From chair backs to bowling alley lanes, hardwood does it all. This strong, versatile plywood board is most commonly used in structural and exterior applications such as floors, decks and furniture, provided it is properly sealed. Previously referred to as WBP plywood (WBP standing for Weather and Boil Proof), this terminology has now been superseded by the EN13986 and EN636 classifications.
The most popular thicknesses available are 9mm, 12mm and 18mm, all of which come in 8x4 sheets. All of our general-use hardwood plywood sheet materials (made from birch veneers) meet level 2 under these classifications.
Let's check the specs:
As the 'marine' in its title would suggest, marine plywood is second to none when it comes to water resistance. Offering a superior grade to standard hardwood plywood, it is manufactured using waterproof glue, making it suitable for external applications. To give an idea of its water resistance, it is often used in the building of boats. It is safe to say that if it can withstand the sea, then a little rain in the UK isn’t likely to cause it any great trouble.
As well as being weather resistant, it is also stronger than hardwood plywood, offering excellent strength in any structural or load-bearing application, typically being used as a sturdy subfloor beneath heavy ceramic floor tiling.
Let's check the specs and many benefits of using marine plywood:
For further details on both materials, be sure to check out the 'Technical Downloads' (which can be found on every product page). Here you can find a manufacturer's datasheet and a wealth of facts and specifications.
Plywood is made from wood species such as spruce, pine and fir. When manufacturing plywood, each individual adjacent layer is rotated from 45-90 degrees so the wood grain is going in different directions in each layer, which improves strength and prevents warping. This is otherwise known as cross-graining, which means the growth lines are not adjacent to the long edge of the board. This adds to the strength of the finished product and explains its enduring popularity as a building product
Our hardwood structural plywood can be used as exterior and interior applications, provided they are sealed correctly. External plywood board is a versatile material, the layers have a negligible core gap which limits the amount that can get into the plywood. It is moisture-resistant and water-resistant and is perfectly suited for structural tasks where occasional wetting may occur. We also carry marine plywood on our site which is even better suited to outdoor use.
As is the case with all our materials, correct installation should be ensured in order for materials to work correctly.
It is entirely possible to paint plywood, as long as the appropriate primer and paint are used to do the job. You should consider what you wish the outcome to be before starting. If it is to be something artistic then acrylic primer and paints should be considered but if you want to paint a plywood floor in your home, a heavy duty acrylic latex or oil-based paint should be considered. On the other hand, if it is only a small project, spray paint may suffice.
It may be worth choosing a roller if the area you intend to paint is a large one. Remember to ensure that the roller is one that is compatible with the type of paint and primer that you are using. It is also important to sand the plyboard smooth before painting it and you can get coarse sandpaper of around 80-100 grit or use a sanding block or machine to do this.
After the sanding is complete, you may notice that there are some obvious holes in the plywood that need filling and this can be done using wood filler and a putty knife, before sanding it smooth once it has dried in.
Before priming and painting, remember to mask off any areas that you don’t want to paint, so that there are no problems later on.
“How big is a sheet of plywood” is a common question we get asked, and it depends whether you mean plywood sheet thickness in mm or the dimensions in either metric or imperial. The standard dimensions are 2440mm x 1220mm or 8” x 4” respectively whereas plywood sheet thickness can vary.
Thin plywood sheets start at 5.5mm and large plywood sheets go all the way up to 25mm, depending on your requirements. We have a wide variety of different thicknesses to suit the type of job you need to do. It should be noted that Marine plywood, while thinner than our other plywood, actually has more density to it, so while the sheets can be thinner, they are actually more durable than a hardwood plywood sheet of the same thickness.