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: plywood. It's versatile, it's durable, and it's perfectly suited to all sorts of needs.

A question that often comes up is that of water resistance. Can plywood be waterproof? 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.

Waterproofing is essential, especially in environments where there is excessive moisture.

To make plywood waterproof, many use simple techniques such as covering it with a coat of paint or a laminate. While this can be an option, there are types of plywood that are specially treated 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 plywood is well-suited to interior use. Here, you should keep in mind that this is not waterproof plywood. It is treated with resins such as formaldehyde to resist humidity and moisture.

So, for example, 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.

BWR grade plywood is thus excellent for use in areas that have prolonged exposure to water, for example, in kitchens and bathrooms. It is also perfect for locations with a lot of humidity or rainfall. It will last longer and remain as good-looking as the day it was first used.

BWP Grade Plywood

This is “boiling waterproof" plywood, and it’s also referred to as Marine plywood. It is completely waterproof. Being boiling water proof, not only is it used for any and every application, it is also used a lot in marine construction, being impervious to water

It’s the quality of the veneers used, combined with undiluted resins, which give it these properties. Some quality checks for this type of plywood involve submerging a sample in boiling water for three days and then checking for 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. Depending on how much water comes into contact with it, and how often, you have various varieties to pick from.

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