If you are getting ready to start a new project, you might be shocked to know just how many different types of plywood are available. The variety of plywood available at your local hardwood store can make getting started really challenging. Your shopping trip might feel particularly overwhelming when it comes time to buy your materials.
With that said, it is really important to know how the different types of plywood differ so that you can be sure you are choosing the right one for your particular project. In this post, review 9 of the top types of plywood, and find the perfect plywood for your next project.
This type of plywood is made using softwoods. Those include redwood, cedar and pine. You might assume, given the name, that this type of plywood is not quite as strong as some others, but that is not actually the case. In fact, many construction projects call for the use of softwoods in roof sheathing, exterior frame sheathing, and sub-flooring. If you are planning on building a doghouse or shed, softwood plywood is a great option.
Aircraft plywood is perhaps the most durable of all kinds. This plywood is comprised of hardwoods, such as birch and mahogany. Not only is it incredibly strong, it also is resistant to both moisture and heat.
Even though this plywood is very durable, it is also quite flexible and light. There are not that many projects you would use this plywood around the house but one of them would be if you are planning on building any type of furniture. It is also used in the construction of airplanes and boats.
This type of plywood is typically constructed using three plies. There are usually two thin veneers on both sides along with a thick core. The veneers on the outside are usually constructed with hardwood while the core is usually made from strips of wood that are adhered together using glue.
Hardwood plywood is typically made using walnut, birch, maple or oak. It typically has anywhere from three to seven layers of hardwood. The finish on this type of plywood is particularly strong given how manufacturers glue the layers together. All layers are glued together at right angles. This type of plywood is a great option for projects like building musical instruments (guitars), packing cases, and furniture. It is mostly used for those projects that call for particularly strong frames.
Southern Yellow Pine
Southern Yellow Pine (often referred to as SYP) is plywood made from a designated group of four ‘Yellow Pine’ trees that grow in the Southern United States. Southern Yellow Pine plywood has a distinct grain pattern and is known for its high density, strength and softness. It is best used for projects that simultaneously require durability and a beautiful appearance.
Exterior plywood is marked by its properties that allow it to remain outdoors. It uses glue that is both weather- and water-resistant to keep the veneers together. This particular plywood is intended to handle all weather including rain and wind. That said, it is meant for maintaining a sturdy frame for a long time.
Exterior plywood usually has multiple veneers glued together, making it multi-ply. Exterior plywood can be made from a variety of different kinds of wood. If you live in an area that has particularly bad weather, you might consider exterior hardwood made from oak, which is known for its mildew- and mold- resistant properties.
Marine hardwood is created using water-resistant exterior glue. It is one of the highest graded plywoods on the market and is known for being resistant to both mildew and mold. It is not treated with any chemicals, so it does not resist decay and rot.
This type of plywood is a good option for outdoor decorations and furniture including benches and planter boxes.
Also known as sheathing plywood, structural plywood is used for its strength, particularly as it relates to building and framing. It requires the use of a very strong adhesive. This type of plywood is not that resistant to weather, though it is still used for outdoor projects, as well as interior ones. This plywood is usually a grade of C or D but does not go higher than that.
Overlaid plywood can be of either medium or high density. Those that are high-density use more resin than those that are medium density. Both types are durable and strong.
ACX plywood is typically considered quite high-grade, given its durability and strength. It is usually close to defect-free and can be used for projects that require lamination. This type of plywood is best used for projects that require a nice, defect-free appearance. This includes cabinets, shelves or other small furniture items.
Purchasing Different Types of Plywood
If you are looking for the right plywood for your project, reach out to Curtis Lumber & Plywood for more information and assistance. With their wide range of available products, and expect plywood consultants, you should have no problem finding and sourcing the plywood you need for your next construction project.