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Category Information

Plywood is an engineered timber that is closely related to MDF and chipboard that are also used as sheet materials. It is manufactured from engineered wood that has been cut into fine veneers that are layered by rotating each tier by 90 degrees and glued together. This is different from solid wood which has a grain that goes in one direction and is referred to as a cross-grain technique. This method has a variety of benefits to the material created:  

  • High strength and stability  
  • Warping is prevented  
  • Lower risk of the sheet splitting, particularly when nails are inserted around the edges  

What is Plywood used for?  

Quality plywood is a versatile general-purpose construction product that is supplied as panels for a cost-effective alternative to solid wood. The cross-grain style of the sheet allows it to handle high levels of pressure, and it is suitable for a wide range of uses including:  

  • Furniture  
  • Flooring  
  • Light partition walls  
  • Doors  
  • Panelling  
  • Cladding  
  • Sheds 

Some of our branches can do plywood cut to size, please visit out branch pages to see whether your local branch offers this service.


Which plywood should be used?  

At Howarth Timber & Building Supplies, we sell a wide range of plywood sheets. Knowing which one you will need will depend on a few factors:  

Internal Applications: Typically used in situations that will not be exposed to moisture, you should choose a panel that has a technical class of EN636-1S and has an EN314 Class 1 bond.   

This includes:  

  • Packing cases  
  • Furniture  
  • Shelving  

When used in furnishings, or for projects where the finished look is important, you can choose decorative plywood that features face veneers that feature the natural wood grain that is a popular feature. 

External Applications: This will be situations that will experience occasional wetting, including humidity and condensation (for example in bathrooms), and you should choose EN636-2S exterior plywood with an EN314 Class 2 bond. Marine grade plywood is an excellent choice in most cases because it is moisture resistant, and resilient against delamination and fungal attacks. 

Uses include:  

  • Roofing  
  • Floors  
  • Walls  
  • Hoardings 

For structural applications, such as storage crates, we recommend using a structural plywood. If it will be constantly exposed to the elements, for example if a crate is being stored in an exterior-based yard, you will need structural plywood that is EN636-3S with an EN314 Class 3 bond.