Marine Grade Plywood Cost

Last Updated on December 9, 2021
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Marine-grade plywood is the type of high-quality lumber that can resist high levels of moisture, such as those found in a marine environment. Due to this quality and its increased durability against warping, shrinking, or rotting due to water exposure, it’s logical for homeowners who live near bodies of water like oceans or rivers to use it when building their homes – especially if they need extra protection from nature’s elements. Marine-grade plywood is stronger than conventional three-layer boards and resistant to warping, shrinking, or boiling water.

Marine plywood is a new innovation that consists of five protective layers bound together with waterproof adhesive and strengthened by resin. This makes it more durable than traditional wood, which means you can use this marine-grade material for almost anything.

How much does marine grade plywood cost?

Depending on factors as its dimensions, the actual number of plys, and the overall thickness, the average cost of marine-grade plywood is going to be anywhere from $50 to $230 per individual sheet. For example, an unfinished, basic 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ AB marine plywood board will usually cost you about $75.  When buying per square foot, be prepared for a cost of $2 to $4 just for the needed materials.

An individual can order 4 x 8 3/4 CAT PS1-09 marine graded douglas fir sanded plywood at Lowe’s for $75.
To get an idea of the actual difference in price between traditional plywood and marine-graded plywood, you should know that you can buy the traditional one for around $10-$50, while marine-grade sheets of the same size range from about $75 to over $210 each.

After talking to multiple distributors both online and on the phone, we comprised the table below:

Thickness (mm) Number of Piles Weight (lbs) Cost Average
1.5 3 5 $50
3 3 9 $50
4 3 19 $60
5 5 16 $85
6 5 25 $60
7 5 21 $100
9 7 37 $85
12 13 72 $120
12 9 37 $150
15 9 44 $180
18 13 72 $150
18 11 52 $190
25 13 76 $275

The prices above are only for the 4′ x 8′ sheets.

Marine grade plywood details

Marine-grade plywood is made for more than just your typical boat. This tough material can be used in environments that are exposed to moisture or water, such as bathroom shower flooring, boat decks or docks, and kitchen subfloor.

You might also like our articles about the cost of luan plywood, hardwood stair installation, or dry rot repair.

Marine plywood is perfect for construction because it has twice the number of piles as the exterior plywood, but with no voids between them. This greater thickness provides better water resistance and strength, as no air can get in between layers where moisture could collect.

Marine grade plywood is usually only available at specialty suppliers. The average thickness can include 1/8″, 5/32″, 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″ and 3/4,” with common sheet sizes including 2′ x 8′, 2′ x 4′, 5′ x 10′ and 4′ x 16′. Ply sizes are often 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, or 13.

Any additional expenses to consider?

Before you purchase anything online, make sure to double-check shipping costs, especially if you aren’t able to meet the retailer’s minimum order. Plus painting or staining this product can add up quickly to the price too.

Important things to remember

Marine PlywoodWe recommend that you use marine plywood if the designer specifies it. This type of wood is known to be stronger and stiffer because there are more piles in each piece. Working with this material will also be very easy since its flat, sanded surface can look good on most projects without much hassle.

When building a boat, it is important to choose marine plywood with certification for insurance purposes. If the wood will be exposed to the sun, make sure that it has an acrylic primer on top of it in order to protect against its damaging effects; ideally, you would want multiple coats applied as well so that your work doesn’t wear away over time.

Use marine-based paint when making something out of wood that is going to be exposed to water. This will ensure the longevity and durability of your final product. This type of plywood is easy to work with and has the ability to be finished, bent, or painted.

A common misconception about marine plywood is that it’s not treated to deter rot. In truth, there are both non-treated and treated options on the market – just like any other type of wood.

Boat Builder Central claims building your boat out of high-quality material will increase its value in the long run.

Marine plywood vs Pressure treated plywood

Marine grade wood will not have voids like pressure-treated does, and it is laminated with a resourcenol glue. Pressure treated boards usually contain arsenic to protect the wood from bugs and rot; however, as of late most companies are switching out their supply of boards containing traces of arsenic because they can’t use this chemical anymore due to EPA regulations. Regardless, one big difference between these two types is the type of glue that will actually be used.

Pressure treated plywood is often made of five plies, while marine grade can be as high as thirteen. Those who used either or said if strength is your goal, consider marine grade; it’s the same case if rot is your main problem, as pressure-treated wood won’t be waterproof.

Is there any way to spend less?

Purchasing in bulk will save you money. Most retailers will offer a discount when you buy more than 10 pieces at one time. According to members of the forum, exterior plywood that’s properly sealed can work just as good too, and it will usually be cheaper.

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