Things to Keep in Mind while Buying Plywood

The construction of house involves more than 100 materials, and you will have to spend a lot of time towards buying all those materials. Buying all materials involves lot of stages like the selection of right product, search for the right supplier, right quality & specifications, delivery of the materials, checking the bills of material delivered, etc.

Must Read: Material Buying Guide in General

When one can go for buying or making the furniture of their house, they are confused between plywood, particleboard, blockboard, veneer, MDF, etc. So here we give you some basic tips for buying plywood which will help you in making better decision.

Also Read:  Make a Right Choice between Plywood & Blockboard
Courtesy - Shutterstock

In India, generally, plywood is popular as “Ply”. Nowadays, it is used in everything from furniture to construction of house. In market, it is available as sheets of wood. Buying plywood involves different stages like selecting the right grade of plywood, finding the right supplier, verifying quality, checking bills, etc.

(A) Personnel

01. Is Plywood Need or Desire?

Buying plywood may be your need, but the purpose for which you are buying may be your desire e.g. plywood for wardrobe, bed, dining table or luxurious show case. Hence make sure that you need that particular item or is it your mere desire?

02. Why you need Plywood?

Plywood in Flooring
Plywood in Flooring
Courtesy - Shutterstock

Plywood is most commonly used in furniture. You can also use it for wall partitions, kitchen cabinets, doors, stairs, roofs, etc. Also, assure whether you want to use it inside or outside and in a dry or humid or moist environment.  The structural strength of most of the elements today is derived from for plywood only. Hence its size and thickness are important. However, if ply is used over wooden frames, lesser thickness will also do. All this will change the specification and quality you need. If you are undertaking a large interior job, an interior designer or architect will help you in all such decision.

Also Read: What is Plywood?

03. Quality & Specification of Plywood

Quality & Specification of Plywood
Quality & Specification of Plywood
Courtesy - Shutterstock

Before buying plywood you need to ascertain;

  • Grade
  • Size
  • Thickness

There are some basic types of plywood available in the market, i.e.

  • Commercial Moisture Resistant (MR) Grade for interior use,
  • Waterproof Boling Water Resistant (BWR) grade for exterior use,
  • Marine Plywood, etc.

Some other types of plywood are Fire Retardant Plywood, Flexible Plywood, Structural Plywood, Decorative Plywood, etc. We have already discussed about different grades of plywood.

It should be impact resistant, fire resistant, high strength, thermal and sound insulation, etc. It should have resistance to cracking, splitting, shrinkage and twisting.

The most common size of plywood is 2449 x 1219 mm (8’x4’). The thicknesses of plywood may vary depending on the type of plywood, its manufacturer and origin. The thickness of plywood is between 3mm to 25mm.

The plywood contains VOC compounds which affects human health or have adverse effects on the environment. Some are carcinogens which may cause cancer. Never remain with such plywood for a longer time.

04. Study of Product Literature:

Details on Plywood Sheet
Details on Plywood Sheet
Courtesy - MultiPly

When you are buying plywood sheets, you have to study its literature and specification, which may be described on manufacturer’s website or on the plywood sheets.

The following details are generally written on the plywood sheet:

  • ISI Mark
  • Grade of Plywood
  • CM/L Number
  • Batch No.
  • Type of Plywood
  • of Piles
  • Thickness of Plywood
  • Year of Manufacture

(B) Finance:

01. Budget:

First, you should decide the overall budget of the house or an interior project. You have to decide grade and thickness of plywood you want. You have to use certain thickness for certain sizes and dimensions. But you can always choose between grades and save on cost.

02. Quantity you want to Buy:

You have to estimate the right quantity of plywood i.e. how many plywood sheets are needed and its size. It depends on the purpose for which you want to use the plywood. i.e. in kitchen cabinets, flooring, partition wall, etc. Buying size without application of mind will result in excessive wastage and hence cost. Ask your carpenter to workout exact, numbers and size from drawings.

03. From where you can buy the Plywood?

Once you estimate the right quantity of plywood, you should find the right suppliers or manufacturers of the plywood.

04. Cost of Transportation:

The cost of transporting plywood sheet depends on the location of the site from the manufacturer’s depot.  You can transport the plywood sheet by small vehicles or trucks. If you are buying one or two sheets of plywood, you can transport it by small vehicles.

(C) Quality & Brand:

01. Popular Brand of Plywood:

Brand of Plywood
Brand of Plywood
Courtesy - CenturyPly

Century Plyboards, GreenPly, National Plywood, Kitply, Sarda Plywood, Mayur Plywood, etc. are some popular brands. Some mini plywood sheet depot are also available in the market.

02. Testing:

Once you receive the plywood sheets on site, you have to check the quality of plywood sheet, i.e.

  • Measure the four edges of the ply to understand if any variation in thickness is present.
  • Move your hand slowly over the flat surface of the plywood and feel for any undulation on the surface. This undulation will again give an ugly finish to the surface after you have polished, laminated or painted the product. The uneven surface is also a sign of improper production techniques and lower strength.
Also Read:  Advantages & Disadvantages of Plywood

03. Certification of Plywood:

  • You have to check on plywood sheet whether it is marked with ISI mark or not. ISI mark is a sign minimum quality.
  • Also, check for IS: 303 mark for the interior grade (commercial Moisture Resistant (MR) grade), Boiling Water Resistant (BWR) or Boiling Water Proof (BWP) plywood sheets.
  • IS: 710 mark in the case of Marine Grade plywood sheets.

(D) Life of Plywood:

Storage of Plywood
Storage of Plywood
Courtesy - Shutterstock

The estimated life of plywood is around 10 to15 years if moisture or termite does not come in contact with it. If moisture or termite comes in contact with it, it may get deteriorate.

(E) Conclusion:

From the above factor, we can conclude that

  • Select the right grade of plywood as per your need. According to that find the right manufacturer or supplier of the plywood.
  • If you are buying more number of plywood sheets, try to place written order. This written order should include specifications, the quantity of plywood sheet, its size, thickness and grades, time of delivery, terms of payment, etc.
  • Once plywood sheets are delivered on site, check whether the plywood sheet does not have any damages. i.e, uneven surface, uniform thickness, etc.
  • Once you are satisfied with quality and quantity as per your requirement, make the payment and obtain the receipt of payment.
  • Preserve the bills given by the manufacturer. Keep them safe; you may need them in future in case of quality related issues.
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