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Plywood vs. OSB Subfloor Comparison Guide
MDF Nominal Dimensions When making a selection below to narrow your results down, each selection made will reload the page to display the desired results. Nominal Thickness When making a selection below to narrow your results down, each selection made will reload the page to display the desired results. Product Type When making a selection below to narrow your results down, each selection made will reload the page to display the desired results. Hardwood Plywood Panel Availability Options When making a selection below to narrow your results down, each selection made will reload the page to display the desired results.Plywood is probably the most popular and versatile man-made woodworking material available in home centers today.
Plywood is a laminated product made up of numerous thin strips of wood laid in alternating directions and bonded with glue into strong, stable sheets. Because of this construction method, plywood is less susceptible to expansion and shrinkage. A board of solid wood hewn from the trunk of a single tree is somewhat unstable and likely to expand or shrink across the grain based upon the moisture content present in the wood.Manufacturing plywood boards: then and now
While the board is much stronger and less likely to expand or shrink along the grain, it is much more likely to split with the grain than against. Plywood 's construction addresses both of these concerns. By gluing numerous thin strips of wood in alternating directions layer by layer, plywood is much less likely to expand or shrink based on moisture in the environment, and the alternating construction creates a board that is much stronger in each direction than a similarly sized board cut from a single tree.
Most plywood is made from an odd number of layers, called plies typically 3, 5 or 7with an equal number of plies sandwiched on each side of the center ply. In this manner, the surface plies are always parallel, and the grain of the surface plies usually follows the longest side of the sheet although not always.
In most applications, one side of the plywood is more likely to be seen than the other side. Plywood with two faces is available for projects where both sides of the sheet will be visible. Home centers and lumberyards often sell various types of hardwood plywood such as oak, birch, or cherry plywood. In reality, these sheets aren't made from entirely from that specific hardwoodbut instead are veneers made with the same spruce, pine or fir SPF material as a regular plywood with the top layer only made out of the desired hardwood.
Keep this fact in mind when sanding the surface of a hardwood plywood, as you'll want to avoid sanding through the thin hardwood layer, exposing the SPF layer beneath.
Plywood is a very popular material used in home building, particularly for its strength as a roofing underlayment. Other comparable but less expensive sheet goods, such as oriented strand board OSB or medium density fiberboard MDF may be a better choice for some specific choices. For instance, OSB is often used for exterior wall sheathing because it is inexpensive and provides good linear strength, but is not well-suited for weight-bearing installations.
For fine woodworkers, hardwood and sanded plywoods are ideal choices for building cabinets. While it isn't the best material for cabinet doors routing a profile onto the edge of plywood will reveal the unsightly sandwich layers that make up the plywoodmatching pieces of the same species of hardwood as the plywood can be stained to match the cabinet carcasses. Read More.Plywood is a widely recognized engineered wood-based panel product that has been used in Canadian construction projects for decades.
Plywood panels manufactured for structural applications are built up from multiple layers or plys of softwood veneer that are glued together so that the grain direction of each layer of veneer is perpendicular to that of the adjacent layers.
These cross-laminated sheets of wood veneer are bonded together with a waterproof phenol-formaldehyde resin adhesive and cured under heat and pressure.
Plywood panels have superior dimensional stability, two-way strength and stiffness properties and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. They are also highly resistant to impact damage, chemicals, and changes in temperature and relative humidity. Plywood remains flat to give a smooth, uniform surface that does not crack, cup or twist.
Plywood can be painted, stained, or ordered with factory applied stains or finishes. Plywood is available with squared or tongue and groove edges, the latter of which can help to reduce labour and material costs by eliminating the need for panel edge blocking in certain design scenarios.
Plywood is suitable for a variety of end uses in both wet and dry service conditions, including: subflooring, single-layer flooring, wall, roof and floor sheathing, structural insulated panels, marine applications, webs of wood I-joists, concrete formwork, pallets, industrial containers, and furniture. Plywood panels used as exterior wall and roof sheathing perform multiple functions; they can provide resistance to lateral forces such as wind and earthquake loads and also form an integral component of the building envelope.
Plywood may be used as both a structural sheathing and a finish cladding. For exterior cladding applications, specialty plywoods are available in a broad range of patterns and textures, combining the natural characteristics of wood with superior strength and stiffness properties. When treated with wood preservatives, plywood is also suitable for use under extreme and prolonged moisture exposure such as permanent wood foundations.
Plywood is available in a wide variety of appearance grades, ranging from smooth, natural surfaces suitable for finish work to more economical unsanded grades used for sheathing. Plywood is available in more than a dozen common thicknesses and over twenty different grades. Plywood can be chemically treated to improve resistance to decay or to fire. Preservative treatment must be done by a pressure process, in accordance with CSA O80 standards.
It is required that plywood manufacturers carry out testing in conformance with ASTM D and ASTM D to determine the effects of fire retardants, or any other potentially strength-reducing chemicals. National Building Code of Canada.Plywood has been one of the most recognized and trusted wood building products for decades. Manufactured from thin sheets of cross-laminated veneer and bonded under heat and pressure with strong adhesives, plywood panels have superior dimensional stability and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and are highly resistant to impacts, chemicals, and changes in environmental temperature and humidity.
Plywood manufactured by APA member mills is available in a wide variety of appearance grades, ranging from smooth, natural surfaces suitable for finish work to more economical grades used for sheathing. With more than a dozen common thicknesses and over twenty different grades, plywood is well-suited to a multitude of demanding applications.
