Choose the right plywood for cabinets, a comprehensive guide

Choose the right plywood for cabinets, a comprehensive guide

Applicable to different scenarios, cabinet plywood grades, plywood veneer cores,adhesives affect water resistance,plywood thickness and size, plywood finishes,these are the influencing factors for choosing plywood for cabinets

Table of Contents

Advantages of plywood for cabinets over other boards

· Stronger load-bearing capacity: the strength and load-bearing capacity of plywood is very strong.

· Stronger nail grip: plywood is strong in the fixing of screws and other mechanical fasteners, which greatly increases the life of the cabinet and makes the structure more complete.

· Stronger resistance to bending: the cross-laminated structure of plywood is more difficult to bend than solid wood, and the smoothness is still good for a long time.

· Better moisture resistance: plywood is more moisture resistant than particleboard, and although plywood is not completely waterproof, it is not easy to damage when wet.

· More environmentally friendly: Plywood can be made from sustainably sourced wood and may offer environmentally friendly building options.

· Lighter: plywood is lighter than particleboard and MDF, making it easier to operate and install, especially in wall-mounted cabinets.

· More scratch resistant: Compared to particleboard and MDF, it is less prone to scratch.

· More beautiful: plywood has different finishes, can also be painted, but also can meet the customer’s high standard tone requirements, so that the cabinet looks better.

· More flexible: the thin and flexible style of plywood can be used for curved cabinets or cabinets with complex cuts, and the different grades and finishes of plywood make it more flexible in actual design and application.

· Cost-effective: Plywood is cheaper than solid wood and of better quality than particleboard, providing customers with a more cost-effective choice between cost and performance.

· More stable dimensions: particleboard does not bend due to temperature changes, and the strength of the plywood hardly changes over its lifetime.

To sum up, plywood is superior to particleboard and MDF. Of course, the budget constraints, design requirements and environmental considerations of the project will be important factors in the final selection.

Cabinets How to choose the best type of plywood in different scenes

In your project, the specific requirements of the desired location of the cabinets are the decisive factor in choosing the best plywood. Let’s explore how to choose among several common application scenarios.

Choose the best type of plywood for kitchen Cabinets 

In the kitchen, the humidity is high and the use of cabinets is high. The suggestions are as follows:

· Choose hardwood plywood, made of birch, fir or mixed hardwood, which has a smooth surface and is suitable for painting or dyeing, so that it can be more durable in the kitchen environment.

· Choose water-resistant plywood (WR), suitable for the environment where there is often water or moisture in the kitchen.

· Choose plywood with surface grades A1, A2, B1, B2, if both sides of the cabinet are exposed, it is recommended to choose these.

· Choose 3/4 plywood, its thickness is 3/4 inch (19mm or so), the strength is better and more durable.

Choose the best  plywood for Cabinets in the bathroom

Bathroom cabinets need materials that can handle high humidity. The suggestions are as follows:

· Marine plywood or WR plywood is selected to prevent warping and expansion while preventing moisture.

· Choose 3/4 plywood, its thickness is 3/4 inch.

Choose the right plywood cabinets in the garage

Garage such a workshop, usually need to store heavy tools, but also need to enter the relevant processing operations, so you need to use strong, wear-resistant materials. The suggestions are as follows:

· Choose structural plywood or CDX plywood, these types of plywood are strong and can support heavy loads.

· Choose a surface grade of CDX, because appearance is not important in the garage.

· Choose 1/2 plywood, 5/8 plywood, 3/4 plywood, etc., and its thickness is between 1/2 inch (12mm) and 3/4 inch (19mm), depending on the weight on the shelf.

How to choose cabinet-grade plywood for outdoors

Outdoor cabinets should face various weather factors. The suggestions are as follows:

· Choose Marine grade plywood, which has very good moisture resistance. In addition, properly sealed and painted plywood can also be used in places with little rain.

