When handling any type of renovation project at home, you need to be careful about the materials you use and especially those that will be seen or used indoors versus outdoors. When choosing plywood for new walls or outdoor decks, you’ll note that there are different grades, and you need to choose these carefully. Some plywood is meant for certain applications and some is not to be used where it can be seen, such as for those decks and other open structures. Note some important tips for choosing structural plywood for your home renovation project.

1. Note the Grades

When buying plywood you’ll see that it’s graded, from A to D. Grade A is the most expensive and grade D is the least expensive, but price alone should not be the determining factor in your purchasing decision. Grade A plywood is sanded very fine and will be without knots or other blemishes. This is the best choice for any type of exposed construction such as that back deck.

Grade D plywood will be the least expensive but you may note that it may have a number of blemishes. D grade plywood is often used for structural applications where it will not be seen and doesn’t need to be painted or finished. The grades in between will also have a certain number of blemishes and finishes, so choose according to application and if the plywood will be visible.

2. Note the Adhesives

Structural plywood (available from companies like F.A. Mitchell & Company Pty Ltd) is made with certain types of adhesives and these will vary according to their use. Interior, structural plywood is not typically exposed to much moisture so its adhesive may not be a water-resistant as exterior plywood. The plywood you use for outdoor projects such as your deck will use a more water-resistant adhesive since it will be exposed to rain and other elements. Never choose interior plywood for exterior projects as the adhesive may not hold up well against the elements.

3. Choose a Specialty Plywood When Needed

There are many specialty plywood types you can choose for finished products such as cabinetry and cupboards, or furniture. If you’re looking for plywood or any type of wood for creating these items by hand, you want to choose specialty plywood that is usually sanded to a fine grain and may be made of veneers that are designed to remain stable even when cut and fabricated.

Remember these tips for choosing plywood for any home improvement project as you’ll want to find the best choice for the job at hand.