The mark signifies that panel quality is subject to verification through APA audit—a procedure designed to assure manufacture in conformance with APA performance standards or the standard shown in the mark. Describes the specification, advantages, applications and finishing recommendations of sanded plywood. Includes trademark examples and explanations. It also describes the typical applications where Performance Rated panels are used and provides updated trademark and performance category information.
Email Password.When buying plywood at your local supplier, you may notice that there are a number of different grades.
The normal grading system uses the letters A, B, C and D, where A is the best quality, with virtually no blemishes and very well sanded. Grade D typically contains up to the maximum number of blemishes allowed. The letter grades typically come in pairs, where one letter refers to the "better" side, called the face, and the other letter to the backside, opposite the face.
As such, a sheet of A-C plywood will be very well finished on the face with a relatively unfinished back. Conversely, construction-grade plywood would be C-D commonly referred to as CDX plywoodwhich is great for structural use but not suited to be finish material.
In addition to the plywood grades, there are four common plywood bonding types. The type of plywood you choose will depend on what the material will be subjected to after the installation is complete. For instance, if plywood will be exposed to considerable moisture, marine plywood would be the best choice. However, for kitchen cabinets, interior plywood would be fine, as there's no reason to spend the extra money that plywoods with waterproof glue would cost.
Plywoods for interior use only are made from various hardwood and softwood species and can be used only in interior applications such as wall sheathing, furniture where exposure to moisture is limitedcabinetry and the like.
Interior plywood is available in most grades, as well as a number of hardwood species such as birch, oak, and cherry. For cabinetry projects and other plans that require one side of the plywood to be visible to the user, sanded plywood would be the best choice.
These are typically sold as A-C plywood, with one side sanded to A grade while the interior side, which will not be seen by the user would be a lesser C grade. Most hardwood plywoods are sanded A-C grades, but some SPF varieties are also sold as one-side sanded. The glues used in exterior plywoods are much more resistant to moisture than interior plywoods.
Numerous hardwood species are also available in exterior varieties. When moisture resistance is a priority, look into marine plywood. This type uses the best adhesives and is manufactured to the highest standards. It also is most commonly graded as A-A, with two top-grade faces, but is limited in the hardwood choices that are practical for use in marine settings.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 include medium-density fibreboard MDF and particle board chipboard. All plywoods bind resin and wood fibre sheets cellulose cells are long, strong and thin to form a composite material.
All About Plywood
This alternation of the grain is called cross-graining and has several important benefits: it reduces the tendency of wood to split when nailed at the edges; it reduces expansion and shrinkage, providing improved dimensional stability; and it makes the strength of the panel consistent across all directions.
There is usually an odd number of plies, so that the sheet is balanced—this reduces warping. Because plywood is bonded with grains running against one another and with an odd number of composite parts, it has high stiffness perpendicular to the grain direction of the surface ply.
Smaller, thinner, and lower quality plywoods may only have their plies layers arranged at right angles to each other.
Some better-quality plywood products will by design have five plies in steps of 45 degrees 0, 45, 90,and degreesgiving strength in multiple axes.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks cut wood thinly and glued it together in layers with the grain in perpendicular directions, making a versatile building material. In his patent applications, he described the concept of laminating several layers of veneer with glue to form a thicker piece — the first description of what we now call plywood.
Veneers at the time of Bentham were flat sawnrift sawn or quarter sawn ; i. About fifty years later Immanuel Nobelfather of Alfred Nobelrealized that several thinner layers of wood bonded together would be stronger than a single thick layer of wood.
Understanding the industrial potential of laminated wood, he invented the rotary lathe. Plywood was introduced into the United States in  and industrial production started shortly after.
Artists use plywood as a support for easel paintings to replace traditional canvas or cardboard. Ready-made artist boards for oil painting in three-layered plywood 3-ply were produced and sold in New York as early as A typical plywood panel has face veneers of a higher grade than the core veneers. The principal function of the core layers is to increase the separation between the outer layers where the bending stresses are highest, thus increasing the panel's resistance to bending.
As a result, thicker panels can span greater distances under the same loads. In bending, the maximum stress occurs in the outermost layers, one in tensionthe other in compression. Bending stress decreases from the maximum at the face layers to nearly zero at the central layer.
Shear stressby contrast, is higher in the center of the panel, and at the outer fibres. Within Europe basic plywood can be divided into three main categories: birch plywood density approx.
Softwood plywood is usually made either of cedarDouglas fir or sprucepineand fir collectively known as spruce-pine-fir or SPF or redwood and is typically used for construction and industrial purposes. The most common dimension is 1. Plies vary in thickness from 1. The number of plies—which is always odd—depends on the thickness and grade of the sheet. Hardwood plywood is made out of wood from dicot trees Oak, Beech and Mahogany and used for demanding end uses.
Hardwood plywood is characterized by its excellent strength, stiffness and resistance to creep. It has a high planar shear strength and impact resistance, which make it especially suitable for heavy-duty floor and wall structures.
Oriented plywood construction has a high wheel-carrying capacity. Hardwood plywood has excellent surface hardness, and damage- and wear-resistance. Tropical plywood is made of mixed species of tropical timber. Originally from the Asian region, it is now also manufactured in African and South American countries.
Tropical plywood is superior to softwood plywood due to its density, strength, evenness of layers, and high quality.