Can Plywood Be Waterproof? Here Are the Facts
Centuryply Blog

Can Plywood Be Waterproof? Here Are the Facts

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What's common to the interiors of homes and offices across India? The answer: the humble plywood. It's versatile, it's durable, and it's a perfectly suited building material to all sorts of needs.

The qualities of plywood are well known. It’s been used for all multiple uses for a long time, and the humble material still continues to thrive because of the inherent properties it comes with. But, in spite of all this, a question that often comes up with regard to plywood is that of water resistance. Can plywood be waterproof? Can plywood be effectively used to create furniture pieces for areas that experience higher water inflows. These questions are genuine, because as we all know, plywood is made of wood veneer, and when the wood is exposed to water for long periods, there can be damage and warping.

But for plywood to be used efficiently in interior spaces like bathrooms, kitchens, patio, etc.waterproofing is essential. There is no other way out, especially in environments where there is excessive moisture. A waterproof ply board is a need of the hour. 


And we at CenturyPly are constantly innovating products to make them more efficient and customer friendly in nature. One outcome of which is the waterproof plywood. There are many techniques to make waterproof ply boards. One of which is covering the plywood with a coat of paint or a laminate. The other option is chemically treating the polymer matrix of the plywood to stop water being absorbed by the wood in the first place.


Let's now take a look at the different types of plywood that are manufactured for water-resistance and more:


MR Grade Plywood


The MR in this plywood refers to “moisture resistant”. This means that the MR grade plywood is well-suited to interior use such as the bedroom, living room or the study room. Here, you should keep in mind that MR grade is not a waterproof ply board. It is treated with resins such as formaldehyde to resist humidity and moisture, and cannot withstand high inflow of water.

To explain more, it is suited for home and office furniture and other uses such as shelves. If there are areas that are likely to get wet very often, such as kitchen shelves, this would not be suitable in the long run.


BWR Grade Plywood


The BWR here refers to “boiling water-resistant”. This is used for both interiors and exteriors, being treated with phenolic resins to make it water resistant. 


Unlike MR grade, BWR grade plywood is good for use in areas that have prolonged exposure to water, for example, in kitchens and bathrooms. It is also suited for locations with a lot of humidity or rainfall. The BWR grade plywood will last longer and the furniture piece made from this plywood would remain as good-looking as the day they were first made.

Note: BWR grade is a water resistant and not a waterproof ply board. It can sustain water for longer times, and is best suited for interior uses. 


BWP Grade Plywood


This is “boiling waterproof" plywood, and it’s also referred to as Marine plywood. It is completely waterproof. Being a hundred percent waterproof ply board, it is extremely versatile and durable in nature. Anytime that your mind can imagine can be built using BWR grade plywood. No amount of water can damage the shape of this humble material. Moreover, as the name suggests, being impervious to water, this plywood is also used for multiple marine operations such as building a boat and much more. 


What makes these plywood so versatile? It’s the quality of the veneers used, combined with undiluted resins, which give it these excellent properties. Some quality checks, to maintain the standard and get verified certifications, for this type of plywood involve submerging a sample in boiling water for three days and then testing the plywood on the basis of strength and other properties.


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There are also many other places where this grade of plywood is used. For example, in the case of exteriors that are more or less regularly exposed to water. This plywood will remain unaffected by damp and wet conditions. One of the grades made by CenturyPly comes with a Lifetime warranty and is also borer and termite-proof. CenturyPly further offers a variety of products in this grade which comes with extended warranties.


Now that you’re aware of the various qualities of plywood when it comes to water, you’re in a position to choose well. The first consideration should be the use and the location where you’ll use the ply board . Depending on how much water comes into contact with the plywood, and how often the water stays there, and how durable you want your plywood to be, and every other question that comes to your mind, you now have a clear understanding to pick the best from the wide range of quality plywood readily available to you.

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