Panels made of plywood are made up of thin layers of wood veneer, called lamins, which are glued together, then stacked long grain – cross grain to form the panels. The outer layers of plywood are usually of better quality in order to give the best finish.
Dealers in India commonly refer to Commercial Ply as MR grade, and waterproof plywood as BWP/BWR grade plywood when they talk about waterproof plywood. However there are many shopkeepers as well as interior designers who often refer to BWP/BWR grade plywood as ‘Marine ply’.
Aesthetics : It is used as core material only. However aesthetics is achieved by decorating it from the following.
- Acrylic sheets
- Lacquered Glass
Grades : Plywood come in different grades based on the requirement.
- MR grade (Moisture Resistant) : It is also called as Commercial ply. The most common type of plywood used for indoor furniture. This plywood can resist a certain amount of humidity or dampness. It is usually used in dry areas, for applications such as wardrobe cabinets, crockery cabinets, pooja room, etc. The Indian Standards quality specifications for MR type of plywood are described as IS: 303.
- Marine grade : Marine Plywood is of a superior quality compared to Commercial ply. It is usually used in wet areas, for applications such as kitchen cabinets, Vanity cabinets and other industrial uses where the plywood is bound to get a prolonged exposure to water. The Indian Standards quality specifications for marine type of plywood are described as IS: 710. So for kitchen furniture using BWP/BWR is quite common.
- FR grade : Fire Retardant : Used in places where fire risks have to be reduced such as in the case of public theatres, malls or shopping complexes, restaurant kitchens, etc. The surface of this type of plywood is treated with chemicals that delay the burning process of wood (hence called fire retardant). Indian standards number IS: 5509.
- Termite-Resistant and Borer-proof : As the name suggests, offers protection from external pests that can destroy the wood.
- Flexible Plywood : Also called ‘flexi ply’ in India. This type of plywood is not stiff and can be easily rolled up. Useful for creating rounded shapes in furniture.
Cost : Cost of marine ply is more than commercial ply. carpentry done from plywood is expensive compared to Engineered Boards.