Additional suggestions for cabinet making

· Surface treatment: No matter what kind of plywood, appropriate surface treatment (paint, stain, sealant) can be done, which can extend the service life of the cabinet and make the appearance better.

· Hardware: Especially in kitchen and bathroom cabinets, high-quality hinges and drawer slides ensure that they can withstand weight for a long time and frequent use without breaking.

· Ventilation: Especially for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, ventilation is good to prevent deformation or damage to the plate.

The internal factors of cabinet grade plywood: cabinet plywood grades, cabinet plywood thickness, and cabinet plywood veneer core

Cabinet plywood grades

The surface grade of plywood is divided according to the appearance quality of the panel. Different surface grades of plywood are suitable for different scenes. There is also a difference between the grading of softwood plywood and hardwood plywood.

Cork plywood is divided into “front” veneer and “back” veneer, each plywood panel has 4 grades: A, B, C, D, the following describes the grades and their characteristics:

· Grade A plywood is the highest quality, smooth surface, no visible defects, although the cost is high, but save construction time. It is usually used in decorative scenes that require varnish or other clear coatings, such as furniture and interior decorations.

· Grade B plywood surface usually has some small defects, will be repaired with patches or wood paste. There may be nodules on the surface, no more than 1 inch in diameter. It is usually used in scenes that require painting or dyeing.

· Grade C plywood has more pronounced defects and nodules, which can be up to 1.5 inches in diameter. These defects have been filled, but the appearance is still poor. It is usually used in structural applications where decorative surfaces are not required.

· Grade D plywood may have large defects and nodules up to 2.5 inches in diameter. This grade of plywood is the cheapest and is usually used in structural applications where appearance is not a concern.

In addition, Class AB plywood refers to: there is A class A panel and a class B backplane. One of the letters refers to the plywood surface grade on the front and the second letter refers to the plywood surface grade on the back.

There is a slight difference between hardwood plywood, where the panels are still represented by letters, and the surface grade of the backboard is indicated by numbers :1 is the highest quality and 4 is the lowest quality.

· If the plywood is used outdoors and requires a certain moisture resistance, the grade label of the plywood has an X at the end, representing that it has a certain moisture resistance, such as CDX grade plywood, which is made of C grade panels and D grade backboards, and the price is lower. It can withstand a certain amount of moisture and is commonly used to build workstations and storage units.

· If you need to use in water for a long time, it is still recommended to use Marine plywood.

 The two sides of plywood do not always have the same quality because in many scenes only one side is seen. The following describes the types and uses of different board grades:

·AA plywood: double-sided sanding, no defects on the surface, suitable for interior decoration where the board needs to look good, such as high-quality furniture, interior decoration, cabinets, etc.

· AAX plywood (AA exterior) : Outdoor applications where the level and finish of the board are required, such as sign boards, boxing, boats and other places.

· AB plywood: When only one side needs high quality, choose this more cost-effective. For example, the drawer base in the cabinet can be placed A-side up.

What is acx plywood?

· ACX plywood: In some wet places outdoors, and one side needs to be smooth and flat. ACX is common in the following scenarios: soffit under the roof line, truck and trailer linings, farm buildings, and commercial refrigerators.

· BB plywood: Very practical grade, suitable for everyday interior use, surface can be painted. The surface of this kind of plate shows signs of having been repaired. This material can be used to make very practical cabinets and furniture in the home.

· BBX plywood: A practical outdoor sheet that is ideal for many outdoor scenes, such as shed and barn walls. There is also a pre-oiled, used as a concrete form, which has the advantage of being clean and reusable.

What is bcx plywood?

· BCX and BDX plywood: Commonly used to make good truck linings, fuel tanks, common panels for demanding industrial shelves on top, or boxes where interior panels are not important, they are also a favorite of builders who use it as a base for exterior coatings.

· CC plywood: It is commonly used in boxcars, trucks, exterior decks, balconies, cable reels, transport pallets, other utility flooring or other structural applications.

What is cdx plywood?

