While there are quite a number of options on the market, some of the more popular types of plywood include:
- Marine plywood
- Birch plywood
- Form plywood
- Non-structural plywood
- ShadowClad Plywood
Let’s take a look at these types of plywood sheets in more detail, and where you would normally use them.
Marine Plywood is a type of plywood sheet that is used in boats and other watercraft, and is designed to have better impact resistance, as well as being able to withstand the effects of water for much longer than a standard ply sheet.
Many people think that marine ply is waterproof but that’s actually not the case. It can certainly deal with moisture, but these plywood sheets are constructed with waterproof glue which is what gives them a better defence against water.
The moisture resistance does depend on the quality of the glue used, however, you do need to seal the exposed edges with a water repellent varnish or oil/wax product.
While you could certainly build a boat with marine ply, it is more commonly used in areas of the home that see a lot of moisture – benchtops, cabinets, bathrooms, kitchens, and boat decks and docks.
Birch plywood is one of the best quality ply that you can purchase. It provides a good combination between strength, looks and price, and it can be used in several situations.
A grade birch ply gives you a clean product that can be stained or clear finished for that natural birch look. B grade birch ply often has some small patches to cover knots in the timber, but these veneer patches don’t take too much away from the look of the timber.
Birch plywood is used for many home DIY projects including furniture building, shopfitting and general fit-outs. It can also be used in a range of laminated products including wardrobes, counters and benchtops.
Form ply is used in the construction industry, and specifically within concreting. It is a structural ply with a laminated outside face. It is generally used for concrete formwork, separating the concrete from the sealed edges. Form ply can be used in any construction project where you need strong structural support.
Form ply is also often used to construct shelves or benchtops where you require a higher load-bearing such as in a factory or office space.
Non-structural ply tends to be used for the aesthetic finish more than anything else. It is often used for furniture, flooring, ceilings, wall linings, and decorative finishes. This type of ply takes well to painting or staining, but does need to be well prepared if it is being used outside, and the lifespan will be a lot shorter.
The main difference between structural and non-structural ply is the glue that is used to bond the sheets during manufacturing. The glue used in non-structural ply can deteriorate quite quickly when exposed to humidity and fluctuations in the temperature.
ShadowClad is a structural plywood which can be used for creating beautiful exterior finishes on buildings. This material is an uncoated timber perfect for staining and painting. For internal use in dry areas, the timber can be clear coated for a natural timber look.
There are a number of reasons why ShadowClad is a popular product in the construction industry – it is lightweight, easy to use, flexible, durable, cost-effective and sustainable. ShadowClad is made from radiata pine, which is a well-managed plantation softwood timber grown across Australia and New Zealand.
Plywood has plenty of uses across the construction industry, as well as in marine and small projects. If you’re looking for various types of plywood for your next project, get in touch and let’s see how we can help.