Types of Plywood, Grades, and Sizes

Types of Plywood, Grades, and Sizes

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Plywood is an essential material used in constructing and furnishing homes. An estimated 680 million cubic feet of plywood is produced every year. Owing to the mass production and demand, the global plywood market is expected to reach a valuation of more than 9000 million USD by 2027.

But before we talk about plywoods and different plywood sheet further, you must understand that all of them are not the same. The plywood material comes in various types, grades, and sizes, creating a major difference. This blog will give you an insight into the types, grades, and sizes of plywoods.

Types of Plywood

Choosing the right plywood type for your home or other projects is not easy and requires a lot of planning. Thus, you should be acquainted with the types of plywood mentioned below.


Finding its purpose in making roofs, walls, and ceilings, softwood is one of the most common types of plywood. It is made from the wood of three specific trees: Pine, Fir, Spruce, Chir, and Silver Fir.  


As the name suggests, it is the opposite of softwood in every sense as it serves its purpose in the areas that require strength. They are also usually waterproof and are made from Birch, Oak, or Mahogany trees.


Ash, maple, and the trio of hardwood serving plywood trees, birch oak, and mahogany, are used to make the overlay plywood. They are majorly used to cover the surfaces of various objects serving decorative purposes and are smooth. Overlay plywood can also hold onto the paint and other materials.

Bending plywood

These are single-ply plywood, meaning they are not multiple layers and are usually hardwood ply. As their name suggests, they are easily bendable and are thus used in areas where flexibility is required. These plywood sheets are used for decorative purposes and may not be helpful in other areas. 

Marine plywood

Marine plywoods are used in areas where you need water or in spaces that use water like kitchens, bathrooms, boats or even ships. They are very durable and highly resistant to water.

Aircraft plywood

The name sells off its purpose in being used in aircraft. They are top-grade durable plywood and can also be used in musical instruments. They are made from the wood of mahogany, spruce, or bunch trees. Their resistance to heat and humidity makes them stand out in the crowd.

Various types of plywoods that are not as common also exist and may be made by combining two or more woods. 

Understanding The Plywood sheets

Numerous plywood sheets are available in the market, but they differ in quality. So let’s discuss them further.

Think of plywood sheets as your exam grades. ‘A’ being the highest and ‘D’ being the lowest, with ‘X’ representing exterior usage.

  • A Grade

It is the highest quality plywood and has a smooth, bump-free surface.

  • B Grade

Second, in line, this grade of plywood sheet may come with some knots that are less than 1 inch in size.

  • C Grade 

These sheets come with 1.5-inch knots and knotholes of less than 1 inch. 

  • D Grade

A 2.5inch knot or knothole characteristic best describes this type of plywood. However, they find significantly rarer use in the larger picture because of the quality.

  • X Grade

X-rated plywood tells us that it is supposed to be used on the exteriors or in general.

Plywood can come as a combination of two grades, with one letter representing the quality of each side. An ‘X’ rating can also accompany the letter in the grading, telling us that it is a mixture of two grade ply and exists for use on the exterior side.

All About Plywood Sheet Sizes

Plywood comes in various sizes as per their use. A ‘2×2’ and ‘2×4’ dimension is expected in the plywood circuit. The breadth can go from ⅛ inch to 1¼ inch in the thickness department. The plys also need polishing before finally being ready for use to lose up to 1/32 inch thickness. 

Once you know the quality, type, grading, and size of the plywood sheet, you can take a call as to which plywood will suit you the best. All kinds of plywood find their purpose in different areas. For example, decorative plywood may not necessarily serve its use in one particular area, and similarly, hardwood plywood used for construction purposes will not cover just one place. You may need a combination of plywood in some cases.

The Bottom Line 

With the expertise and years of knowledge, Sylvan Ply has helped millions of customers opt for suitable plywood and provided them with quality products. With a varied range to choose from, you can select which plywood suits you the best and fits your needs. Please browse through our collection of plywoods available at Sylvan Ply and give any space a breath of fresh look.

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