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Materials To Consider

Most common uses of plywood

Plywood is a versatile material that has many purposes. It can be used for construction, crafts, and even furniture. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common uses of plywood. We will also give tips on selecting the correct type of plywood for your project. So, whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, read on to learn more about this great material!

What is plywood?

Plywood is a wood panel made from multiple plies of wood, known as veneers, that are glued together using an adhesive. It is a highly versatile material that can be used for various applications, from construction to furniture-making. Plywood is composed of an odd number of veneers (usually three or five), with the grain of each sheet running in alternate directions. This cross-grain construction gives these panels greater strength and stability than boards made from solid wood.

When choosing plywood for a project, it is essential to consider the grade, thickness, and intended use. Various types of plywood include hardwood, softwood, marine plywood and tropical plywood.

How is plywood made?

Plywood is made by glueing multiple layers of wood together under intense pressure and heat. This timber product is widely used in construction because of its durability and flexibility, making it an extremely versatile material. Different woods are sourced from various trees resulting in plywood with varying amounts of strength and uses. For example, hardwood plywood is made from trees such as bird, poplar and maple, whilst softwood plywood is made from trees such as Luan and Hoop Pine.

Once these trees have been cut down, this timber is processed for plies of veneers to be made. To do this, the wood blocks are soaked for an extended period to soften them and then thinly sliced into veneers. The wood veneers are then glued together to form what we call plywood. Different glues can be used, making some types of plywood more suitable for specific uses. For example, marine-grade plywood is designed to resist moisture and decay, making it ideal for boatbuilding, while interior plywood is suitable for use in dry conditions. 

Uses of plywood

Exterior walls

One of the most common uses for plywood is exterior walls; because exterior walls can go up against the elements, it's essential to use plywood that is designed for outdoor use. It's no surprise then to learn that exterior plywood is the type that is used for building walls for hours.

Exterior plywood is made from hardwood, meaning it has strong durability, making it ideal for this use. Exterior plywood is also used for sheathing, which involves using a panel of plywood to provide an extra layer of structural integrity to protect against potential impacts and help temperature regulation. 

Interior walls

As well as exterior walls, plywood is also commonly used for interior walls due to its strength and flexibility. This makes it great for use as panels or framing of the interior walls, as a plywood panel can be used to provide an extra bit of structural integrity to the inside of the house.

Low-grade plywood is often used for interior walls as it is often covered with another layer, such as drywall. It is not about aesthetics here but more about providing structural support. However, that's not to say that higher-grade plywood sheets are also used for interior walls, as they can be painted or stained, giving a natural wood finish that many people like. 

Furniture 

Furniture is commonly made out of plywood for a variety of reasons, including both indoor and outdoor furniture. Hardwood plywood is used when building furniture, including anything from desks, wardrobes, chests of drawers and many other common types of furniture that can be found inside the house. Birch Plywood is the most common type of hardwood that is used for furniture due to its durability, strength and stability. 

Flooring

Plywood is excellent for structural applications and one of its best uses for flooring and roofing. Plywood sheathing is commonly used for permanent fixtures that need structurally sound designs, making this type of wood trendy for floors, roofing and walls. As well as indoor flooring, hardwood plywood is excellent for outdoor use when it comes to flooring such as decking. 

Roofing

Exterior plywood is particularly well-suited for roofing applications, as it provides good protection against weather damage while being relatively inexpensive. In addition, plywood is less likely than solid wood to warp or crack over time, making it a more reliable material for use in roofing.

Marine related use

Because ships are exposed to water and heavy weather conditions, a specific type of exterior plywood must be used. This is called marine plywood, and this is used for wet, humid or moist conditions, which is why it is used for ship construction or docks. 

This type of plywood is the best for outdoor use due to the high-grade wood veneers and the glue that is used to bind them together. However, a common misconception is that marine plywood is waterproof. The adhesive used to combine the ply is waterproof; however, this does not make the plywood waterproof, but it does make it the most water-resistant plywood available. It is also made of multiple face and core veneers to create as little space between the plywood sheets as possible.

Skate ramps

Whilst many sheet materials can be used for skateboarding ramps, such as metal and plastic, plywood is one of the most common and favoured materials. Baltic Birch plywood is commonly used for skateboard ramps due to its durability and flexibility, making it ideal for bending into the "U" shape. Plywood is also more smooth than other sheet materials and woods, making it friendly and easy for skateboarding wheels to roll over them.

DIY 

Plywood sheets' convenience and durability make them commonly used by those who enjoy DIY. As well as this, plywood is much lighter than solid wood, making it easier to transport and work with for those who want to undertake DIY projects.

Plywood - Your ultimate building material

The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to plywood. Its convenience, durability and lightweight build make it a fantastic choice for various uses from home building, ship and aviation to DIY birdhouses. 

If you're looking to buy high-quality plywood for a construction job or need it for your next big DIY project, browse Cworkshop today. Specialising in a range of high-grade plywood, including softwood, hardwood plywood, veneered plywood and high-grade birchwood, Cworkshop have what you need no matter the task.