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What are Commercial Plywood – It’s Types and Sizes

By November 04 , 2019

Plywood is considered to be the cheapest and the best alternative to wood for making furniture, cabinets, paneling and even in industrial applications. It is because plywood is strong and impact resistant to a certain extent and it is available in easily workable sheet form when compared to wood.

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What is commercial plywood?

There are different grades of plywood. The commercial plywood is the standard plywood that you can access in any hardware store when you ask for plywood. The commercial plywood is usually a grade of plywood that is quite cheap because it is manufactured out of veneers or slices of woods called the ply which is glued or bonded together under high pressure.  The commercial plywood is also termed MR plywood where MR denotes moisture resistant. This means that the plywood can withstand a fair amount of dampness, humidity, and moisture.  The commercial plywoods are made with different types of veneers that are popular in a particular geographical location. You have commercial plywood made of Rubber veneers in the south whereas, you have veneers made of eucalyptus in some other place.

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On the basis of manufacturing of commercial plywood, you do have a commercial plywood type called the Alternate commercial plywood. This refers to the type of plywood that is manufactured using two different species of veneer. For example, Fir and Eucalyptus veneers or any other such combination can be used to make commercial plywoods.

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Related Post: What is plywood & it’s types

Types of Commercial Plywoods

The types of commercial plywoods include

Types based on the veneer of wood used.

Hardwood plywood- This refers to the plywood that is manufactured by bonding together veneers from hardwood.

Softwood plywood- This refers to the use of veneers of softwoods or softwood chips that are glued together that are then heat pressed in the manufacturing of softwood plywood.

Types based on the number of plies

A number of plies refer to the layers of veneers or thin slices of wood that is used in the manufacturing of the plywood.  Based on the number of plies you have

  • 3-ply
  • 5-ply
  • 7-ply
  • 9-ply

The plywood tends to be expensive as the number of ply increases.

Types Based on Properties

Based on the properties of the plywood you have.

MR- Moisture resistant plywood that is resistant moisture, humidity, and dampness to some extent.

BWR- This refers to Boiling waterproof property of the plywood.

Commercial Plywood Sizes

The standard dimension of plywood is 4 feet by 8 feet. You may have hardwood plywood in less than standard size measuring about 2X2, 2X4 AND 4X4 feet.  There is also the utility grade plywood that is longer than usual commercial plywood sizes and is about 4X10 foot.

Are marine ply and commercial MR plywood the same?

No, the major difference between commercial ply vs marine ply,  irrespective of whether the commercial plywood is MR grade is that the marine ply is completely waterproof and is manufactured especially for use in marine applications. But, even the high-quality MR grade commercial plywood cannot match it. they are only moisture resistant to some extent. Marine plywood is costlier than the commercial plywood and is stronger than it too. Another factor that differentiates and makes the marine plywood superior to commercial plywood is the type of glue that is used to bond the plies.  The commercial plywoods are bonded using urea formaldehyde with undiluted phenolic resin while the marine plywood is bonded using plastic phenol resin you get from phenol formaldehyde.   This is a synthetic plastic resin that makes the marine plywood waterproof. This makes the marine ply superior when considering commercial plywood vs marine plywood

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What is the difference between a commercial board and commercial plywood?

Apart from the comparison of the commercial plywood with marine plywood some another comparison that is usually done is commercial board Vs commercial plywood. Commercial board refers to the medium density fiber boards. The difference, however, is that the commercial plywoods are made by gluing together piles of wood, while the boards are made of fine particles of wood called wood fibers into which the glue is mixed and then compressed under high pressure. Otherwise, all other aspects including the glue seem to be at par apart from the feature that it is possible to have pre-laminated article boards which can be used for decorative purposes and furniture making. In case of commercial plywood decorative laminates have to be glued manually to the plywood. However, plywood is durable and stronger than particle boards.