· CDX plywood: It is most commonly found in roofing and exterior sheathing materials. Because the adhesive is added in the production process of the plywood, the moisture proof effect is good, it is more suitable for external use, and the C side is outward.

Cabinet plywood veneer cores

Veneer core plywood is divided into hardwood plywood and softwood plywood depending on the wood.Different types of plywood sheet are made from different woods, each with its own characteristics:

· Hardwood plywood: Made of woods such as birch, maple, and oak, with a strong texture and fine grain, suitable for the visible part of the cabinet.

· Cork plywood: Usually made of pine, cedar or spruce, it is lighter and can be used in less demanding applications.

Plywood thickness and size  

The thickness of the plywood will affect the strength and stability of the cabinet,plywood thicknesses range from 1/8 inch (3mm) to 1 1/16 inches (30mm), and the following is a description of common sizes:

· 3/4 plywood: 3/4 inch,the thickness of the cabinet box, which can balance strength and weight well, and can also be used on the shelves in the cabinet.

· 1/2 plywood: 1/2 inch,usually on the back of cabinets or the sides, front and back of drawers, it can also be used in smaller cabinets or lighter loads.

· 1/4 plywood: 1/4 inch,commonly used for cabinet backplanes or veneers, drawer bottoms and cabinet door panels.

· 1/8 plywood: 1/8 inch,typically used for specific parts where structural strength is not a major consideration, but rather a lightweight and smooth surface is required.

How big is a sheet of plywood?

The regular size of plywood is 4×8 plywood(1220mm*2440mm) and can be customized according to your needs.

Influence of plywood cement on water resistance

· WPB plywood, also known as Marine grade plywood, is made of phenolic resin adhesives or other high-quality synthetic resin adhesives with comparable properties, which are durable, resistant to boiling or steam treatment and antibacterial properties. Used in aviation, ships, carriages, packaging, concrete formwork, water conservancy projects and other places requiring good water resistance and weather resistance.

· WR plywood, water-resistant plywood, made of urea-formaldehyde resin or other adhesives of comparable properties, impregnable in cold water, able to withstand short periods of hot water impregnation, and having antimicrobial properties, but not resistant to boiling. Used for carriage, ship, furniture, building interior decoration and packaging.

· MR Plywood, made of low resin content of urea formaldehyde resin, blood glue or other comparable properties of the adhesive, can withstand short-term cold water impregnation, suitable for indoor normal use. Used for furniture, packaging and general construction purposes.

· INT plywood, made of bean glue or other adhesives with comparable properties, used under normal indoor conditions, with a certain bonding strength. Mainly used for packaging and general purposes. The tea box needs bean glue plywood.

Finishing plywood for cabinets

At present, 90% of the substrate finish on the market is triamine paper, the full name is melamine impregnated film paper, which can be understood as the adhesive paper formed after the combination of paper and glue drying. In addition, there are PET, PETG, Alec, PVC mold, PP mold, veneer, aluminum veneer and other finishes, paint painting can also be understood as the veneer of the plate, which includes triamine paper veneer price is the most affordable, veneer and paint more expensive. To sum up, leather, cloth, veneer, polymer materials, printing and other types constitute rich finishing materials. Here are some common scenes and their corresponding suitable finishes:

Melamine veneer plywood

The adhesive paper formed after drying with decorative paper with pattern and glue, the surface texture is smooth and uniform.

Application scenarios: Suitable for high durability and low maintenance scenarios, such as rental properties or utility Spaces.

· Advantages: Cost-effective, durable, available in a variety of colors and textures.

· Disadvantages: easily damaged by moisture, lack of natural wood warmth and beauty.

Polyvinyl chloride veneer plywood (PVC)

· The surface has a soft polyvinyl chloride film, also known as PVC, with a matte or glossy finish.

· Application scenario: waterproof, suitable for kitchen, bathroom and other high humidity scenes.

· Advantages: easy maintenance, cost-effective, durable, available in a variety of colors and styles.

