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Different Types of Plywood (By Timber)

Plywood is made from timber, and hence the choice of timber plays a huge role in determining the quality and characteristics of plywood. Practically, plywood is manufactured using a wide variety of timber types but for the plywood used in home and office purposes, certain types are more common, which are explained below.

You can buy plywood of any timber make here.

Commonly available plywood in the market is made of hardwood-type timber. Timber being a natural product is categorised as hardwood or softwood type. As the name indicates, hardwood timber tends to be "harder", more durable, aesthetically better looking, heavier and more expensive as compared to softwood timber. But within hardwood timber as well, there are different options available.

In trade and amongst the carpenter/interior designer community, the popular notion is that plywood made from red-coloured wood is generally more durable. This is actually the hardwood which as a natural reddish tone to it. 

Within this, the most common and perceived to be best in quality is called "Gurjan" plywood. Gurjan is an imported hardwood species, which is commonly used by Indian plywood manufacturers in India. This is naturally quite a durable species of hardwood and plywood of this make tend to be most expensive as well, with a deep reddish colour. At the other end within the hardwood timber-based plywood, is Poplar, another very popular and commonly available hardwood timber species. Poplar is also called "soft hardwood", given that though it is a hardwood, its hardness is less compared to other hardwoods. Poplar has a whitish colour to it with a yellowish tinge. Some plywood manufacturers also employ both red and white/yellow timber for making the same plywood sheet, this is called "alternate core" plywood in common parlance, due to the alternate appearance of red and white/yellow layers when the cross-section of the plywood is seen. Generally, for home and office making purposes, any hardwood based plywood should be sufficient to meet your requirements.

There are other timber types too used in making plywood like teak, rubber, pine etc. which are commonly used for industrial applications and hence not very popular in the home or office making segment.


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