Plywood 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Plywood

Plywood is a versatile and durable material widely used in construction, furniture making, and many other applications. However, with various types, grades, and sizes available, choosing the right plywood for your project can be a daunting task. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

How Thick is Normal Ply?

The thickness of plywood can vary greatly depending on its intended use. However, common thicknesses for general-purpose plywood range from 3.6mm to 25mm. For most interior projects, such as furniture and paneling, 12mm to 18mm thickness is often used.

Which Ply is Best?

The “best” ply depends largely on the specific requirements of your project. However, hardwood plywood, such as birch or oak, is often considered superior due to its strength, durability, and attractive grain pattern. For outdoor projects, marine plywood is best as it’s water-resistant.

How Many kg is 18mm Ply?

The weight of plywood can vary based on its size and the type of wood used. On average, an 18mm thick, 8×4 feet plywood sheet weighs approximately 40-50 kg.

Which Grade Ply is Best?

Plywood comes in various grades, from A (the highest quality) to D (the lowest). The best grade depends on your project. For visible surfaces like furniture, Grade A is best. For structural or hidden uses, lower grades like C or D are adequate.

Which Ply is Costly?

Hardwood plywood, such as oak or birch, tends to be more expensive due to its high quality and attractive appearance. Additionally, specialty plywoods, like marine or aircraft-grade, are also costly due to their enhanced properties and performance.

What is the Cheapest Plywood?

Softwood plywood, made from pine or spruce, is typically the cheapest option. It’s suitable for many applications, but it’s less durable and attractive than hardwood plywood.

Is MDF Better Than Plywood?

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) and plywood have different strengths. MDF offers a very smooth surface ideal for painting, but it’s less durable and moisture-resistant than plywood. Plywood, on the other hand, is stronger and more versatile but has a rougher surface.

Why is MDF So Cheap?

MDF is cheaper than many other wood products because it’s made from recycled wood waste. The manufacturing process is also relatively simple, contributing to its lower cost.

Which is Better: HDHMR or Plywood?

High-Density High Moisture Resistant (HDHMR) board and plywood both have their merits. HDHMR boards are denser and more moisture-resistant than standard plywood, making them a good choice for kitchen cabinets and other areas prone to moisture. However, plywood is more flexible and versatile for a variety of applications.

Is HDF Better Than Plywood?

High-Density Fiberboard (HDF) is harder and more dense than plywood, making it more resistant to damage. However, plywood is more flexible and resilient, making it better for applications that require bending or shaping.

Which Ply is Best for Kitchen?

Marine plywood or HDHMR boards are often recommended for kitchens due to their high moisture resistance. They can withstand the high humidity and occasional spills common in kitchens without warping or swelling.

Which is More Expensive: Plywood or HDHMR?

Generally, HDHMR boards are more expensive than standard plywood due to their enhanced properties. However, prices can vary based on the specific product, brand, and location.

What Thickness Plywood is Best?

The best thickness depends on the project. For structural applications, thicker plywood (18mm to 25mm) is recommended for its strength. For furniture and paneling, 12mm to 18mm thickness is commonly used.


Choosing the right plywood involves considering factors like the project requirements, budget, and desired appearance. By understanding the properties and uses of different types of plywood, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

1 thought on “Plywood 101: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Plywood”

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