Plywood is a material used for a long time in the manufacture of furniture. In museums, there are pieces of furniture with plywood parts dating from the late 1700s to – early 1800s. It is a product derived from wood, made of three or more layers of overlapping veneer sheets. They are glued with hot press adhesives. The plywood has an odd number of veneers, the minimum being three. This means that the thickness of the material will also differ depending on the number of veneers. The veneer sheets in the plywood composition can have thicknesses between 1 and 4 mm.
The superior quality of the finish both on the front and on the back of the plywood makes it one of the favorite materials used in construction and the furniture industry and not only.
Among the main advantages of plywood, we emphasize high strength and rigidity, dimensional stability, impact resistance, multiple and efficient fixing possibilities, and the workability of the material.
How much does plywood cost?
The price of plywood varies significantly depending on the size and thickness. A 4X8 sheet can range from $7 to as much as $60. As an example, for a 1/4 inches thick board, you may pay $8, while an 11/32 inches thick panel will cost around $18. You can get a better idea through our chart below.
Home Depot’s prices for 4-by-8 plywood sheets range from $15 to $60, while Lowe’s offers similar products in a slightly larger price range of anywhere from $18 and up.
The average sheet of plywood can cost somewhere between $12 and $55.
|Thickness||Price Range (for a 4×8 sheet)|
|23/32″||$15 to $40|
|15/32″||$15 to $35|
|15/32″||$10 to $18|
|11/32″||$7 to $14|
|1/4″||$6 to $25|
|19/32″||$10 to $20|
|1/2″||$6 to $11|
|7/16″||$5 to $10|
|19/32″||$7 to $14|
Note: The price ranges above are for a 4’x8′ standard size that is standard with no alterations.
Plywood is a durable material (boards with a higher number of veneers are more resistant), used in the furniture industry, interior design, but also for making various types of packaging. Plywood is divided into general use, for the furniture industry or outdoor plywood or with special uses, used in construction or aviation.
The most common sizes of plywood in the United States are 3/4″, 1/2″, and 1/4″ thick.
Advantages of plywood:
- low price;
- it is a lighter material than chipboard or MDF;
- pleasant appearance, especially if it has been veneered; the wood species from which the veneer comes can be varied, beech, birch, fir, maple, oak, etc.
- it is easy to process;
- it is resistant (it has several layers of wood veneer sheets in its composition; the more there are, the longer the plywood will last); the resistance is uniform along the plywood, therefore it behaves favorably on impact;
- plywood dimensions are large – you can buy a plywood 78 inches long and 50 inches wide; therefore, you can cover generous surfaces with a single plate;
- when inserting nails or screws it does not break, due to the fact that it is a layered product;
- is an ideal material for DIY (Do it yourself) furniture projects.
Good to know
Plywood can be processed (cut, milled, sanded) and laminated in the same way as solid wood. As the outer layers are always composed of layers of solid wood (usually veneer layers), the same principles must be observed when sanding as when processing solid wood.
Because they are used both in plating and in household components, including kitchen worktops, choosing the right plywood depends on its use. There is plywood replated with wood, which can be used in wall plating works, for example, but also plywood that can be painted or lacquered, in this case containing the wood essence, which must be soft and allow easy application of finishes. You can find plywood of the most varied sizes and essences in the DIY stores: they are all easy to cut and process, especially the soft ones. Waterproof plywood is used for rooms with a high degree of humidity or outdoor works, so check when buying it if it is adapted to these conditions (the wood is treated and the glue used for the joint is also chosen for this purpose).
Plywood is lighter than chipboard, so it is easier to handle, favorable if you make a wall cabinet or furniture on wheels.
If it is a piece of furniture that will be exposed in a room with a high degree of humidity, it is better to use plywood instead of chipboard – the latter is known to have a sensitivity to moisture.
Plywood has very good dimensional behavior at high heat and a low combustion rate, much better than solid wood. Exposed to constant fire, the plywood carbonizes at 0.6 mm per minute, which allows it to be used in certain fire-resistant constructions.
What are the extra costs?
Plywood made from other types of wood will cost 30 percent more than raw plywood. For example, oak and birch are two examples that can have a higher price tag compared to an OSB or standard type of plywood.
Not all stores will sell the same type of plywood so you might have some trouble trying to find one that fits your needs if they don’t directly stock them in their store. You may even need to pay an additional fee just for having something special ordered from another place entirely.
If you don’t have a truck to transport your sheets of plywood, but want them delivered right away, some stores offer delivery for an extra cost.
How can I save money?
Knowing when plywood is on sale and finding the best deal can save you a lot of money, so check the ads at local stores closely.
If you’re planning to purchase a lot of plywood and other building materials consider applying for a credit card, as many stores offer it. You’ll get 10–25% off your purchase just by signing up.