Plywood is a material manufactured from thin layers or “plies” of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. It is an engineered wood from the family of manufactured boards which includes medium-density fibreboard and particle board.

Basic types of plywood:

  • Commercial MR Grade for interior use: Commercial plywood generally refers to the grade of plywood, most often referring to MR (Moisture Resistant) Grade plywood (IS 303) which is basically the cheapest grade plywood available in the market. These plywood are generally made from a combination of softwood & hardwood timber or just softwood timber species.
  • BWR (water resistance) or BWP (waterproof) grade for exterior use: The BWP (Boiling Waterproof) grade is generally used to indicate grade of External grade block boards (which are different from plywood and consist of blocks of softwood at the core) and BWR (Boiling Water Resistant) grade is used to indicate External grade plywood. They are made using phenolic resins and are adequately waterproof.
  • Marine Plywood: Marine Plywood is of superior quality compared to Commercial ply and it also costs a lot more. It is not usually used for indoor applications such as making furniture. It is rather used for applications such as for boat building and other industrial uses where the plywood is bound to get prolonged exposure to water. Commonly used for marine applications such as in the construction of boats and ships. Has better resistance to water than any other type of plywood.

Classification of plywood based on size, thickness and number of plies:

The table below lists the standard plywood sizes in India in square feet as well as lists the corresponding value in mm.

Plywood Size in sq. feet Corresponding size in mm (millimeters) (rounded up)
8′ x 4′ 2440 x 1220
8′ x 3′ 2440 x 920
7′ x 4′ 2140 x 1220
7′ x 3′ 2140 x 920
6′ x 4′ 1830 x 1220
6′ x 3′ 1830 x 920

The thickness of plywood sheets is also largely standardized and measured in mm (millimeters).
The table below lists the thickness range available for the various grades of plywood.

Plywood grade Thickness in mm
MR grade (Moisture Resistant) 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 18, 21, 25 mm
BWR grade (Boiling Water Resistant) 4, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19, 25 mm
Shuttering plywood 6, 12, 15, 18, 21, 25 mm
Block boards* 19, 25 mm

Categorization based on the particular wood (tree) used in its making.

For example:
Gurjan plywood: The most popular wood used in India for making plywood is Gurjan wood. Gurjan plywood, made from the wood of the Gurjan trees. The medium hardwood obtained from these trees is of good quality and is engineered to produce the Gurjan plywood sheets that we use. Compared to teak wood Gurjan is slightly heavier and stiffer, and has excellent strength, durability, and beautiful reddish-brown color.
Teak plywood: Teak wood is a strong and attractive material that has been in fashion for a long time. It is also very strong and durable and has natural oil within its cells because of which it has a natural resistance against termites and pests.