grade Plywood:

It is also known as Commercial plywood. It is interior grade plywood and is used for making indoor furniture.

The term moisture resistant (MR) may be a little bit confusing in this regard. But one should note that ‘moisture resistant’ does not mean ‘waterproof’. It means that the plywood is capable of resisting humidity and moisture.

The MR plywood is most commonly used for making home and office furniture. It cost more than commercial MR grade ply, but it is better for making furniture that is likely to get wet i.e. kitchen cabinets.

02. Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) Grade Plywood:

It is waterproof plywood.  It is widely used for making home and office furniture that is likely to get wet.  It is exterior grade plywood that can be used for indoor, semi-outdoor and outdoor use.

It is better and costlier than MR grade plywood. Along with commercial MR grade plywood, it is the best selling type of plywood in India.

It can resist water better than the Interior grade MR (Moisture resistant) plywood. Phenolic resins are used in its making. Phenol formaldehyde adhesive (Phenolic resin), which is a synthetic plastic resin, gives the plywood its waterproofing qualities.

Also Read: Is Waterproof Plywood Myth or Fact?

For Kitchen cabinets and other kitchen furniture, BWR grade is the preferred choice of plywood.

03. Marine Grade Plywood or Boiling Water Proof (BWP) Plywood:

It is superior grade plywood which is higher in quality and strength as compared to both MR and BWR grade plywood. It is superior quality plywood that is used in exterior applications.

It is mainly used for marine applications.

Marine plywood is most commonly used in applications where the ply is going to get a prolonged exposure to water. It is the best choice for marine applications such as all the woodwork required for building ships and boats. It is mainly used in exterior applications such as boat-building, and not for building stylish furniture.

The other grades of plywood are:

a) Flexible Grade Plywood:

This type of plywood is not stiff and can be easily rolled up. It is used for creating rounded shapes in furniture.It is commonly known as ‘flexi ply’ in India.

b) Fire Retardant (FR) Grade Plywood:

The surface of this plywood is treated with chemicals that delay the burning process of wood. It is used at places where fire risks have to be reduced such as in shopping complexes, public theaters, restaurant kitchens, etc.

c) Industrial Grade Plywood:

This grade of plywood includes structural plywood and phenolic film-faced concrete shuttering plywood. The plywood emits volatile gases and is injurious to health. The green building concept therefore now m provides limit on volatile compound content which are safe for health of human beings.

Must Read:
Advantages & Disadvantages of Plywood
Plywood vs Blockboard: How to Make the Right Choice

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One Reply to “Different Grades of Plywood”

  1. So I’ll be adding some bits to my home this winter and I’ll be needing to get some new plywood. Of the types you listed, I will probably have to get the marine grade plywood. All of the constructing will be done outside so it makes sense as this type is for exterior applications. Now the only thing left for me to do is just find somewhere to buy it!

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