· Disadvantages: The surface is relatively fragile, afraid of cigarette burning and sharp scratches, not environmentally friendly.

UV veneer plywood

UV board is a plate with a surface protected by UV treatment. UV board = plate + finishing material layer or UV printing layer +UV coating paint layer.

· Application scenario: Projects requiring custom or special patterns.

· Advantages: Can imitate a variety of textures. Relatively wear-resistant, can resist general abrasion. Good heat resistance, moisture-proof and moisture-resistant, smooth and not easy to deformation, economical price.

· Disadvantages: easy to burst, edge collapse and obvious color difference during processing and use.

· Excimer finish: can be simply understood as skin feeling UV paint finish, the price is not low.

PET veneer plywood

Decorative panels made of PET film as a surface coating material, with highlights and matte finishes.

· Application scenario: Suitable for scenes that require multiple color combinations or prefer a uniform appearance, such as modern or traditional kitchens.

· Advantages: high surface hardness, good scratch resistance, excellent resistance to gas, water, oil and odor, anti-fingerprint contamination, easy to daily care.

· Disadvantages: more expensive than pvc and melamine finishes, not soaked in hot water, not alkali resistant, and poor corona resistance.

Acrylic finish plywood

It is a plywood with acrylic coating on one or both sides

Application scenarios: Usually used in applications where plywood needs to be exposed to adverse weather conditions, such as outdoor construction projects, Marine environments, and other areas with high humidity. It is also used in the manufacture of furniture, especially furniture that requires a smooth, polished surface.

Advantages: Water and moisture resistance, protection against wear, tear and impact, smooth, polished surface makes it suitable for applications requiring high quality finishes.

Disadvantages: It is more expensive and sensitive to high temperatures.

Natural wood veneer plywood

· The appearance of different substrates is pasted with wood veneer, which can show the grain and color of solid wood. The more common wood finishes are teak, walnut, maple, ash and so on

· Application scenario: It is used more in high-end custom cabinets, furniture or occasions requiring natural and warm beauty. Suitable for places that need to show the beauty of wood, such as living rooms, bedrooms, etc.

· Advantages: Highlights natural wood grain and color, dyed or transparent coating can be.

· Disadvantages: the price is high, the wood grain style is limited, and the maintenance is also more complicated, and the solid wood veneer is easy to tilt or crack. Durability is very poor, after impact will cause the bark to fall off, avoid moisture and UV damage.

Paint finish plywood

· The surface is polished, primed, dried, polished and baked at high temperature. The surface is smooth and shiny.

· Application scenario: Suitable for scenarios requiring luxurious, durable and seamless finishes, such as high-end kitchen decoration.

· Advantages: can harmonize a unique tone, will not peel, easy to maintain, can be repainted.

Disadvantages: The price is more expensive, not suitable for moisture or moisture in the environment.

 What is Skin Sensitive Door Panel

The so-called skin door panel is the use of skin paint on the surface of PET, PP, PVC and other materials to form a skin film, which feels skin, and is upgraded behind, as well as PET anti-fingerprint skin finish, in fact, many finishes are overcoming the problem of leaving handprints.

 Are there aldehyde-free plates

Aldehyde-free finishes exist in the market, such as veneer, PVC film, PP film, PET, PETG, acrylic, etc., but the veneer of triamine paper formaldehyde has not been solved, that is, there is no aldehyde-free triamine paper veneer, of course, to meet the national environmental standards of triamine paper veneer has already been solved. Aldehyde-free plate must meet the three elements of aldehyde-free substrate, aldehyde-free finishing material and aldehyde-free adhesive.

When choosing finishes for plywood cabinets, you should consider the environment in which the cabinets will be used, the desired appearance, the use scenario and possible wear, as well as the amount of maintenance you are willing to perform. Each finish has its own advantages and disadvantages, which should be weighed according to the specific needs of the project.

If you have any questions about plywood, feel free to contact us, we will give you a reply within 48 hours.

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