Plywood Buying Guide


These have quiet a few grades and types and these find applications in wide areas in different places like Hyderabad or Mumbai. For example, laminated is ideal for furniture in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and in public areas. The rates vary based on various brands and the types and grades and obviously the quality.

Plywood is made by assembling number of veneers in defined pattern to get uniform strength in different directions. Typically the veneers are strong in the direction of grains and hence veneers assembled in different directions provide strength in different directions.
The veneers are coated with synthetic resin and then assembled. The assembled mat is hot pressed to form it into a plywood.
Smaller factories make them using plantation wood primarily due to absense of quality logs. They are made by logs such as imported Gurjan, Silver Oak,Eucalyptus, Popular and other African wood.


A vast number of varieties exist for different applications - these depend on wood from which they are made.

Softwood is usually made either of spruce, pine, and fir, and is typically used for construction and industrial purposes.

Decorative is usually faced with hardwood, including red oak, birch, maple, lauan (Philippine mahogany) and a large number of other hardwoods.

For indoor use uses urea-formaldehyde glue that has limited water resistance. Outdoor and marine grade use water resistant phenol-formaldehyde glue to prevent decay and preserve strenght in humid environment.

Other types are fire retardant, moisture resistant, marine grade, sign grade, pressure treated, hardwood and softwood plywoods. Each of these products are designed to fill a need in industry.

MR - Moisture resistant

BWR (Boiling Water Resistant)

Applications: Quality Furniture, Structural work in interior design, Auto Motive Coach Building, Match-plates in Foundries.

BWP (Boiling Water proof)

Applications: Furniture and structures exposed to heavily fluctuating humidity Cycles, Furniture used in washrooms, bath rooms and kitchens, Match plates in Foundries.


Applications: Boat Building, Load and stress Bearing Industrial uses.

Resin Surfaced Shuttering

Applications: Industrial Filters, Panelling and ceiling substrate in Hotels, Hospitals, Theatres, etc. Recommended for all safety conscious people.


Applications: Gliders, Small Aircraft manufacture.
They are made from mahogany and/or birch, and use adhesives with increased resistance to heat and humidity.

Fire Retardant

Applications: Industrial Filters, Panelling and ceiling substrate in Hotels, Hospitals, Theatres, etc. Recommended for all safety conscious people.


  • High uniform strength It is 45 times stronger along the grain than across the grain. The strength can be made equal in all directions by crossing 2 sheets of this wood.
  • Non-splitting qualities:It can easily be nailed or screwed near the edges as splitting does not cause any damage like in other wood.
  • Removal of shrinking, swelling and warping: The construction of a panel with the grain direction of adjacent veneers at right angles equalises stress and reduces shrinkage, swelling and warping.
  • Availability of relatively large sizes: It can be sold in larger sizes compared to sawn timber which can have long lenghts but the width is narrow.
  • Economical and effective utilisation of figured wood: Sheets can be glued to core of cheaper material can produce a high grade panel. This typically cannot be duplicated with other materials.
  • Fabrication of curved surfaces:Curved surfaces and shapes can be readily fabricated in construction, utilising male and female forms, or a single forming a vacuum press or autoclave.
  • Reduction of waste: The waste is reduced from whatever waste happens in sawing. This results in conservation of timber.
  • Wood can be sliced and bonded into panels for use in furniture construction. Furniture from timber or other would is heavy and can't ususally have other wood panels.

There are many possibilities of furniture made by plywood. Check this cool Cowrie Rocker, a rocking chair made by London based designer Brodie Neill. The designer has designed this unique piece of furniture for London-based design brand Made in Ratio.

Cowrie Rocker

Image courtesy: Homecrux

Infinity Bench Design by Carl Fredrik Svenstedt is another remarkable design.

Infinity Bench



Century Ply


- By Saurabh Srivastava

Also see,

Types of Wood for Furniture

Furniture Buying Guide