Formerly plywood was a priced commodity and there were very few high quality brands available on the market. There were no compromises made on the material or in the manufacturing process. However, today with the increasing demand, there has been a proliferation of substandard plywood suppliers entering the market.
Therefore, we suggest all our clients, and homeowners, to be aware of different grades of plywood and educate themselves on the best plywood brands in India. Also, homeowners should have basic knowledge on the types of plywood used in various areas to avoid cheating by the vendors and suppliers.
Know your product material before buying
Let’s say a homeowner asks for Marine plywood and is unaware of its quality and appearance. An unscrupulous shopkeeper will hand over commercial plywood in the name of Marine plywood. Not only that, he would also quote the standard plywood at double the price at the price of marine plywood. This is where homeowners are cheated in three ways. Firstly, they get a plywood type which they don’t want and it can decay or get ruined at a faster rate. Home owners will either throw away the product, or have to purchase a new one. Secondly, they are paying double the price for standard plywood; thirdly, the cost involved in remaking the product can get quite expensive.
So, it is important for every homeowner to have basic know-how about the plywood types and grades to avoid being cheated.
What are the different plywood grades?
Today plywood is not made from 2-3 different types of veneer species, but a variety of them like Gurjan, Maple, Cherry, Rubber, Mahogany and so on. You also have an alternate or combination of two veneer plywood. With the introduction of such a variety of grades and brands in plywood, many times even professionals in the same field get confused while buying.
These days low quality plywood is given a finish or color similar to that of a higher grade plywood. This makes it all the more difficult for not only home owners but also professionals to recognize the quality or grade of plywood, as well. There are commercial plywoods that are available without dipping, marine plywood, plywood’s with dipping, etc. If the commercial plywood is undergoing dipping then it becomes difficult to know the actual grade and quality of plywood. Dipping plywood is a process used to colour the plywood.
Compromises made by dealers
Many times a brand offers schemes and discounts that home owners may not be aware of. Here unethical dealers may sell plywood at the original cost to skim the margins. They may also resort to mis-selling customers lower grade plywood, taking advantage of the lack of awareness in the market. Iif the carpenter starts working on plywood immediately, it gets even more difficult to know the grade of plywood that is handed over. Therefore it’s very essential for home owners to learn the basics of identifying the different grades of plywood.
Percentage of cheating in market
It is estimated that only 30% of homeowners receive a grade of plywood they actually want. Most times, the homeowner gets cheated with the grade or with the type of plywood he wants. If at all a homeowner receives a grade of plywood he wants, he gets cheated on with the cost. He would end up paying double the price as they are not aware of market rates.
Identifying the best quality plywood for your home
When looking for the best plywood types in India, you must be smart and aware of the different brands and variants that are available in the market. There has always been a myth that plywood that is manufactured by top brands will always be of the best quality, but that’s not always true. The turnover of these brands is quite high, which means the manufacturing process is not done in-house. Usually, companies will outsource their plywood needs to countries like China, which compromises the quality as well. In the end, if you can’t trust the top brands then how can you identify the best plywood in India?
Steps you can follow to choose top quality plywood
Decide on the location of construction:
You must consider the location you want to renovate. For instance, if you want to build a bathroom door then you will have to go for water-resistant plywood, and if you’re looking for plywood for a kitchen table then it should be moisture and fire-resistant. You must determine the location and then look at the various plywood grades in India (Commercial, BWP, BWR), to select the right grade for your use case. If there is no proper research before choosing plywood, then the results can be disastrous.
Durability or appearance:
How to choose plywood? Well, if you’ve been pondering that question, some variants are known for their durability, while others are known for their stylish appearance. If you want to go for plywood that lasts way longer, but may not look as good as their ‘polished’ counterparts, then you will have to set aside a budget on staining and painting them before use.
Selecting the right grade:
When it comes to choosing the perfect plywood grades in India, look at the type of construction work. Heavy-duty construction work will need tough plywood that can withstand wear and tear. This plywood can be used for panels, kitchen tables, and so on. If you want material for objects that face light usage then you can invest in affordable plywood that will be used for partitioning a room or as the interiors of the cabinet. Either way, you will have to choose plywood that will give you optimum results and last for a long time as well.
Opt for hardwood plywood:
When selecting the best plywood for home furniture, ensure that you look at labels that say the product is 100 percent plywood. This will indicate that the wood comes from deciduous trees, which means that they will last for many years (if cared for properly). When you invest in this wood, you will save money in the long run because of the quality.
Look out for the ISI mark:
If you want to ensure longevity and good quality of constructed objects then ensure that you invest in plywood that has the ISI mark.
Select low emission plywood:
When choosing plywood types in India, ensure that you go for eco-friendly plywood. This way you will do your part in preserving nature while investing in a high-quality product.
Look for non-stained plywood:
Stained plywood may have some imperfections in the grains, and you may not notice them because they are hidden by said stains. So, if you want the best quality plywood, invest in unstained material and have it stained just before construction. This method is great because it will help you get the perfect stain which will match your home décor perfectly.
Do a touch test:
Some of the ways you can check the external quality are-
- Check if the plywood is smooth and that it doesn’t have any bumps
- All the four corners of the plywood should not have any thickness variations
- Check the weight of the plywood by lifting it on one side, heavyweight plywood will always have more density.
- Knock on the center of the plywood because this will help you know whether the material is hollow. If it’s not hollow then you will hear similar sounds on all parts of the plywood.
Ask for a sample:
When you take a sample of the plywood you want, you get to check whether it’s a full panel or full core. The wood core that is used can be identified from the sample piece, you can also see the quality by checking the nail holding ability of the plywood.
Different Plywood Types in India
Softwood is a popular plywood variant wherein manufacturers make use of redwood, pine, and cedar. Even though the name may imply that the wood is not strong, construction workers prefer using softwood is used for exterior frame sheathing, sub flooring, and roof sheathing.
Hardwood plywood includes three to seven layers and it uses woods like birch, oak, maple, and walnut. Manufacturers will combine layers of wood, at right angles, to one another and this will create a strong finish. This plywood variant is great for furniture, sporting equipment, musical instruments, and packing cases.
Exterior plywood is weather and water resistant, and the glue holds the veneer together as well. When homeowners create an exterior with plywood, their biggest concern is that the wood should be able to handle wind, rain, and other weather elements. Which is why exterior plywood is perfect, it fights external elements while providing a sturdy and strong frame, in the long run.
Entrust a Professional
Usually, unless you understand and can differentiate between the different kinds of Plywood grades, it becomes impossible to source the best quality plywood for your home. We at Contractorbhai make the decision easy for you by providing access to top quality plywood vendors from our vetted and verified list. We also provide the service bundled with our Interior Design services.
Interested in Home Renovation? – Set up an interior design consultation . Contact us Now!